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Prime minister backs Women in Finance as charter tops 200 firms

  • 16/03/2018
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Prime minister backs Women in Finance as charter tops 200 firms
The prime minister has thrown her support behind the Women in Finance Charter, as the number of companies signed up tops 200.


A further 45 companies have signed up including Goldman Sachs, UBS and Sesame Bankhall Group.

It means the charter now covers more than 650,000 financial services employees in the UK at 205 companies.

It coincides with the Women in Finance Charter annual review, which shows progress being made to improve gender balance.

More than a quarter of signatories have already met their targets for female representation in senior management.

Prime minister Theresa May said: “More than 200 major financial institutions have now committed to improve the gender balance at the top of their organisation.

“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 do be done and I look forward to seeing these companies really delivering on their targets over the next few years.”


New signatories

Other new signatories to the charter include the City of London Corporation, Sainsbury’s Bank, and the British Business Bank.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive of Virgin Money and the government’s Women in Finance champion said: “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.”

More than half of the charter’s signatories are on track to meet their future targets and more than three-quarters have either increased or maintained the proportion of women in senior management in the reporting period, the annual review found.

Lisa Winnard, HR and business services director at recent signatory Sesame Bankhall Group, said: “Equality and diversity are at the heart of our organisation’s culture, so signing the Women in Finance Charter was a natural step for our group.

“We believe that a more diverse and inclusive workplace creates a better environment for people to thrive and achieve their full potential.

“It helps to improve innovation, decision making and customer service. This not only benefits businesses, but it also has a positive wider impact on society and the economy.

“Greater transparency is an important step in enabling this important industry issue to be discussed and addressed, so that progress can be made, particularly with regard to the greater representation of women in senior management roles.”

Clare Jupp director of people development at Brightstar Financial, yesterday said the Women in Finance Charter drives happiness in business.

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