2019 saw an increase in demand for IT professionals in UK’s FinTech industry, with a 5.9% yearly rise in job vacancies. In addition to this growth, more and more companies are looking at crossover hiring as a solution to address the gender gap in FinTech.

According to the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), the demand for IT professionals in the UK increased last year. Which is good news for those who are looking for a job in UK’s FinTech industry, considered by many as the leading one outside of North America and Asia Pacific. Data provided by Vacancysoft shows that the volume of investments in the FinTech sector has grown in the United Kingdom with 74% per year since 2008. As expected, London leads the way when it comes to cities with the most available job openings, accounting for 69.2% of all jobs in the UK. HSBC remains the number one hirer for FinTech professionals (the number of vacancies has surged with 57.2% since 2018), while Lloyds has seen the most significant increase: demand up 300% year on year.

Commenting on the numbers, Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo, stated: “As a sector that is growing in relevance, it’s really encouraging to see demand for jobs in FinTech continue to rise. This is in spite of a number of factors last year that could have damaged vacancy growth. With the uncertainty around Brexit and IR35, the fact that demand has still risen shows just how healthy the sector is.”

James Chaplin, CEO at Vacancysoft, added: “FinTech continues to grow within the UK, with the number of firms in Britain far outweighing the rest of Europe. With the share of IT jobs in banking steadily rising, it will be interesting to see how developments such as increased automation impact the sector. Currently, this has already helped to create more FinTech jobs in the capital while there has simultaneously been a 28.9% drop of finance roles in banking in London.”

Addressing the gender gap in FinTech with crossover hiring

There are several industries said to be “a man’s world” (transportation, mining, constructions, banking, stock exchanges – to name just a few), industries where the number of male employees far outweighs the number of females employed. Surprisingly or not, FinTech is one of these domains, with Deloitte calling FinTech “an industry founded for men, run by men, making products for men.” Starting from here, one may wonder what’s the solution to address the gender gap in FinTech.

Enter crossover hiring. What does this mean? It stands for recruiting individuals from traditional financial service firms to fintechs. How can this solution be effective? One of the main advantages is that women working in traditional financial services have numerous transferable skills and some of them also have direct, not transferable, expertise. After being employed for a long time at a large company, a woman can also bring with her an extensive network of contacts, which can prove useful for a small or medium startup when it comes to establishing partnerships with big names, making acquisitions or speaking about integrations with larger firms. Moreover, by having a diverse gender workforce, fintechs can stand out in the market by also developing products aimed at women, while also sending a clear message that the company places great emphasis on a diverse customer base.

Donna Parisi, head of finance and fintech at Shearman & Sterling, commented: “As founders and leaders seek to build their business and teams, they lean on their own networks to find talent. As is the issue in technology, their networks are mainly male and thus females are less aware of opportunities or asked to consider opportunities. Fintechs are businesses. As with any business, there are roles that are business oriented and not only technical in nature. There is an opportunity for women to enter the FinTech sector in roles such as HR and marketing.”

M3 Holdings’ FinTech division, led by a woman

London-based M3 Holdings, which comprises Modex, Moneymailme and M3 Payments, takes pride in having women in key-positions within the company. The Group’s FinTech division is headed by Laura Manescu, while other female professionals are tasked with testing and developing innovative products at Modex and Moneymailme: Ioana – Division Support Officer, Claudia – Customer Support Lead, Gabriela and Mihaela – blockchain developers, Loredana – Team Lead at Modex, Justina – FinTech developer. We strongly believe in workforce diversity, so we will continue to hire women and use their experience in FinTech, blockchain and banking to bring competitive products and services to the market.