LGBTQ+ fintech leaders from Monzo and Legal & General among innovators celebrated on Pride list

This is an image of a Black woman working at a computer. She is wearing a floral top. There is a creative overlay with the Pride colours over the top

A new list highlights members of the LGBTQ+ community who are bringing inclusivity to the world of financial technology (fintech).

Innovate Finance, a leading advocate for fintech innovation, is set to honour the outstanding achievements and contributions of LGBTQ+ members within the fintech sector with its inaugural Pride in FinTech Powerlist 2023.

This groundbreaking initiative marks a significant step in acknowledging the LGBTQ+ community’s pivotal role in shaping financial services for the better.

The launch of the Pride in FinTech Powerlist comes as part of Innovate Finance’s ongoing commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in the fintech industry. The organisation seeks to create a safe and inclusive environment for the LGBTQ+ community, while also aiming to inspire future leaders within the sector.

Fintech refers to companies that utilise emerging technology to improve and streamline traditional financial functions. Digital-only banking, blockchain, cryptocurrencies and crowdfunding platforms are just some of the facets of fintech. 

The fintech industry stands as one of the UK’s most innovative sectors, commanding a substantial 10% share of the global market. In the UK alone, 24 per cent of Brits have a digital-only bank account, which is compared to only 9 per cent in 2019.

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The list is a testament to the substantial impact made by LGBTQ+ individuals in driving positive change in fintech. It features notable contributions from leading fintech firms, including ClearBank, Monzo, Starling Bank, Wise and many more.

The Google-supported initiative will culminate in a celebratory event scheduled for December, further recognising the achievements of these exceptional LGBTQ+ leaders.

“A testament to the strides we’ve made”

Janine Hirt, chief executive of Innovate Finance, expressed her enthusiasm for the initiative, saying: “As part of our ongoing diversity program, we are delighted to announce our very first Innovate Finance Pride in Fintech Powerlist, which celebrates the incredible work, achievements, and impact of members of the LGBTQ+ community in driving positive change across financial services.

“Our hope is that this Powerlist will inspire current and future generations.”

Lou Smith, chair of Innovate Finance, added: “We know there is more action needed to boost levels of diversity and inclusion in the industry, and this initiative will help spotlight the diverse voices already part of the fintech story in the UK.

“At Innovate Finance, we recognise the importance of our members and the people we serve; this is why we have taken this important step in recognition of those who have helped us build the sector into what it is today.”

One fintech firm that found a few colleagues on the list is Monzo, a digital bank with more than 8 million active users in the UK.

Speaking about the company’s presence on the list, Sarah Manning, chief people officer at Monzo said: “We’re delighted to see so many Monzo faces on Innovate Finance’s Pride in FinTech Powerlist.”

Not only are these leaders having an extraordinary impact on Monzo and our customers, they are driving meaningful change to make the industry more diverse and inclusive.”

Deon Pillay, head of marketing operations at Legal & General Investment Management, is among those featured on this year’s list.

He tells PinkNews: “This recognition is a testament to the strides we’ve made in the fintech industry, fostering an environment where LGBTQ+ professionals can excel and contribute to innovation. It’s a reminder that diversity is our strength, but it also serves as a call to action. We must not become complacent.”

This is an image of Deon Pillay.
Deon Pillay, head of marketing operations at Legal & General Investment Management is just one of many that made the Pride in Fintech Powerlist 2023. (Supplied)

Pillay notes that the work to make sure the fintech industry remains inclusive is far from over.

“Diversity of thought is at the core of innovation, and it’s our responsibility to champion this diversity, ensuring that all voices are not only heard but valued”, he says.

“In doing so, we can lead the way in developing market-leading solutions and driving innovation that not only benefits the LGBTQ+ community but the industry as a whole.

“I’m excited about the possibilities and the journey ahead, and I’m committed to continuing to push for progress.”