The ASX’s 2020 Investor Study details the lay of the land, revealing who is investing, when and how. The study reported that in the last two years there has been an influx of younger investors, approximately one quarter of recent new investors were between the ages of 18 and 24. The study also revealed that 45% of all new investors in the last 12 months were women.
*Cue Beyoncé’s ‘Run the World’*
The micro investing apps, podcasts with pink branding and ‘finfluencers’ splashed across Instagram have all served as a springboard for more and more women to enter the market.
Improved financial literacy and understanding coupled with the tendency for women to be engaged with lower paying employment and have longer career breaks than men has made women prioritise financial security rather than wealth accumulation.
With this notable demographic shift in the investor population, companies need to be attentive to who is making up their investor base, ensuring that their culture, board and practices are considerate and encouraging of women.
Diversity and inclusivity in the workplace is becoming increasingly important. Asset managers have made it clear that they now take company environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies into consideration, using these as a guidepost when making investment decisions, with retail investors following suit.
Both the technology and finance fields have a reputation for being two of the least diverse industries that are male dominated. Females are underrepresented in the fintech user base as well as in fintech leadership roles and workforce.
“It starts to look like an industry founded for men, run by men, making products for men”, writes Louise Brett, Head of Fintech at Deloitte.
A recent study by Harvard Business Review revealed that only 30% of the fintech workforce is female and 17% of senior management roles are held by women. “It gets even worse when we look at founders of FinTech companies. A quick run through of the founders of companies selected for the FinTech 50 reveals 118 men, and just six women. That’s just over 5%,” Brett laments. She posits that fintech companies need to wake up to the “power of the female purse” in buying decisions and implement innovative solutions to the gender imbalance throughout the industry.
Class (ASX: CL1) is wide awake. The Sydney-based fintech is engaged in software development for accountants and financial planners, allowing them to reduce time spent on administration and compliance tasks.
Despite being in a male dominated industry, Class has managed to buck the trend through considered company-wide initiatives ensuring women are represented on their board and diversity is celebrated across the Company.
At their 2021 Investor Day, Russell proudly reported that female employment is up 41% from FY19, with women representing 52% of the Class workforce. “We have invested in our people. The Class culture is strong and we pride ourselves on being able to attract world Class talent. We pride ourselves in aligning behind our core values and ways of working”, he said.
For more information about Class’ diversity programs that not only support women, but their entire workforce, click here.
With plenty of evidence suggesting that more diverse companies outperform those less inclusive, Class is setting the pace, drawing both conscious investors and high quality talent. With investors starting to ask the question- what are you doing about diversity? companies must shape up their internal operations to align with the values of changing demographic of investors.
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