In July 2016, Circle UK became the first FinTech to sign the Women in Finance Charter.
The Women in Finance Charter is an empowering initiative led by HM Treasury, to initiate signatory firms to work together and build a more balanced, fairer industry.
Firms that sign up to the charter are pledging to showcase best business practice in the Finance sector. The charter reflects the government’s aspiration to see gender balance at all levels across financial services firm. We, alongside the UK Government, believe that a balanced workforce is good for business – it is good for customers, profitability and workplace culture, and is increasingly attractive for investors.
The state of finance now
According to research performed by Hewlett Packard, women will only apply for a job if they are 100% qualified, whereas men will apply even if they are only 60% qualified. This means that, especially in FinTech, being a mix of the predominantly male finance and technology sectors, we get much fewer applications from women than men, making it difficult to ensure a gender-equal hiring process.
At Circle are working to combat bias through rigorous reviews of our operational hiring processes, and by educating our teams on the power of diversity. We leverage free tools such as Texio and Gender Decoder to ensure that all job descriptions are written in an un-biais language.
We ensure that the makeup of our hiring teams is diverse in knowledge, gender, seniority, ethnicity and socio-economic background, and we equip interviewers with training tools such as podcasts, videos, articles and books focussing on diversity - both of which help to eliminate bias and ensure the best experience for our applicants.
When hiring for a role at Circle, we have a structured, performance-based interview process. We outline hiring teams and focus areas that each person is responsible for assessing, and we keep these consistent throughout the lifecycle of the search to ensure accuracy of the data we are collecting across candidates. Focusing on competencies also enables us to take out possible bias.
Our achievements in 2017 and our targets for 2018
Our target for 2017 was to ensure that at least 50% of the senior leadership team is female, and to ensure gender equality across the rest of the team - a feat which is becoming increasingly difficult as we rapidly grow.
Senior leadership in London constitutes a third of the entire workforce, and at the start of the year the gender split was 50%. The team has now expanded further, and we are honoured that our senior leadership team is now at 60% female!
As far as the wider team is concerned, we started the year with only 36% of the workforce in London being female, and are very proud to have now achieved a perfectly equal 50/50 gender split across the entire team.
Having met and exceeded our targets for gender diversity in 2017, we are excited to see what 2018 can bring. Our aim is to maintain the equal gender split across the wider team and in senior leadership, which will be a challenge that we are excited to commence as we expand rapidly in the London office!