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Women in Fintech: Breaking Barriers in Europe’s Finance Tech Space


Women in Fintech: Breaking Barriers in Europe’s Finance Tech Space

Guest Post by Lara Sokolova CEO of https://lanars.com/no

The Fintech landscape in Europe is a buzzing hive of innovation and growth, with countries like Switzerland and the Nordics leading the charge. As digital technology continues to revolutionize the financial sector, opportunities abound for those with the skills and determination to seize them. Yet, a glaring issue persists — the gender disparity within the industry. Women are underrepresented in Fintech, a trend that unfortunately mirrors the broader tech sector.

According to Statista, in 2021, almost 20% of the executives in fintech companies worldwide were women, but there were regional differences. The share of female executives was the highest in North America, where 23.5% of the executive positions were filled by women. North America was followed by Africa and Europe. Despite the progressive outlook of the North European regions, the representation of women in the Fintech industry lags. Women occupy less than a third of all Fintech positions in Europe, with the numbers in Switzerland and the Nordics reflecting a similar pattern. 

Case Studies of Successful Women in Fintech in Europe

Despite the challenges, many women have carved a niche for themselves in the Fintech scene. Leaders like Anna Metsäranta from Finland’s Holvi and Teodora Georgiev of Switzerland’s F10 have shattered glass ceilings and continue to redefine the narrative. These women have overcome obstacles through sheer resilience, innovation, and the drive to create inclusive financial solutions.

More role models for women in fintech can be found in the list of Top 25 Women Leaders in Financial Technology of Europe for 2023, here are stories of some of them:

  1. Trudy Ross — Chief Operating Officer at Quantile, which offers post-trade optimization services. She has played a significant role in the company’s growth since she joined in 2016 as the third employee​​.
  1. June Felix — global CEO of IG Group, a leading global fintech. She has held this role since 2018 and has facilitated the company’s evolution, geographic and product diversification, and growth in key markets​​.
  1. Lynda Strutton — Chief Operating Officer at Tribe Payments, a fintech that pioneers payment innovations. She joined Tribe in early 2022 and was promoted to COO, overseeing all commercial, marketing, operational, and product output​​.
  1. Camila Witt — Chief Risk and Compliance Officer at Inpay, the fastest-growing company in Denmark. She holds two Ph.Ds in Law and has significant experience in the financial sector. She is responsible for ensuring Risk Management is part of the business at Inpay​​.
  2. Bianca Austin — Chief People Officer at Signicat, a leading digital identity company in Norway known for its comprehensive identity verification and authentication systems. Prior to Signicat, she held positions at Accenture, Scandic Hotels, and Elite Hotels of Sweden AB, where she was a talent manager. 

Breaking the Barriers: Initiatives and Strategies in Switzerland and the Nordic Countries

Recognizing the gender disparity, several initiatives have emerged to address this issue. Companies, non-profits, and governments are implementing strategies to improve gender diversity. From the Swiss government’s ‘Advance’ initiative promoting gender equality in the workplace to Denmark’s ‘Techfestival’, which aimed to increase women’s representation in tech, the momentum is slowly shifting in favor of a more balanced industry.

Mentorship programs and role models play a pivotal role in encouraging women to venture into Fintech. The influence of role models like Anne Boden, CEO of Starling Bank, cannot be overstated. Meanwhile, mentorship programs, such as the ‘Women in Fintech’ initiative by the Nordic Startup Awards, provide women with the necessary skills and confidence to excel in the industry.

The Nordic Women in Tech Awards (NWiTA), established by non-profit organization WonderCoders in collaboration with Women in Tech Iceland, Women in Tech Gothenburg, and Women in Tech Oslo, is an initiative to uplift and recognize female role models who have made significant contributions to the tech industry. Introduced in 2019, the NWiTA aims to promote female empowerment in the Nordics and address the lack of gender equality within the tech sector. The annual event is a grand spectacle where the accomplishments of women in the industry are celebrated, thereby inspiring more diversity in tech.

NWiTA has grown into one of the fastest-growing changemaker communities in the Nordics, demonstrating a notable impact since its inception. By 2023, over 1600 role models from the Nordic tech scene have been featured and celebrated, and the community has expanded to more than 6000 members, all through voluntary participation. 

The NWiTA stands as a testament to the power of diversity and inclusivity, highlighting that everyone is welcome to contribute to the tech industry. The awards are not merely a recognition platform but also a thriving community that promotes the exchange of experiences, encourages networking, and fosters community growth. With the steadfast goal to inspire the next generation of diverse and talented tech professionals, NWiTA plays a crucial role in shaping a more inclusive and innovative future for the Nordic tech community.


Empowering women in the Fintech industry is not just an ethical imperative but a business one. It is crucial for the sustained growth and innovation of the sector. Switzerland and the Nordic countries, as well as other countries in Europe, with their progressive outlook and commitment to equality, are well poised to lead this change. With concerted efforts, we can look forward to a Fintech future where everyone, irrespective of gender, can thrive and contribute their unique perspectives and skills

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