Finance companies are hoping to have a third of senior management posts filled by women in the next five years.
Firms signing up to the Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter, have set targets of 35% of management roles to be held by women. The current figure is 27%.
The charter aims to encourage companies to improve gender balance in UK’s financial industry. Seventy-two firms have so far signed up to the Charter, between them employing over half a million people. Over 15 insurance companies have signed up, plus retail banks, asset managers and mutuals. In addition, HM Treasury, the Financial Conduct Authority and some financial trade bodies have also signed up.
Through the charter, financial service providers are committing to linking their executive’s remuneration packages with gender diversity targets. Firms are committing to setting gender diversity targets in their senior management and publish annual progress reports. Furthermore, companies need to select a senior executive who will be responsible for gender diversity.
Thinktank New Financial has been analysing the firms signing up to the charter. It found that the firm’s targets varied hugely, with some ranging from 21% to 50%. Around 15 companies are aiming for at least half their senior management to be female. The percentage of women in senior roles in firms not yet reaching their targets, ranged from 10% to 47%. Half have between 20% and 40% of women in senior roles and 10 have equal or more women than men in those roles.
Britain’s biggest banks have set themselves quite ambitious targets. They are hoping to increase the number of women in senior roles from 23% to 40% during the next five years.
Companies with between 500 to 1,000 employees faced the biggest challenge. They intend to increase the number of women in senior management by almost 50%.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the average pay gap between men and women is at its lowest at 18.1%.