An additional 45 companies have signed up to the Women in Finance Charter, meaning over 650,000 employees in the UK are now covered by its plan to combat gender inequality in the sector.
Some 205 firms have now signed the Women in Finance Charter.
The announcement followed a Women in Finance lunch briefing in London yesterday (15th March) – involving Virgin Money, HM Treasury and Brightstar's people development director Clare Jupp – where a discussion on the charter's commitments took place.
The news also coincided with the launch of the first Women in Finance Charter Annual Review, which revealed that – in the first year of the charter – 28% of signatories had already met their targets for female representation in senior management.
More than half of signatories (57%) were on track to meet their future targets, while 78% had either increased or maintained the proportion of women in senior management in the reporting period.
The percentage of women among senior managers in the signatory firms also grew by 3% on average in the first year.
“More than 200 major financial institutions have now committed to improve the gender balance at the top of their organisation,” said Prime Minister Theresa May.
“This is an important step forward, not just because this is about fairness, or simply about giving women an equal opportunity to get on, but because our workplaces are greatly enriched by different approaches.
“Time and again, I have seen first-hand how women can bring fresh thinking and new perspectives.
“And I know the commitment that women put into their jobs on a daily basis.
“But, of course, there is still more to be done and I look forward to seeing these companies really delivering on their targets over the next few years.”
The additional 45 signatories include big names such as Goldman Sachs, UBS, Visa, Sainsbury's Bank and the British Business Bank.
Jayne-Anne Gadhia, CEO at Virgin Money and the government's Women in Finance champion, added: “The Women in Finance Charter now covers over 650,000 of those employed in financial services and I am delighted that the initiative is gathering real momentum.
“Estimates suggest that increased female participation in the labour market and women moving into higher-paid and skilled jobs could increase UK GDP by around 10% and the financial services sector needs to play its part.
“Achieving a balanced workforce at all levels and offering fairness and equality of opportunity for both men and women will not only close the gender pay gap over time, it is an economic necessity if we are to drive innovation, power productivity and continue to compete on a global stage.”
John Glen, economic secretary to the Treasury, congratulated the firms that had recently signed up to the charter.
“I hope the commitment made by our new signatories will inspire others to sign the charter and join us in building a more representative and more inclusive financial services industry.”
The 45 new firms that signed the charter between November 2017 and end of February 2018 are:
- Bank of Ireland (UK) PLC
- Banking Standards Board
- Barcadia Media Ltd
- BFC Bank Limited
- BNP Paribas London CIB
- Brewin Dolphin
- British Business Bank
- British Insurance Brokers' Association
- Brown Shipley
- Cameron and Company Financial Planning Ltd
- Charter Court Financial Services PLC
- City of London Corporation
- Close Brothers Group PLC
- Danske Bank
- Financial Services Compensation Scheme
- Goldman Sachs International
- Hargreaves Lansdown
- House of Beaufort
- Investec Bank PLC
- Investec Wealth & Investment
- Investing Ethically Ltd
- IPC Systems
- Just Group PLC
- LGT Vestra
- Man Group PLC
- Metro Bank PLC
- Motor Insurers' Bureau
- QBE European Operations
- Sainsbury's Bank
- Sesame Bankhall Group
- The Alternative Investment Management Association
- The Board of the Pension Protection Fund
- The British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association
- Wellington Management International Ltd
- Wesleyan Assurance Society
- XL Catlin
What does signing up to the Women in Finance Charter involve?
Signatory firms have committed to implement four key industry actions:
1. Having one member of its senior executive team responsible and accountable for gender diversity and inclusion
2. Setting internal targets for gender diversity in its senior management
3. Publishing progress annually
4. Having an intention to ensure the pay of the senior executive team is linked to delivery against these internal targets on gender diversity.
The charter was published in March 2016 after a review by Gadhia uncovered that in 2015, women made up only 14% of executive committees in the financial services sector.
HM Treasury welcomes interest in the charter from all firms of any type and size, with the next two deadlines for signing on 30th June and 31st October 2018.
Temenos partners with ClearBank for cloud payments
Banking software company Temenos has formed a strategic relationship with ClearBank to provide banks with a faster route to market for real-time cloud payments...
Unity Trust Bank registers 34% rise in profits
Unity Trust Bank increased profits by 34% in 2019...
Believe the hype – why explainable AI is a trend that’s here to stay
Technology has become a ubiquitous part of our day-to-day lives...
Piloting tech updates: ‘The bigger the bank, the harder it is to get anything done’
In the latest Medianett filmed roundtable session, we discussed how important technology is in the banking space, and what impact the industry expects it to have on its businesses in the future...
What banks need to know about cloud security
One of the most common perceived concerns when adopting the cloud is the issue of security...
OakNorth sees 95% increase in pre-tax profits
OakNorth Bank has announced a 95% rise in pre-tax profits in 2019 to £65.9m, up from the £33.9m recorded in 2018...
Redwood Bank signs up to Women in Finance Charter
Redwood Bank has announced that it has signed up to the Women in Finance (WIF) Charter...
Masthaven launches digital Women in Leadership programme
Masthaven Bank has launched a new Women in Leadership digital development programme for female senior leaders...
Protecting against supply chain disruption and the domino effect
Disappointingly, many UK SME business owners don’t understand their supply chains...
Confused about which Isa to choose? Hopefully this mini-guide will help…
We are now firmly in Isa season, so you’re likely to read multiple articles about the most competitive Isa products in the market and how best to make the most of your Isa allowance before the end of the tax year...
Garden shed entrepreneurs contribute £16.6bn to the UK economy
Entrepreneurs who run their businesses from garden sheds contribute £16.6bn annually to the UK economy, according to a recent study...