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Banking Tech Awards
4th December 2024
Royal Lancaster Hotel

Banking Tech Awards Finalist: Finastra - OpenbyDefault

Finastra has been selected as a finalist in the Diversity and Inclusion Excellence category at the Banking Tech Awards 2022 for their project OpenbyDefault.


Finastra paves the way in the fintech and financial services industry with its OpenbyDefault movement, calling on financial services to build an unbiased future. Since making this declaration in 2021, it has focused on supporting historical excluded groups (women, race/ethnicity, LGBTQ, disability & generational inclusion) and has made a bold external commitment to reach 50:50 gender equality by 2030 across the organization.

Finastra's passion for diversity, equity & inclusion cascades from its leaders down to its 9,000+ employees who live and breathe its open philosophy. They pledge to be OPEN in the way they think, the way they speak and the way they act.

Finastra's OpenbyDefault DE&I strategy is focused on three pillars: people, culture and ecosystem. It focuses actions on 4 categories:

  • Opportunities for all: Diversifying its talent pool, promoting from within and leveraging the power of collective intelligence.
  • Promote inclusive design: Building inclusive human-centred products and services focused on accessibility and usability, while challenging bias in financial services.
  • Embrace belonging: Cultivating a culture of authenticity, inclusion and belonging.
  • Nurture its communities: Enriching the communities it serves.

With new initiatives, training and development opportunities and policies that empower its employees, Finastra is a place where everyone can be themselves, feel safe, and perform at their very best. Finastra is on a journey - it's proud to share how far its come and pledges to continue driving forward on its commitments.

Doing its part to break the bias at Finastra

For International Women's Day 2022, Finastra breaks the bias by celebrating its differences and commits to gender parity by 2030.

Finastra is committed to supporting historically excluded groups and has made a bold commitment to supporting women, girls and non-binary individuals at every stage of life. The initiatives below illustrate its OpenbyDefault commitment within the company and broader financial services industry.

It has an ambition to be the most loved and inclusive company in Fintech. With an understanding that people are its most valuable asset, it has implemented multiple channels to receive feedback from its people on a regular basis, through a bi-Annual Finsight survey and a bi-weekly Pulse survey. It has listened to its people and some of the highlights include:

  • Bi-Annual Inclusion Driver Score: 81%
  • 73% say “I love working at Finastra”
  • 79% say “I feel I can bring my whole self to work every day”
  • 84% say “My manager fosters a diverse and inclusive environment through their day-to-day actions"
  • 86% believe “Finastra is committed to diversity, equity and Inclusion”.

While it still has work to do, Finastra is proud of its employee engagement scores and is excited that its employees are on this journey with them.
Finastra is dedicated to progressing its female talent pipeline and women in STEM careers, continuing its journey to a 50:50 male to female ratio, across all its teams. This includes both, increasing the percentage of women amongst its top 200 leaders and increasing the percentage of female engineers from 30% to 40% by 2025, and to 50% by 2030. Currently, Finastra’s global female representation is 39%, the executive leadership team is at 42% and the innovation engineering team surpasses this with 52%. Finastra is committed to investing in and developing its female talent, with 43% of promotions being attributed to female employees in the last year (46.5% in the last performance management cycle). It is important that it understands the full scope of diversity of its organization and goes beyond gender. In 2021, it also began to track diversity data through its Count Me In Self-Identification Campaign. It was applicable by country and collected information regarding gender, age, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity, veteran status, disability and religion. Over 41% of its employees have participated, with a goal to reach 50% participation by the end of its Fiscal Year. Building a culture of inclusion and belonging is core to Finastra and it is committed to providing the necessary support when needed. It has a number of employee empowerment policies in place to do this. For example, the Equal Opportunity Policy, the “Be Yourself” Dress Code Policy supporting Hijabs in the workplace, the Safe Leave Policy for domestic abuse victims, and the Healthcare Travel Reimbursement benefit, which ensures employees and their dependents can access the same level of care no matter where they live.

Through the DE&I team, its Resilience Champions and its 5 Employee Resource Groups (Women@Finastra, Proud@Finastra, Special Abilities, Cultural Inclusion and Generational Inclusion with 1000+ members), Finastra uplifts its employees and provide networking opportunities with the executive leadership, as well as informal and formal mentoring experiences through the ERG networks, Open4Inclusion Mentorship program and Leadership programs. It has also hosted programs on topics such as: Menopause in the workplace, Power of Words Speaker Series with Dr. Iyanla Vanzant, World Religion Day, People of Asia, Pride Month, Digital Accessibility, and Inclusion sessions. Its mentoring experiences have been well received and have provided long-lasting relationships for its diverse talent to help them navigate their careers, irrespective of what stage they are at. Alongside mentoring, its focus on development can be seen through its FinTalent Accelerate program - a global program designed for High Potential employees to stretch, develop, and inspire new leaders through carefully curated experiences. The Fintern and FinStart programs are both dedicated for young professionals starting out in their careers and introduces young professionals to the fintech industry with the support they need through tailored training and development initiatives. The Fintern Program was most recently 29% female, providing interns with rotational experience across different areas of the business, as well as mentoring and networking experience. This is a journey it is committed to continuing, to ensure young female professionals are brought through the pipeline. The FinStart Program is just under 50% female and is a 2-year holistic development program for high-potential university graduates, offering a head-start in their professional journeys and setting them up for a successful career.

It continues to find new ways to support its people, and its Career Returnship Program is to be launched in 2022, partnering with Reserve Squad to create a third classification of worker and explore a “gig” working model. It will provide women (and men), who have taken an extended career break, with opportunities to return to the workplace, while maintaining balance between work and home life.

Finastra's training courses have been designed to keep inclusion and gender equality top of mind, from updating its Code of Conduct, to including a DE&I learning series and training resources. This ensures all employees are aware of biases and how to tackle them in the workplace and industry. Its mid to senior level management lead by example in creating an open culture for all, having been enrolled into a global Inclusive Leadership Masterclass in partnership with STEPS Drama. This training encourages managers to recognize moments of exclusion for others, take personal ownership to enhance inclusion, and support its employees with the right environment where they can thrive.

It has committed that its hackathon and innovation events will always have a sustainable and inclusive finance theme, as it continues to redefine finance for good, build an unbiased fintech future and inspire the fintech space to be open by default. Finastra targets female technologists to ensure diversity and equal representation, for example, a prize for women led teams in Hack to the Future 4 and its sponsored incubation program was women-led in 2022.

Looking beyond its own employees, it champions women in STEM and financial inclusion for young girls through initiatives, such as youth hackathons and partnership with Girls Who Code (9,000 girls). It runs regular Hour of Code and financial education sessions to teach young children the importance of financial literacy and the basic skills of coding, helping to equip them for work and life.

Within its products, it has developed Finastra’s Fusion LasorPro software that allows financial institutions to utilize a single complete and compliant loan document system for use across commercial, consumer and mortgage portfolios. It is also equipped with functionality that, through Machine Learning driven benchmarks, it assesses lending practices against their peers and can help eliminate bias and inequities in lending and financial services processes. Through the Southern Communities Initiative in the US, in partnership with Vista, Microsoft and the Kellogg Foundation, it has identified Community development financial institutions serving the underserved, that will use its Total Lending software to improve the flow of capital to minority-owned businesses. Its purpose is to orchestrate the sustainable financial empowerment of every single person on the planet, through the collaborative power of its technology, diverse talent, and its ecosystem.

Finastra is working on something. It is proud of where it has come from and is committed to continue moving the needle internally and in its broader ecosystem.

OpenbyDefault on

More about its inclusive culture: