Women in Open Banking survey finds gender a factor in career progression

Ellie Duncan,
06 Dec 2023

More than 60% of those working in Open Banking believe gender has held them back in the workplace, while over half think their gender will make career progression harder, according to the results of a Women in Open Banking industry survey.

The majority of respondents also said they would like their organisation to boost gender diversity, the findings revealed.

The survey, conducted by Open Banking Expo in association with American Express, polled our global Open Banking community, with 87% of respondents identifying as female and 13% as male.

It sought to gather insights from Women in Open Banking’s global membership that will shed some light on experiences of working in Open Banking, the job opportunities available and the gender split within roles in the industry.

When asked whether women have more, fewer or the same opportunities as men at their organisation, 55% of respondents said that men and women have the same opportunities, while 43% said women have fewer opportunities than men.

Of those surveyed, 62% believe their gender has played a role in missing out on a raise, promotion, key assignment or a chance to get ahead in Open Banking, and 55% think their gender will make career advancement harder, and 39% said it “won’t make much difference”.

The survey asked respondents to confirm how well the statement “workplace diversity is a top priority for my organisation” describes their place of work, with 18% saying “extremely well”, rising to 27% who thought “very well” and 37% who said “somewhat well”.

However, 53% said their organisation should be doing more to increase gender diversity in the workplace, while 46% think their efforts in this area are “about right”.

Among respondents, 63% expressed an interest in becoming a member of an advisory board and 20% already sit on an advisory board.

There was a preference for roles in product design/build and business development/sales among those surveyed, as 47% would apply for a job in the former and 32% in the latter in future.

Other areas of Open Banking that individuals would apply for a job in include PR/marketing (15%), policy and regulation (14%) and compliance/legal (11%).

The survey asked respondents if they would apply for an Open Banking-related role that would be considered a promotion and offers a higher salary, to which 57% confirmed they would. However, 15% answered “no” and 28% selected “maybe” in answer to this question.

Asked what would hold those back who answered no or maybe, 27% identified a lack of confidence, 22% believed they would not meet the criteria or qualifications required, and 20% cited commitments outside of work, such as caring responsibilities.

There are now just over 500 members of the Women in Open Banking initiative, 356 of which are based in the UK, while the rest are located in the US, Canada, Australia and across Europe.

The initiative’s mentoring scheme saw 56 pairs of mentors and mentees matched up in the first cohort, while the Women in Open Banking WhatsApp group now has more than 200 members.