4 minutos de lectura 19 febrero 2021
Young woman looking at smartphone

How to make the future of tech in financial services more equal

If the financial services industry is to realize technology’s transformative potential, it must welcome the widest range of perspectives.

Two questions to ask
  • Why do financial services need to fix the gender gap to succeed in the digital world?
  • How can the financial services industry enable women to become architects of the digital world?

2020 was the defining year for technology in financial services (FS). Technology allowed FS members to connect our people and evolve our client relationships and solutions in ways that are helping clients to succeed in a still-emerging reality.

Now more than ever, I believe that science and technology hold the promise of a better working world for all of us. To fully realize the transformative potential of technology, we must welcome the widest range of perspectives, by providing women the best opportunity to enter, thrive and remain in technology fields. But less than a third of the world’s technical workforce are women. This means that bias is being built into our future and we are not harnessing the full potential of technology to benefit everyone.

The underrepresentation of women in tech is nothing new and even though progress has been made, it’s moving at an extremely slow pace. Women have long been underrepresented in the ‘STEM’ subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics – skills that are traditionally highly sought after in the financial services sector.

The world is becoming increasingly complex – and so are the issues we face in financial services. Now more than ever, we need a diverse range of experiences and perspectives to help us come up with innovative solutions to the new challenges we face.

The world is becoming increasingly complex – and so are the issues we face in financial services. Now more than ever, we need a diverse range of experiences and perspectives to help us come up with innovative solutions to the new challenges we face.

The case for change is clear but gender imbalance in technology is stark.

It’s well past time for the financial services industry to pull together and seize the opportunity to change. And instead of being a laggard, our industry should strive to lead the way in terms of D&I. As a financial services leader, I often reflect on what we at EY can do to create better opportunities for women to join EY and build exciting technology careers.

What can FS do to create more career opportunities for women in technology?

As part of EY’s journey to help close the gender gap in technology, we’ve tried and tested various initiatives. So, where have we seen success?

  • Investing in programs that encourage more girls and women to enter STEM fields of study.

    We’ve been showcasing technology in action through our global STEM activation sessions and the creation of EY STEM Tribe, a new mobile platform providing a gamified experience for girls. In addition to highlighting the skills needed to excel in the changing world of work, the platform also engages parents and schools to break down gender bias.

  • Championing more role models.

    Role models are key to showcasing that women can thrive in technology related careers. ‘100 Women’ is our ongoing campaign which celebrates dynamic female leaders in EY and beyond and the contributions they have made to financial services. At a global level, we have digitized our mentorship for women in tech through an innovative collaboration with WERKIN – an LGBTQ female founded and led start up. The platform leverages contemporary functionality, such as gamification and nudge theory – understanding how people think, make decisions and behave – to support actions through prompts.

  • Challenging misconceptions of careers in financial services.

    It’s a myth that financial services is not a place for women. We have amazing women at all levels of EY who excel at what they do and are building strong, purpose-driven careers. It’s also a myth that you need to have a background in economics or business to be successful in the world of financial services. Our ‘Bring yourself, not just your subject’ campaign helped challenge misconceptions of what it’s like to work in financial services by showcasing stories from across our region, including many stories of inspiring women in tech. We also created new value-adding content focused on future skills.

I know we still have more to do. As part of our ongoing journey, I’m incredibly excited about our region’s first Women in Technology program, which raises awareness about the importance of female participation in technology fields, and challenges outdated stereotypes about careers in financial services.

It’s time to make the future of technology equal.

Resumen

Innovation and technology will shape the future of financial services and the sector needs to explore opportunities that will help early female talent see technology in a new light in order to develop their tech careers and understand how tech can be used to build a better working world in FS.