Betterment, a robo-investment firm, has acknowledged there's room to improve its workplace diversity.
The New York City-based fintech has been transparent about its diversity data, recently publishing the results of its workplace demographics.
Joe Ziemer, Betterment's vice president of communications, said the results show the company can do better.
Out of the company's 293 employees, 71% are White, according to data on the company's website. Betterment's Black or African-American employees make up 5%, while another 5% identify as Hispanic or Latinx. Fifteen percent identity as Asian, and another 4% identify as two or more races.
"We've got a lot of work to do. We recognize that," Ziemer said.
Betterment is not alone, however. Like the technology sector in general, fintech companies largely lack diversity, Ziemer said.
In an effort to boost its internal diversity efforts and that of the fintech community as a whole, Betterment is spearheading the Fintech Equality Coalition, a working group made up of 21 fintech and financial services companies aimed at fighting inequality within the fintech industry and in society.
"The goal here is to see continual progress," Ziemer said. "It's not something that we will be able to fix overnight, but we know that there's a lot of work to do and we've got to do better.”
So far, the group includes Cadre, Carver Edison, Credit Karma, Divvy Homes, Dosh, Earnest, Fabric, Freedom Financial Network, Jetty, Kindur, Marqeta, MoneyLion, Monzo, Nova Credit, Rhino, SoFi, Spruce, Stash, Tally and Varo.
The coalition aims to publish an annual report that includes diversity data from the fintech industry, detailing the progress being made from the coalition's work.
For accountability purposes, the coalition's members will be required to publish their plans of action and provide regular updates on their progress.
"A lot of companies within financial service and technology know that there are industry problems, and they use the industry problems as the reason for why their company is not diverse as opposed to making a change within their own company," Ziemer said. "I think it's got to start at the company level before it can ladder up for industry improvement, which is really the goal of the coalition."
Companies in the coalition have pledged to enhance efforts to recruit, retain and mentor Black employees, and refrain from participating in forums or events that lack diverse speaker lineups.
The working group also aims to increase financial inclusion for minorities through their partnerships and products.
"A lot of the companies [in the coalition] offer savings products for their customers using program banks," Ziemer said. "Is there a way that we could use some Black-owned banks to be program banks to actually put capital within those institutions? Because, certainly, there are not many Black-owned banks anymore."
Cadre, a real estate investing platform, has already pledged to deposit 5% of its corporate capital in minority depository institutions, including Citizens Trust Bank and Liberty Bank.
That extra capital, Ziemer said, helps Black-owned banks do more lending within their communities.
"That's how you can make a pretty big difference, and I think that's the type of thing that we want to highlight for other companies to be able to replicate," he said.