Workplace Gender Equality Tips

Posted by

Lynne Callister

on 14 Jul 2021

How to Promote Gender Equality in Finance

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.

The City of London knows that it still needs to do more to promote equality and diversity despite improvements. And the numbers back that conclusion.

Workplace gender inequality statistics

Research by Oliver Wyman concluded that globally the financial services industry is finally making progress on gender balance in the workforce. But there is still a long way to go to create an industry in which women have equal access to opportunity and positive outcomes.

  • 20% of Executive Committees are now women (from 11% in 2003)
  • 23% of Corporate Boards are now women (from 11% in 2003)

The UK performs only to the average. Leaving it behind Thailand, Nigeria and Columbia. Work clearly needs to be done.

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Boosting gender equality in the workplace

1. Create a gender equality strategy

Include a gender equality statement in your company's diversity policy, have a named executive responsible for diversity and looking at the impact.

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.

Gender diversity should be given 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).

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.

By linking remuneration with results, there's a clear incentive for companies to get this right.

5. Create a Gender Equality Charter

By creating a charter, you recognise the issue in a public way 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 own 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 who is 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 an intention to ensure the pay of their senior executive team is linked to delivery against internal targets on gender diversity.

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Want to learn more about Equality & Compliance?

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