Fintech a Chance for Greater Diversity in Finance?

Press Release   •   Jan 30, 2018 09:19 GMT

January 29th 2018, London: As the shift to digital finance gathers pace and the need for relevant Fintech education grows, the Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship is pleased to reveal that a study of learners from Around Fintech in 8 Hours, a new online Fintech foundation course, has found a high degree of participation of individuals from a diverse background.

The study revealed the following findings:

  • 40% of learners are women
  • 60% of learners come from a non-financial background
  • Learners come from 35+ different countries

As the Fintech sector becomes more prominent within financial services, the need for Fintech literate talent is increasing. From the outset, CFTE’s central mission has been to empower professionals to enter the Fintech space through the democratisation of Fintech knowledge. Around Fintech in 8 Hours is the first step in this mission. The objective of the course is to reach as broad an audience as possible to give individuals from a diverse background the opportunity to build a solid Fintech foundation, which in turn can help to drive the growth of the Fintech sector.

The findings from the study set a precedent in that they show the main objective for Around Fintech in 8 Hours is well on the path to being met. A deeper dive into the data highlight the relevance of the findings to the financial sector:

40% of learners are women. Recent studies, such as ‘Fintech census’ carried out by EY in late 2017, have highlighted a continued gender disparity in which there is a male dominance of the workforce – only 29% employed are women.

Against the backdrop of the skills shortages in Fintech, the higher than average number of women enrolled onto the course indicates that there is a real intent among women to enter the Fintech sector and that education can help to lower the entry barrier into a male-dominated space.

60% of learners come from a non-financial background. Contrary to initial belief, the majority of learners are not financial professionals but rather technologists, entrepreneurs, marketers or professors. This is important because for Fintech solutions to be truly transformational, we need the people building them to be representative of society at large.

Learners come from 35+ different countries. Demand for Fintech education extends to a number of nations. As expected, a large proportion of learners come from the financial centres, but a significant are from developing regions. Arguably, Fintech’s greatest potential is to make basic financial services more accessible to the billions of under-banked people in the world. It is therefore crucial that individuals from developing regions have access to education so they can build impactful Fintech solutions.

Diversity an objective of CFTE. The diversity of learners is an outcome that CFTE has pushed for from the very outset by putting an emphasis on working with a diverse profile of lecturers and guest speakers. Both in terms of gender and their geographical location (the course has 6 women guest speakers and lecturers from US, Europe and Asia), CFTE has sought to ensure that the speakers on the course are representative of today's society.

Online education a catalyst for diversity. Another factor that likely explains the diversity of participants can be attributed to the fact that the course is accessible online and thus serves to remove many of the barriers to education that might normally exist. Whether these barriers are a hectic schedule created by the demands bringing up a family or a lack of local expertise in a relatively new subject matter such as Fintech.

An early signal for more diversity in finance? As an education platform, CFTE is positioned at the earliest stages of the professional development cycle and demographic makeup of its learners could well be an early indicator of potential changes in the diversity of a future Fintech workforce.

During the study, CFTE had the opportunity to speak to a number of learners from the course to understand more about their motivations for taking the course.

On completion of the course, Axel Tcheheumeni Djanni, a graduate Ph.D in Geophysics from Cameroon, said, “I would like to spend some time within a startup involved in Fintech or Blockchain. Combining the knowledge I’ve gained during Around Fintech in 8 hours with a time within a startup will give a clear overview of the industry. I would also like to investigate different ways this technology can effectively improve the economy.”

Celine Bourban, a relationship manager at DBS Bank in Singapore, highlighted her motivations for taking the course, “I loved it (Around Fintech in 8 Hours) and want to go further. It really rang a bell in my head, like adding a piece to this "puzzle" I have in my mind: democratizing the access to Investments, making things possible and opening doors, more particularly, in emerging markets which has been my center of interest for many years already.”

Additional course information

Registrations have now opened for the 3rd session of Around Fintech in 8 Hours, which starts on the 12th of February. Participants will have 6 months access to the course material, which takes on average 8 hours to complete. The course costs £299. To learn about the lecturers, guest speakers and curriculum please visit

CFTE is an education platform supported by senior leaders from the largest institutions, startups and universities. It addresses the needs of professionals in finance and technologists to up-skill in a rapidly changing industry being transformed by emerging technologies. For more information, see