How we nurture an environment of gender diversity at GoCardless
GoCardless is a fast growing FinTech startup based in London. Within the last 12 months, we’ve grown the number of women working at GoCardless from 8 to 18. They now make up for a quarter of our company and work across all departments. In comparison: the number of female entrepreneurs in FinTech has reached about 17%.
Building diverse teams is core to our business culture and this is communicated clearly both in our recruitment and hiring policy as well as internally. While everyone is in favour of actively supporting this, we are aware that the difference lies in the details and making a continual conscious effort to remove any bias.
We can make a difference by eliminating unconscious bias
I recently moderated a Gender in Tech panel in Berlin where we talked about how we can ensure we create an unbiased environment in our tech companies to attract more women employees. The 18 women at GoCardless took this as inspiration to organise an audit to review our office environment to make sure it’s attractive to both male and female employees. Whilst the specific details may appear minor, they can play an important part in creating the right workspace for women to feel welcome and comfortable.
Generally we feel that GoCardless is performing well. Many of our new employees applied to GoCardless due to our support and participation with specific groups and organisations such as Code First: Girls. The office has good facilities for men and women with well equipped bathrooms and showers, a stocked kitchen with a diverse range of food and drink and sports and leisure activities from basketball and bowling to cycling and yoga. We regularly host events in the office supporting all departments and encourage meetups and get togethers with similar teams in other organisations across the startup space. We’ve also recently updated our HR policies benchmarking against other businesses to offer extremely competitive employee benefits.
There is still room for us to improve…
Firstly, we realised all of our branded clothing is in male sizes and styles. This is an easy one to fix - we have now ordered womens sizes and styles so all employees feel comfortable supporting our brand at events and meetups.
We also realised that in departments where we have a higher percentage of male employees such as sales and engineering, a candidate may only meet male employees during the interview process. We have now updated our interview funnel to ensure that all candidates will meet with at least one female employee during the process. This is key for all potential employees as it demonstrates that diversity is critical to the culture at GoCardless.
Finally, we found that much of our external communication was driven by the men in our company. 8 out of the 10 most recent blog posts were written by male employees. We agreed to increase the number of blog posts written by women and already have the first writers lined up (watch this space).
Get the ball rolling
We have been inspired and encouraged to do this audit by many great individuals in this space. A special thanks goes to the panelists from Berlin: Inga Höltmann, Maxi Knust, Lisa Lang and Jana Scharfschwerdt, as well as some key individuals advocating women in tech in London: Phoebe Lebrecht and Leah Templeman.
We believe that having an environment where female employees feel happy, accepted, welcome and supported is key to encourage more women to take the step into working in the tech industry. We would love for other companies to do the same and nominate our FinTech friends in and outside of London to do a similar audit of their office. We need to plant the seeds to grow a sustainable female-friendly environment within the FinTech scene.
Deceptively Simple: Our Photo Mission
EyeEm and GoCardless launched a Mission to find photos that showcase the GoCardless philosophy - complex systems made simple.
At GoCardless, we have one goal: To provide a simple way to take recurring payments across multiple markets. We have automated and simplified the complexities of direct debit to expose an interface so simple anyone can use it. Yet it is powerful enough to serve the UK’s largest institutions - and all at very low fees.
Here are our favourite photos from the EyeEm Community, with comments by the EyeEm team:
Congratulations to our winner @giiovi!
This photo shows a real sense of community and teamwork. The swarm of bees are doing complex work to create something that seems so elementary to us - delicious honey. We love this, and like to think of us as a swarm of bees making global payments deceptively simple.
EyeEm: The reason why this image works so well comes down to the use of focus; a potentially busy scene is given clarity by focusing on the main aspect. Being able to see the small bees in flight is really exciting-it isn’t something that’s easily captured, so it gives you a snapshot of a moment which could pass the eye by.
More of our favourites:
Photo by @jsknick
We love this photo because it captures our complex world in a single bubble. We like how the detail and complexity become more intense the deeper you look.
EyeEm: This image shows the technique and experience of the photographer, being able to combine a fast shutter speed and focusing in on a single object makes this really stand out. The colours and composition compliment each other very well.
Photo by @Violetalix
Something so simple in its base design is much more beautiful when you look in more depth—in this case, at the texture, light and colours.
EyeEm: Capturing textures in photography works so well when linked with simplicity. You can make an object look so different by capturing it closer and using light to manipulate its usual form. The light makes this material shimmer, transforming it from something quite plain to an image that is really pleasing to the eye.
Photo by @phoebeh_
This photo has many fans amongst our team at GoCardless. One parachute, a couple of cables and you're flying. So bold yet showcased in a peaceful, serene way.
EyeEm: We love images where you can see someone taking a risk (especially if it’s something we’d be too scared to do) - the blue sky behind creates a perfect backdrop to the main subject, giving the audience a real focus.
Photo by @grellgrau
Perfect lines, logic and symmetry make this photo and design so attractive. This hallway probably took months to design and construct to such a high standard—but you only see the smooth and clean results.
EyeEm: Minimalism can work really well, the design gives an almost futuristic feel thanks to the light from the ceiling. The lines give the viewer an indication of how the eye should travel through the image.
GoCardless powers payments for Cobot’s coworking spaces in Germany
Cobot, a German cloud-based management application for coworking spaces, and GoCardless have partnered up to make taking membership fees from coworkers a simple task. With GoCardless' new and more advanced integration, coworking spaces in Germany and the rest of the Eurozone can now collect payments for memberships and room bookings through SEPA Direct Debit. Having originated in the UK, the plans are to eventually extend this partnership globally.
What is Cobot?
Cobot was created in 2010 by Alexander Lang and Thilo Utke. The two former software consultants started Cobot out of necessity to manage their own coworking space co.up. Driven by the interest of other spaces, it quickly grew into a major and stand-alone product for co.up and today coworking spaces with around 30,000 coworkers worldwide. Cobot aims to be the best system for coworking management, taking over all the routine tasks that can be automated, from logging activity in the space to tracking invoices.
How does GoCardless help Cobot’s customers?
With the new integration complete, coworking spaces that use Cobot’s managing software can now seamlessly take payments from their coworkers using direct debit. With a simple 1% transaction fee, capped at 2€, GoCardless provides a competitive payment method for both recurring and one-off payments.
This new payment gateway for Cobot’s users comes with all the advantages of direct debit: coworking spaces can pull funds directly from their coworkers’ bank accounts whenever money is due on an invoice. As a result, coworking spaces get paid on time, and the experience for customers is improved.
Cobot’s billing software and GoCardless’ direct debit product make the process of collecting money a completely automated solution. This means coworking spaces need no longer worry about recurring monthly instalments, late or failed payments.
Finally, coworking spaces that use direct debit to collect their fees experience a lower rate of churn. This is in contrast to credit card payments for example, where card expiration is common. Of course, basic bank account details do not expire, therefore making direct debit a powerful payment method to increase retention rates.
How do you get involved?
If you are a coworking space that wants to take payments cheaply and easily from within Cobot using GoCardless, please do get in touch with either of us today!
Your coworking space already uses Cobot? That’s great! To start taking payments using GoCardless, simply add GoCardless as a new payment method in your Cobot account as shown below:
Also, have a look at Cobot’s blog post about the partnership here.