The scope of female professionals in Fintech has seen a steady rise over the years. The number of women employees and entrepreneurs in the sector reached an all-time high in 2021. Furthermore, India ranks 4th in terms of Fintech firms founded by women and India’s gender gap in fintech usage is among the lowest globally. These facts are especially encouraging for an industry that inherited a male preference from conventional finance in India. Increased emphasis and reliance on technology in financial operations have laid the foundation for a bright and equitable future for women in fintech. Introducing immense scope for female professionals across technical and financial services.
Much of this growth has been seen in new-age and unconventional specializations of Fintech as women progressively establish themselves in these fields. It is encouraging to see that in many companies today, there are fewer differences in the progression of male and female professionals. However, it would be naïve to say that women face no challenges in making their mark, even today.
The fintech sector in India shows no signs of slowing down with women consistently carving a niche for themselves by leveraging the power of technology, which is overhauling the country’s financial landscape. Here are a few points to help women in fintech achieve their goals:
Be an expert
Being a woman in a boardroom full of men has the unique advantage of being noticed and an even bigger disadvantage of being judged very quickly. It is a universal truth for all successful members of the financial world that they must keep pushing their skills and knowledge in their sector to stay relevant and handle their businesses profitably. However, it is even more important for women to have an in-depth understanding of their subject matter to be prepared to face any questions from their colleagues. It is a great idea to maintain a learning pattern and learn two new things every day, either through conversations, reading on the subject matter or generally spending time with business associations. The compounding effect of this helps you be better than yesterday, every single day. This expertise need not be limited in scope either. The modern professional world demands many skill sets beyond one’s job description. As such, expanding one’s horizons beyond just one core competency is in every woman’s best interests.
The next step after acquiring the right expertise is to make yourself heard. One of the fundamental benefits of being a woman in such a male-heavy workspace is that your views and perspectives are often unique. It is up to you to voice them. The more you express your opinion, the easier it will be for you to be seen, heard, and noticed. Apart from potentially benefiting the organization, this can help you gain the recognition and respect of your colleagues, which is always beneficial. Combining knowledge and skill with clear and well-justified communication will set any woman apart from her peers.
Don’t hesitate to catapult to higher roles
Women are often hesitant to jump to higher positions or negotiate an offer for their benefit - Check if there is any data on this. Some have suggested that such behaviour is caused by unease in the male-heavy workplace leading to imposter syndrome. You must understand that with the right skill set and qualities, you should not be afraid to ask for what you deserve. Whether it is a position in the leadership team or remuneration, go for what you deserve. The idea that you need a certain number of years to take a position in the C-suite is obsolete. And don't wait for all the boxes to be checked to ask for a role. Punch above your weight!
Be a Jane of all trades
Women are natural multi-taskers and can develop more than one skill at any given time. Gone are the days when you would excel in just one core domain and sit at your desk basking in the glory of being a domain leader. Today beyond knowing your domain, go beyond and diversify your skills to encompass other important responsibilities. One of the most important factors that can make you stand apart is communication. Women are often naturally inclined towards communications, ensuring smooth operations and interpersonal cohesion in their organizations. Apart from the obvious internal benefits, such skills may be applied externally to develop relationships and engage in fundraising, interviews, networking, etc.
Understand the progression of women in your company
A number of organisations today encourage professional development and up-skilling. The modern sectors of work vis-a-vis finance, technology, and management may allow for flatter and more accessible hierarchies. Naturally, no professional fintech stream will outright deny its female workers upward mobility. However, understanding if a company encourages progressive skill development and gives relevant learning opportunities to its female employees can help you better prepare for handling work and additional responsibilities.
Find your own work-life balance
A lot is said about healthy work-life balance today. From doctors to parents to influencers, everyone seems to have a slightly different idea of what constitutes good balance and how you should be working. The fact is that no one understands your life as well as you do. It is obvious that working longer and not having a family will lead to more billable hours. You need to pick your own priorities and make time for your personal life – be it attending to your kids, making time for family or spending time with friends. It is not always about how much time to spend at work but how you can get work done while being able to have a balance in your personal life as well. The trick is not to listen to what others tell you to do, but critically examine your own life and stick to your work-life balance while giving your best in everything you work on.