Nurturing the Female FinTech Leaders of TomorrowMarch 8, 2021
By Catherine Harrison, HR Director
This International Women’s Day, we are proud to recognize the integral role our female workforce plays in the success of First Derivatives. With prominent female leaders at board, leadership and managerial level, we have established various networks and progammes to continue to support so many inspiring females across the business and ensure all voices are heard.
However, like many firms, we recognize the defined gaps in gender diversity within the FinTech industry, and as such, are on a journey to ensure we can equip and nurture both our current workforce and tomorrow’s workforce with the support and skills needed to ensure they can realize their full potential.
Some of the steps we have taken to ensure females have everything they need to excel in their role has included leveling the playing field before they set foot in the workplace. As such, we have placed a strategic focus on challenging gender diversity within FinTech from a grass-roots level up. Addressing early signs of imposter syndrome appear crucial if we are to actively change the mindset of young females and set them up on a path of equal opportunity and preparedness for their future career path. This is something the FD IMPACT programme aims to do.
The programme is a unique mentorship initiative designed to empower young women in higher education by providing insight and guidance on what a career in technology can offer. For past mentee Brianan, having the opportunity to engage with professional females was a ‘game-changer,’ both for her studies and future career path, “I gained so much confidence in myself and my abilities. It has opened so many doors for me.” Other programmes such as our ‘confidence camps’ and ‘FD giving back’ efforts have ensured young females within various fintech ecosystems are provided with the opportunity to grow and develop in the skills demanded by the future workplace.
Not only are we proud to nurture tomorrow’s female FinTech leaders, but we also continue to strive to create an inclusive culture where all women are supported in an equitable manner. I recently spoke on the importance of ‘active listening’ when it comes to establishing a culture of diversity and inclusion in the workforce, the same applies for nurturing future fintech leaders within our workforce. Only by actively listening to the current challenges females face can valuable change be achieved.
The development of our internal ‘FD Women’s Network’ (FDWN), our involvement with Diversity Mark NI and the enhancement of maternity benefits have all been invaluable steps on our journey.
As we celebrate International Women’s Day, I am extremely proud of the strides we continue to take to ensure women across all part of our business are supported. Throughout 2020 we saw a number of leading ladies awarded for their contributions to the industry including success at the Women in IT Awards, NYC and the inaugural winner of the Spirit of Brian Conlon Award. Most, recently, the culmination of these efforts was demonstrated with FD being awarded ‘Best Company for Diversity and Inclusion’ in the Waters Technology Women in Technology and Data Awards 2021. Whilst we are proud of this recognition, we are by no means ready to stand still. We want to continue to position FD as an employer of choice for females and continue on our path of rebalancing gender diversity within FD.
Indeed, by nurturing young females, listening to our employees and celebrating their success we hope we can not only empower our employees to be future industry leaders, but inspire and excite young women to consider a career where opportunities are endless and pave the way for true change to really evolve. Happy International Women’s Day from our #FDFamily to yours.