Why diverse viewpoints make for fintech success

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One of the biggest challenges, as companies grow, is maintaining the disruptive and change-making spark that made them unique in the first place. It’s therefore vital that they stick to their core values when evolving the culture and don’t stop embracing the differences in viewpoints that got them where they are today.  

Having more than 15 years of international marketing leadership experience across the fintech and payments industry, Laurel Wolfe, VP of Marketing at cloud banking platform Mambu, has been part of both scale ups and market leaders. So she’s perfectly placed to offer an insightful opinion on how a more diverse perspective will always lead to a more authentic and successful business.


People don’t want more of the same

There’s a misconception of traditionally risk-averse industries, like banking, that incumbent players are happy with the status quo. What I see in my role is that people don’t want more of the same. And banks and other financial services providers, not only recognise this, but are actively seeking a new approach.

Just because fintechs sell to banks doesn’t mean you need to adopt a traditional attitude. Diversity drives better outcomes, from enhanced innovation and creativity to improved customer satisfaction and, ultimately, higher revenues. If we fail to listen to the experience of others, and by delivering more of the same, how do fintechs grow alongside their customers?

That requires fintech innovators to make room for diverse viewpoints. And to harness the benefits of those different views to put something valuable back out into the market. Only then can they innovate with all customers in mind. 

An environment for authentic selves


As fintechs seek to collaborate internally and externally, they must make heroes of their internal team if they want to become pioneers within the industry. 

Brands must ensure there are diverse voices at the table. Creating a positive environment for underrepresented groups to step out as their authentic self brings new, unique and valuable opinions to the decision-making process. 

This is also key to ensuring brands don’t lose grasp of the disruptive spark at the core of fintech success. Drawing on the breadth of work and life experience at all levels of a business, helps firms continue to challenge the status-quo and disrupt the traditional financial landscape. 

Making room for diversity at the table


There’s a long way to go when it comes to effecting change at the top. The majority of women for example, are still typically found in mid-senior or managerial roles within fintech. This means fewer women leading the C-suite and less diverse voices in the boardroom. 

More work needs to be done to break the bias. Accountability is the first step. Rather than only relying on the individual to speak up and make their voice heard, an inclusive culture requires collective responsibility to make room at the table, not only for women but other underrepresented groups too.

Allyship is also important, especially when traditional ways of working negatively reinforce gender stereotypes. To give women a platform, it’s vital that male colleagues are good allies by celebrating women’s accomplishments, encouraging them to put themselves forward for promotion and treating them the same way as their male counterparts. Likewise, female colleagues can empower one another through mutual support.   

Lip-service doesn’t cut it 


When running a global team, flexibility to accommodate diversity is essential. Expecting one size to fit all when different countries, regions and localities have diverse ways of living and working is short-sighted. And celebrating your cultural differences can only benefit company culture.

Think about the benefits you offer as a business and the environment you create for people to succeed. Offering generous and equitable maternity and paternity leave is a perfect example of encouraging a more inclusive workplace. Listen to what is important to your workforce and action this in your HR policies and strategies. 

Lip service and tokenism aren’t enough. And customers are increasingly holding businesses to account. Creating an inclusive workplace requires actionable evidence and must be meaningful to the company and its employees. Fostering a diverse culture requires listening, sharing and collaborating beyond just International Women’s Day.  

Header image by Wai Valachovic


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