this week we celebrate the men in the industry who support equality
- First published on February 12, 2018 by Gemma Young
- Follow the campaign on Instagram and Twitter @womenoffintech
@womenoffintech: What does equality mean to you?
John: To me means equality is a simple concept and should be a natural state of play in society, both as a whole or within a workplace. It should give all people the same rights and opportunities as well as the same standing throughout all facets of life regardless of age, gender, race and/or religion.
@womenoffintech: Do you think equality is something that needs to be proactively enforced or something that will naturally happen over time?
John: I think this is a very good question and my view is that as long as each and every person employs the correct attitudes and treats everyone on an equal footing it should naturally balance out over time. Unfortunately this has not happened as quickly as it should have in society so I do believe that governments and employers should take positive action where gross imbalances exist.
@womenoffintech: What do you think has held companies back from having a more diverse workforce, in terms of gender, before now?
John: Any employer who creates an unequal playing field in the workforce is really missing a competitive trick. By creating or re-enforcing institutionalised inequality in the workforce they negatively impact their company’s performance by restricting their creative reach to a reduced subset of the workforce. At BidFX we strive hard to bring in people with the best ideas and potential – when these people achieve their potential we all benefit, both our employees and our clients.
@womenoffintech: Have you seen much change in the gender landscape of Finance / FinTech over the years?
John: Unfortunately the landscape has not changed as much as it should have in the past 20 years. It is still a pre-dominantly male based workforce within Financial services and Fintech but I do believe that change is beginning to pick up pace. Within BidFX we hire the smartest people for the role. Over the past year I believe 80% of our BidFX new hires across development, project management, and sales were female. This was because they were the best candidates and brought the best ideas and experience to the table.
@womenoffintech: What are your reasons for supporting equality?
John: There are 2 reasons we are highly supportive of equality in the workspace.
1) In purely economic terms it gives us a competitive advantage
2) It is important for Fintech firms such as ours to lead by example in this industry.
Our increase in market share through 2017 and the start of 2018 shows that even in pure economic terms having a diverse workplace generates a more vibrant pool of idea generation. Innovation is key in our industry and equality benefits this approach.
@womenoffintech: There is a lot of talk about equality, but what do we need to actually DO in order to put words into action?
John: The recent press in the City shows the scale of the challenge in some sectors. I think that every individual must ensure that opportunities in the workforce are open and equal to all. If we all act individually it should affect society as whole over time.
@womenoffintech: Have you made any changes at your workplace to promote equality? If so, to what success?
John: BidFX has been the most diverse and equal workplace I have worked at. Upon joining it was a breath of fresh air to see the diversity of the workforce and the ideas being generated. I immediately saw the benefits of being at a new Fintech firm with a vibrant culture and workforce and we will continue this model as it ultimately benefits our clients (through product development) and our employees (through sales and increased market share).
BidFX Chief Revenue Officer John McGrath discusses Equality with Gemma Young.