Swift Institute calls for gender diversity in fintech
The Swift Institute wants to ensure the financial industry’s future with better gender diversity and is offering a €15,000 grant to make it happen.
The call for proposals on “Securing the Future of the Financial Industry via Improved Gender Diversity” is its desire to bring in best practices to “attract, retain and promote women into senior / executive management positions across the financial industry”.
It cites a 2017 McKinsey study that found companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile.
For ethnic and cultural diversity, the study found a 33% likelihood of outperformance on earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) margin. These measures are statistically “significant”, however, in the Swift Institute’s view efforts to achieve greater diversity are still falling short.
Few would argue the financial industry is “rapidly evolving”, so it reckons the workforce must do the same.
According to the Swift Institute, nearly three-quarters of female millennials working in financial services believe that while their organisations talk about diversity, opportunities are not equal for all.
The Swift Institute wants answers to a variety of questions. Such as how can banks attract the best and brightest women? What are the barriers to women reaching executive positions? And are quotas for the percentage of women on boards helping to drive change?
As mentioned above, the grant of €15,000 will be awarded to the author of the selected proposal. 50% will be paid immediately; the remaining 50% will be paid on acceptance of a final working paper and a two-page executive summary.
The institute will publish the working paper and summary to the financial industry. The author will be invited to present their findings at Sibos London September 2019. (Ironically, you only have to go to Sibos to see the lack of diversity. Every conference I’ve been to is 95% men.)
The deadline for submissions is 14 December 2018. You can send ideas and get more info here (PDF).