Workplace Gender Equality Tips

Posted by

Lynne Callister

on 08 Mar 2024

Despite slow improvements, businesses still have a long way to go to reach gender equality. We have five suggestions to help your firm get started.

Workplace Gender Equality Tips

Businesses in the UK know that they need to do more to promote equality and diversity despite recent improvements. And the numbers back that conclusion.

Research by EY indicates that despite progress for women in FinTech, there is still a low female representation in senior roles. This research shows that the main obstacles to female progression include an absence of industry recognition and an opaque promotion ladder.

The report also highlights the need to reduce the gender pay gap in the UK. Some of the key findings include:

  • the UK gender pay gap is 14.9% for all types of employees across all industries
  • 11% of FinTech board seats are held by women
  • less than 20% of company executives are women
  • 40% of FinTechs have appointed women on their boards
  • a 39% female, 61% male gender split between board directors
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Gender equality in the workplace tips

On a global scale, the UK is ranked 15th on the Global Gender Gap Index. This is behind other European countries such as Belgium, Germany, and Ireland.

1. Create a gender equality strategy

Add a gender equality statement to your company's diversity policy, have a named executive responsible for diversity and assess the impact of your policy.

2. Measure gender equality metrics

Set self-imposed targets and measure performance using metrics. Publicly report progress towards targets to promote transparency. This data is necessary to meet the new gender pay gap reporting rules.

Suggested gender equality metrics

  • Gender splits across the company
  • Board and leadership
  • Business units & functions,
  • New hires
  • Promotions
  • % working flexibly,
  • % maternity/paternity
  • % shared parental leave returning to work
  • Employees leaving the company

3. Make executives accountable for gender equality

Introduce executive accountability for increasing gender diversity at all levels in your company across all business units. Get the tone from the top right and ensure there is senior-level buy-in.

Firms should give gender diversity parity with other business issues. Responsibility for it should sit with someone in a profit and loss line, ideally male, to prevent it from being seen as a 'silo issue' (in isolation).

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4. Link remuneration to gender equality targets

Executive bonuses should be explicitly linked to better gender balance. Remuneration can be a powerful way of changing behaviour.

It's up to firms to decide how to effect this, but incentives could be given to executives and/or hiring managers.

There's a clear incentive for companies to get this right by linking remuneration with results.

5. Create a Gender Equality Charter

By creating a charter, you recognise the issue publicly and commit to specific ways you will tackle gender diversity.

The Women in Finance Charter provides a great framework for your gender equality charter.

What is the 'Women in Finance' Charter?

  • It commits firms to support the progression of women into senior roles in financial services by focusing on the executive pipeline and the mid-tier level.
  • It recognises the diversity of the sector. Firms have different starting points, so each should set its targets and implement the right strategy for them.
  • It requires firms to publicly report on progress to deliver against these internal targets to support the transparency and accountability needed to drive change.

How do Women in Finance members promote gender diversity?

Those signing up to the charter agree to promote gender diversity in four ways:

  1. Having one member of their senior executive team responsible and accountable for gender diversity and inclusion.
  2. Setting internal targets for gender diversity in their senior management.
  3. Publishing progress annually against these targets in reports on their website.
  4. Having the intention to ensure the pay of their senior executive team is linked to delivery against internal targets on gender diversity.

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