Deeds Not Words

Posted on the 26th February 2018 by Amanda Nunn in Team blog, SME blog, Business, Finance

Amanda Nunn - Partnerships ManagerThe 6th February 2018 marked 100 years since the Representation of People Act - a watershed moment in history, which allowed women in the UK to vote for the first time. 

You could be mistaken for thinking that not much has changed in the way of gender equality since then. Barely a week passes by at the moment without yet another scandal hitting the headlines, whether it’s the BBC’s gender pay gap, the #MeToo campaign, or the recent Presidents Club Charity Dinner.

Many industries have also had to deal with the uncomfortable truth that sexism is still an issue and certainly the finance sector has a reputation as an ‘old boys club’ which it finds hard to shake off.

 In fact, gender diversity is considered to be such an issue for the sector that HM Treasury established a Women in Finance Charter, and the Treasury Committee has launched a new inquiry into Women in Finance which seeks to identify the barriers to women entering, and (perhaps more importantly) progressing in the sector.

 Whilst decades of inequality have meant that shamefully few women have made it to the top, it’s not all as dismal as it may seem. The big banks have launched worthwhile diversity-boosting initiatives which are slowly changing the corporate pipeline. Gender equality is the best it’s ever been, and more and more women are shattering the glass ceiling.

 But what role does Fintech have to play? Just as it was the creaking infrastructure of the big banks which paved the way for a Fintech boom, their dusty macho culture needs replacing too – and it could be Fintech’s job to show them how it’s done.

 A recent BCG (Boston Consulting Group) study suggests that increasing the diversity of leadership teams leads to more and better innovation and, in turn, improved financial performance (presumably the more diverse ideas you start with, the more likely you are to come to a more unique and disruptive conclusion?).

 I would instead argue that innovation breeds innovation; innovating in all aspects of the business helps to blow away the cobwebs of inequality.

 The Innovate Finance Women in Fintech Power List 2017 clearly demonstrates the extent to which women already play a vital role in our ecosystem and whilst there is still work to be done, it’s a heartening read.

 In businesses like Money Mover there have been huge advantages to starting life with a blank piece of paper. It’s meant we’ve had no blueprint for ‘how we do things round here’ and with that comes a freedom and flexibility for teams and individuals to work in a way that works best for them.

Of course, it helps that we have an international client base so the traditional 9-5 has always been pretty meaningless, but we are a business focussed on outputs rather than inputs.  And so whether you’re a lark or an owl, there’s a perfect role for you in an innovative Fintech business like Money Mover – and parity of the sexes has been a happy by-product.

 Because true parity will only come from a workplace in which both men and women have equal focus on that all too elusive ‘work life balance’. When Hamish Anderson (Money Mover’s CEO) walked away from a career in banking to start the business, it was very much with a view to being able to spend more time with his family (though I’m not sure whether he’d agree that it’s turned out that way!).

 Once you start thinking outside the box of Monday-Friday, 9-5, it’s amazing how much you can achieve. But it’s technology which is the real enabler – being able to log in and do the same job from any where in the world (or the Starbucks down the street if that’s your preference) has really enabled Money Mover to thrive. As a Cambridge based business with a CTO based in Canada, connectivity is something we’ve really focussed on.

Not only that, but in a young business where everybody has a critical role to play, identifying how we harness talent and creativity in order to drive success, is of upmost importance. What we don’t do it try to predefine exactly what that talent looks like. Just as Emmeline Pankhurst said herself, ‘Deeds not words’.

And so as a women returning to work after a period of maternity leave, writing this blog at 9 o’clock at night (my choice), I’d say that Money Mover, and innovative businesses like it, will be instrumental in leading the way for gender equality in the work place and showing the world of finance how it’s done.  

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