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Overcoming Unconscious Bias

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Guest blog contribution from Angela Yore; Payments Association Advisor Board Member, Managing Director of SkyParlour

Being a member of the Payments Association’s ‘Project Women in Paytech’ is exhilarating.  The programme represents a brilliant group of people who strive for greater diversity at the top table.

Together, we aim to drive greater representation of women by encouraging diversity within Payments and Paytech, delivering a level playing field across the industry.

In November, Anne Pieckielon, Andrea Dunlop, Tessa Unsworth and I gave a presentation in Amsterdam on the importance of gender equality and women in leadership; two areas that I am committed to driving more influence in for the Payments Association community and wider FinTech arena.

A ‘FinTech census’ carried out by EY and industry body Innovate Finance recently revealed the FinTech industry’s gender diversity problem, with women representing just 29% of staff in the sector.

Undeniably, FinTech is an exciting and diverse space that is full of innovation. But one thing the industry lacks is gender diversity. And diversity is what leads to business innovation and success.

Now is the time for women in the FinTech industry to be celebrated and recognised for the work they do.

We need to address unconscious bias in the industry to boost women’s participation in FinTech. Unconscious biases are assumptions, preferences, or habitual thinking patterns that often surface as stereotypes and can unconsciously lead to incorrect decisions. Too often your background, personal experiences, societal stereotypes and cultural context impact your decisions and actions without you realising. So how do we go about addressing this?

Broaden Companies’ Recruitment Campaigns

Homogenous workforces are disastrous. A workplace with codified viewpoints will stifle the company’s development, making it less competitive. The companies that are disruptive are set apart from competitors, creating new markets and value networks.

Reach Out to Women

Many women are unaware of how far they can go in certain ‘male-orientated’ industries. To increase the number of women in FinTech – and other industries – businesses of all sizes need to identify and enact policies to support women and working parents to attract them.

Take the Lead in Promoting Diversity

Promoting diversity in the workforce must start in early years. Recruiting more male teachers into the early childhood workforce provides children with adults of both genders to whom they can relate and respond. Addressing diversity at this stage is more influential and effective than at business level.

We need to show girls that there are opportunities for them in traditionally ‘masculine’ positions. I am a big believer in leading by example and recently joined my son’s high school board as a Governor, which is something that really motivates me.


Make changes now

Don’t hesitate, now is the time to make the change. Hire talented people with interesting and varied backgrounds. Become the company that you would want to work for.

On 28th February, Project Women in Paytech is hosting an event called ‘Shaping the ‘gender agenda’ in paytech. The event is free and open to both men and women. For further information and to register your attendance, you can follow this link.

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