Driving DEI from the Top Down

Amanda Mesler, Chair and CEO - Minna Technologies

In today’s financial services industry, the importance of DEI cannot be overstated. As organisations strive to mirror the diverse populations they serve, the role of recruitment in shaping these initiatives is critical. In a recent discussion on FinTech's DEI Discussions, Nadia was joined by Amanda Mesler, Chair and CEO of Minna Technologies, who highlighted key strategies and insights that can help financial services firms build a more inclusive and diverse workforce.

The Role of Leadership in DEI

Leadership sets the tone for DEI efforts within any organisation. As Amanda points out, "It starts at the top and goes throughout your organisation. Anybody that's responsible for talent needs to be held accountable for getting those diverse candidates in front of you." This underscores the necessity for executives to not only endorse but actively participate in DEI initiatives, ensuring that diversity is woven into the fabric of their organisational culture.

Recruitment as a DEI Catalyst

Recruitment practices significantly influence the composition and culture of a workplace. Amanda urges firms to rethink their hiring strategies, stating, "If your company is not prioritising diversity and inclusion, leave, find another place, find a mentor that can help you leave that place." This bold statement emphasises the responsibility of companies to foster environments that prioritise and champion diversity. Financial services firms need to work closely with recruiters to ensure that job descriptions, outreach efforts, and selection processes attract a diverse pool of candidates.

Metrics and Accountability

Amanda highlights the need for measurable outcomes in DEI efforts, "Our entire team is proud of our stats; 59 percent male, 41 percent female and the industry average is 70 to 30." By maintaining transparency about diversity metrics, companies not only hold themselves accountable but also demonstrate their commitment to prospective and current employees.

Role Modeling and Visibility

One of the most effective ways to inspire diversity in the financial services industry is through visibility and role modeling. Amanda notes, "Where are the role models? If you can't see diversity in your organisation, you're not going to attract diversity into your organisation." Financial firms must ensure that their leadership and high visibility roles are diverse, providing aspirational figures for all employees.

Flexible Work Environments

To support diversity, financial services firms must also adapt their work environments to be more inclusive. This includes offering flexible work hours, remote work options, and supportive policies that accommodate the diverse needs of their workforce, such as those returning from parental leave or those with different abilities.

The Call to Action

As financial services continue to evolve, the need for inclusive recruitment strategies becomes more pronounced. Firms that succeed in embedding DEI into their recruitment and organisational practices not only enhance their workplace culture but also improve their market competitiveness by attracting a wider range of talents and perspectives.

In conclusion, as the financial services industry seeks to navigate the complexities of the global market, the insights provided by leaders like Amanda offer valuable strategies for fostering inclusivity through thoughtful recruitment practices. By prioritising DEI, financial firms can ensure they remain adaptable, innovative, and reflective of the communities they serve.

About FinTech’s DEI Discussions: 

FinTech's DEI Discussions is hosted by Nadia Edwards-Dashti, Chief Customer Officer at Harrington Starr.

As our longest-running podcast, it brings together industry experts from financial services who share valuable advice on fostering inclusion within the industry and beyond.

Each episode follows the theme 'Walk the Talk,' offering practical guidance on turning inclusive words into action. 

In addition to the regular episodes, Nadia releases special series that provide in-depth advice on ensuring everyone feels included in the financial services sector.

With nearly two decades of experience in FinTech recruiting, Nadia is a passionate advocate for inclusion. She has witnessed the industry's challenges firsthand and created the 'Talent Equity List' to promote inclusive hiring by highlighting underrepresented talent.

Watch more episodes here.

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