The Treasury is set to take radical steps in improving issues for women in the financial industry. The Treasury plans to make interventions that will tackle the specific issues that were raised in the second ever annual ‘Women in Finance Charter’, which was first launched in 2016 and has over 300 participating businesses. For further information about the Women in Finance Charter, please refer to the embedded PDF.
The latest participants at the Women in Finance Charter include Berry & Oak, Mazars, and Magenta Financial Planning. Other companies that have signed up to the charter include the national advice business St James’s Place, and Nutmeg, a robo-adviser.
The charter aims to achieve gender diversity within the financial industry, boosted by further interventions from the Government. Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen, spoke about the Treasury’s commitment to improved gender balance ahead of the publication of the second annual review, urging the financial industry to take the issue of gender equality seriously.
Glen demanded that the financial industry take ‘meaningful additional actions’ in order to see real changes in this area of female empowerment, and also promoted ‘evidence-based interventions’ as one of the best ways to make improvements to gender parity. The Treasury has itself taken steps to achieve gender equality in the workplace, having set itself a target of 50% gender parity amongst staff by 2020. The Treasury has already reached 48.2% (up from 43% in 2017).
The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report from 2017 showed that female talent is one of the ‘most underutilised’ resources in business, which is particularly so in industries such as finance. Looking at the data of career level rises in the finance industry, it becomes clear that female representation takes a dramatic decline as one climbs the career ladder. The financial industry has 46% female employees; however, taking a closer look at the data, female representation drops to just 15% at the executive level.
There have been many initiatives and organisations set up to improve the careers of women in finance – including the Women in Finance Charter – and there are also female-led finance companies that are hoping to change the fates of women in the industry. Although there are many more challenges for women working in the finance industry, each challenge can also be seen as a great opportunity for change.
Women who are willing to break down barriers, unleash their true capacity and set up companies that challenge the status quo of the finance industry are able to thrive; these women are not only equalling the salaries of their male counterparts, but they are also making a difference to the lives of their clients and customers. As well as benefitting from the altruistic elements of a career in finance, women who work in the industry benefit from the constant intellectual stimulation of the financial industry.
Financial markets are affected by a huge range of factors, from political decisions to climate change, and as such, no two days are ever the same – which results in a dynamic and exciting career trajectory. Joey Horn was the Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions at Credit Suisse First Boston from 1994 to 1996. As an officer of the company, she specialised in advising large apparel, textile and retail companies on strategic joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions. Throughout her career, Joey Horn has worked at numerous financial organisations including Investcorp International Inc. in New York, Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. Inc. in New York, and Greylock Management AS in Oslo, Norway.