FinTech sector launches inclusion charter to address high levels of workplace harassment
‘Fintech For All Charter’ to focus on increasing diversity and inclusion across UK FinTech
Sector survey reveals 85% of workplace harassment is gender based
84% of sector employees have been harassed more than once
Leading representatives from across the UK’s FinTech community today announced the launch of the FinTech For All Charter, an industry-led initiative to end harassment and promote diversity within the sector.
The effort is being led by InChorus and supported by Innovate Finance, the FinTech Alliance, and Level39, with the Financial Conduct Authority supporting the steering committee.
The Charter is a commitment to increase diversity and inclusion across the sector. Signatories will pledge to create a culture where inclusive behaviour is championed, harassment is not tolerated, and diversity is widely promoted in order to futureproof UK FinTech and enable sustainable growth.
The call for action follows a sector survey conducted by InChorus, which revealed high levels of workplace harassment in UK FinTech. Amongst the firms and employees surveyed, 85% of harassment related incidents (with 500 incident types) were related to gender, and 84% of victims harassed more than once.
The survey uncovered that 78% of victims did not officially report the incident. Reasons for not reporting included the victim not being sure if the incident was serious enough to address (15%) or if action would be taken (12%). Some victims did not want to face any retaliation from reporting an incident (12%). Other reasons included the victim’s manager being involved in the incident (8%), the victim not wanting to do so (6%), or the individual feared not being believed (3%).
The outcome highlighted that two-thirds (63%) of participants wanted their organisations to implement training to prevent harassment, whilst over half (51%) thought that a set of employment standards for FinTech would help effectively tackle workplace harassment.
Initial signatories of the Charter include some of the leading names in the sector, including FinTechs – Currencycloud, Checkout.com, Delio Wealth, Applied Blockchain, Erlang Solutions, Plentitude, Landbay, Direct ID, and Funding Xchange. With Investors – Augmentum VC, Outward VC and Anthemis signing up alongside the consultancy PwC, and Industry Bodies FinTech Circle and UKBAA.
Each signatory has committed to the following:
- Ensuring at least one member of the senior executive team is accountable for Diversity & Inclusion
- Creating and promoting an effective Harassment and Bullying policy
- Developing employee awareness around what constitutes harassment and encouraging inclusive practices
- Providing a range of appropriate reporting channels so employees can speak up safely
- Ensuring that action is taken as per the Harassment and Bullying policy
Signatories will be provided with guidance, resources, networks, and workshops to enable them to take the tangible steps towards becoming more inclusive and having a more diverse workplace culture.
The founding partners recognise that FinTech firms will be at very different stages of their growth journey, so each organisation should set a strategy that is right for them.
The UK FinTech ecosystem leads the world in offering exciting opportunities for business, investment and talent. In recent years, instances of harassment in the wake of the #MeToo movement have surfaced, along with negative reports of the stark gender pay gap, inherited from the Financial Services sector. The call for an inclusive industry is becoming even stronger, with the FCA mandating for a focus on non-financial misconduct and encouraging speak-up cultures.
This Charter has been designed to progress the conversation and change culture for the better across the sector, and we invite all UK FinTechs to join the fight to end harassment and encourage greater inclusion. Further details can be found at www.fintech.inchorus.org.
You can read the charter here.
You can also check out InChorus session as part of UKFW 2020 here.