On this year’s International Women’s Day, I got to thinking about how so many brands have started using the day to showcase their diversity and inclusion approach in their sector, but it also got me wondering: how many of these brands are actually putting their money where their mouth is?

While many brands are simply paying lip service to the day, there are a number of fintechs and banks that have started actively engaging with diversity initiatives, to make a real commitment to creating lasting change alongside showcasing their value-led business.

The most notable of these players is Starling Bank– female founded and dedicated to speaking out and instilling these values across the business and wider industry, Anne Boden has built the brand to be inclusive. She understands the value of including diverse people to promote diverse thought and is always someone with added credibility and gravitas on IWD.

Big banks like NatWest and RBS are also saying ‘Enough!’ to banking’s traditional pale, male, and stale approach, and have committed their time and energy into the Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship, which examined female leadership across industries, and sought to find ways to elevate more women into the board room. The Review is aiming to reinforce the UK government’s commitment to increasing the amount of female entrepreneurs by half over the next 10 years, no small feat considering women make up only 14% of the financial services workforce.

But as we know, diversity is about much more than just gender, and after the year that was 2020, corporate responsibility to take active steps towards change and equality, globally, spans race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion. For that reason, many fintechs are looking beyond the gender divide to address wider systemic concerns.

Plaid recently launched its own incubator programme specifically for entrepreneurs who are Black, Indigenous or People of Colour, furthering the inclusivity of thought within the fintech space.  Not to be outdone, Monzo has appointed a new D&I Director as of last month, to drive its commitment to increase the number of diverse hires the company recruits. 

It has never been more crucial to back what you’re saying with action – and while we’re seeing fintechs take the lead with making this change, they’re not the only ones recognising its importance. International Women’s Day gives corporations an opportunity to reassess how they’re addressing social change, and there’s never been a better time to renew this commitment to diversity, particularly as consumers increasingly look for value-backed businesses to engage with.

To find out more about how you can elevate your purpose driven plans, and effectively communicate these messages and values with thoughtfulness and impact, read our recent report on “The Era of Corporate Purpose” and get in touch!