Women and financial wellbeing

By Monica Kalia, co-founder and chief strategy officer

I’ve worked for the last 20 years within the financial services sector and began my career in investment banking. In 2014 I co-founded Neyber having identified that a technology based solution was needed to revolutionise personal finance and help drive financial wellbeing.

I’m passionate about financial inclusion and have championed the cause of diversity and the advancement of women in the global fintech community.

On a practical basis I’m also concerned over the degree to which women are prepared to manage their finances. This is highlighted by Fidelity Personal Investing’s research, which shows that while women who engaged with their finances demonstrated stronger saving rates than their male counterparts and enjoyed better long-term investment performance, too many women remained hesitant to take control of their finances.

For me this is particularly concerning as 90% of women will have to manage their finances on their own at some point in their lives as a consequence of their having to leave the workforce to care for a sick family member, becoming divorced or widowed.

That's why it is imperative for women to have a solid understanding about how to manage money and invest for the future. I believe that the remedy for this lies in their being able to access the knowledge and services that they need from the innovations within the fintech sector.

There is also a role for women to play in promoting financial wellbeing, with technology being the key enabler for them in fulfilling this role. This is because more women than ever before are taking up careers and leadership positions within the fintech sector. What matters here is their ability to harness financial innovation for the betterment of our increasingly diverse contemporary society.

As a consequence, women newly arriving in the sector are not hide bound by historical practices or the need to employ legacy systems. They are therefore able to see the benefits that technology can deliver through countering financial exclusion and enabling people to access fair financial services.

With this broader role in the financial services workplace, women can act as advocates for the creation of fairer financial products that help hard working families across the UK. These products will enable them to make better informed and more confident decisions about their personal financesi whether this relates to borrowing, saving, investment or insurance products.

For my part I have helped to create a culturally diverse company that promotes fair finance and delivers products that boosts financial inclusion.

We’re driven by a commitment to deliver a genuine alternative to the solutions offered by financial service providers whose high-interest rates and low returns on savings have helped to create an unprecedented era of financial stress.

Following this year’s International Women’s Day I want to issue a call to action for more women to take advantage of the opportunities that the fintech sector can offer to them. For those of us who are leaders now, it is vital for us to mentor the next generation and to reach a point whereby gender bias is no longer an issue in global business.