“Gender Bias is Still a Problem” in Fintech, Says Andrée Simon

In a recent interview with FinTekNews, FINCA Impact Finance President & CEO Andrée Simon discusses the challenges and opportunities facing women in finance and fintech.

In the interview, Simon talks about how she rose to the position of President & CEO of a leading responsible finance institution. Like any professional milestone, that owed in part to the support of colleagues. Gender bias wasn’t a direct barrier to her success:

I didn’t think about my gender at all for most of my career … I think that being a woman can be a competitive disadvantage if your partners have a bias against women. In the case of our work, however, I think it’s actually been an advantage more often than not. It distinguishes us from other firms both from an internal and external perspective.”

“Fintech is Behind the Curve on Gender Equality”

Many women, however, do face discrimination. This is a fact Simon readily recognizes, especially the low proportion of female leaders in fintech companies. She points to an troubling statistic: of the founders of companies on the FinTech 50 list, there are 118 men and only six women.

This is due to a number of factors that exclude women, including gender-biased hiring, promotion and funding practices. Clearly, the industry isn’t doing enough to empower women leaders.

“Firms Need to Attract and Cultivate Women Talent”

Women are still facing an uphill battle, but Simon sees the future of fintech being more female-friendly:

I think we will see more women in leadership roles. Gender bias is a problem, but the emphasis on gender equality is gaining ground. It’s more widely understood that firms need to attract and cultivate women talent to be successful, especially in fields like tech and finance that have traditionally been viewed as male-dominated. For individual women trying to break into the fintech sphere, my advice is to focus on generating and demonstrating value. It’s very difficult to ignore anyone who is generating value visibly.

Read the full interview here: