‘A commitment to diversity’ shouldn’t just live in the Company Values section of a job description. If you truly value what a diverse group of employees can do, then you have to be proactively working to make diversity a priority at all levels of the business.
Our new network: the Women Of OpenPayd (WOOP) is one way that we’re doing just that – it’s a concrete example of the values we live by.
What do we stand for at OpenPayd?
The OpenPayd culture is built around our core values: Make Your Mark, Find a Better Way, Embrace the Journey, Grow Together and Do What’s Right.
In order for our employees to truly work by these principles, we need to create a workplace in which every team member feels empowered and confident to reach their full potential.
Historically, this has not been easy for women. For many decades, finance was an industry dominated by men. As an industry, we have made progress, but there is still more of the journey to go and at OpenPayd we’re committed to doing what we can to support positive change.
That’s why we launched the Women Of OpenPayd network. The mission of WOOP is to provide a nurturing environment where every woman can develop her skills and self-confidence. That’s why we’re inviting everyone in the company to bring their skills and experience to the table to help us achieve that goal.
What benefits does a women’s network offer?
The research can’t be ignored – companies with greater gender diversity outperform those that do not. According to a report conducted by McKinsey, businesses in the top quartile for gender diversity in their executive teams were 25% more likely to outperform on profitability and 27% more likely to demonstrate superior value creation.
But there is more to diversity than just business outcomes. The culture we create at work shapes norms outside of it, in how we interact with each other and the values we demonstrate.
Growing Together is one of our key values; it’s highly important to us to create an environment where everyone feels supported in their ambition to learn more and develop their skills. A women’s network helps address past shortcomings in our industry where women haven’t felt that support.
Where are we right now?
At the time of writing 39% of our workforce are women. That 39% is slightly lower than the financial services industry average of 43% – it’s something we’re working on.
On the other hand, 37% of our senior management positions are held by women. This puts OpenPayd above the commitments set out in the Women in Finance Charter that 33% of senior management positions should be occupied by women. We are by no means finished, but it’s a start for us to build on organically.
Organically is the keyword for us here. Everything we’ve achieved so far has been down to a fair interview process, with diverse hiring panels and skills-based assessments, combined with an environment that always seeks to reward merit and skills.
We want to get even better at this, doing all that we can to bridge the ambition gap that often holds women in the industry back from reaching senior leadership roles.
Where do we need help the most and what’s next?
In our very first WOOP meeting, we ran a quick poll on what has helped the women of OpenPayd most in their careers. We wanted to act on what has worked for women as told by them.
The responses were interestingly varied. 35% of our colleagues answered that sponsorship from senior leaders was the key factor making an impact on their career – which was the most commonly given answer. The second biggest answer was self-confidence.
Sponsorship and mentorship from senior leaders is something we are now building into our network, and identifying how to tackle improving self-confidence is high on our roadmap. We will continuously ask questions within the network to ensure we’re providing the right solutions. Every participant’s voice will always be heard.
Our goal is not only to empower our female employees to make a significant difference in the OpenPayd journey but to contribute to a change in financial services as a whole. This matches our dedication to helping all OpenPayd employees build fulfilling and enjoyable careers.
Want to keep updated on the WOOP network? Be sure to follow our social channels for further updates!