Monzo has hired Deloitte consultant Sheree Atcheson as head of diversity and inclusion, Sifted has learned, as Europe’s fintechs continue to lure top city-talent.
The Northern Irish consultant is set to start full-time at Monzo’s London headquarters on November 4 after publicly announcing her departure from Deloitte on Monday.
Atcheson spent over three years at Deloitte and most recently served as its UK inclusion lead. She was named a Rising Star in Diversity earlier this year by WeAreTheCity and is also the global ambassador of non-governmenal organisation Women Who Code.
Atcheson is hardly the first figure from a big corporate to join a UK fintech startup. Earlier this month UK banking platform Curve appointed Nathalie Oestmann, formally of American Express, as chief operating officer. A 2018 recruitment study also revealed that fintech businesses have overtaken traditional banks in candidates’ list of preferences, with major consultancies facing similar competition.
Monzo’s latest hire also speaks to its ongoing efforts to diversify its workforce, which already scores better than most banks.
As of late-2018, 40% of Monzo’s staff were women (who make up just 29% of the fintech employee base generally) and 80% of its staff were white (which is proportionate to the UK population).
Yet the challenger bank still faces criticism with a male-heavy, largely-white leadership team, and a BBC Watchdog investigation recently questioned how Monzo communicates with users who have had their accounts frozen or closed and are unable to withdraw funds.
Now Monzo seems to be upping its diversity efforts, bringing on a specialist to shape recruitment practices and design training and culture guidelines for its 1300+ employees.
Crucially, a more diverse workforce will carry through to the services and communication Monzo offers, Atcheson has hinted.
“It’s not about making a small change in the numbers here [at Monzo] but working to make a big impact that influences the greater business community,” she told Sifted.
“My career has been dedicated to creating truly inclusive work environments because I care about ensuring everyone in every workplace can take advantage of the opportunities on offer. Being a leader in this space is a privilege.”
Read more on how to hire for diversity and inclusion.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Atcheson worked with Girls Who Code, rather than Women Who Code.