The Charter supports women to progress into senior roles and asks financial services firms to implement four actions.
They are: having a member of the senior team accountable for gender diversity and inclusivity, setting internal targets for gender diversity in senior management, publishing progress against targets each year and intending that senior management’s pay reflects delivery on diversity targets.
Connect was founded and is run by chief executive Liz Syms (pictured). The company’s management team is 33 per cent female and 53 per cent of its staff are women.
Connect said its aim was “to encourage diversity across the whole company, motivating more women into sales roles and men into case management roles where appropriate,” and “to offer flexibility for all in relation to working hours while supporting a family.”
Connect has signed up to the Women’s Executive Finance Forum run by AE3 Media, Mortgage Solutions’ parent company, providing female staff with access to training, inspirational speakers and support.
“I fundamentally believe in what the Charter is trying to achieve. Many of the things that the Charter asks for are standards that we have had in place for some time, so it made perfect sense to sign up formally. Increasing the number of senior women in the mortgage market is incredibly important. It’s the right thing to do and it reflects the borrowers that we see every day,” said Syms.
Women in Finance champion, Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia, said: “I’m delighted to see the Charter continue to grow. Businesses that understand the power of diversity really succeed. The top quarter of businesses on gender diversity are 21 per cent more likely to have above-average profits than the bottom quarter.”