Helen Green

Promoting women in finance

What is the diversity mix like within your organisation? Is diversity an ongoing initiative or have you reached your ‘quota’ and have therefore let the push for diversity slide into the background as other more pressing issues claim centre stage?

OK, maybe that last scenario is a bit far fetched, not the least because the quest for diversity is the quest to maximise the talent which you have available within your organisation. The natural consequence of that is an increased focus throughout the organisation on training and skills development, not only preparing the leaders of tomorrow but also enhancing business outcomes in areas such as innovation, customer excellence and reputation.

The benefits of diversity to the organisation as a whole is one reason why diversity has increasingly moved up the corporate agenda and it is also an area which has benefited from a number of initiatives in recent years. For example, on 10 November HM Treasury announced that a further 26 firms had signed up to the women in finance initiative, taking the number of employees covered by the charter to over 600,000. Those signing the charter commit to four actions which are designed to boost gender diversity including having one member of the senior executive team who is responsible for gender diversity and inclusion, and linking executive pay to diversity targets.

Commenting on the recent announcement Jayne-Anne Gadhia, CEO of Virgin Money and the government’s Women in Finance Champion said: “I’m delighted to see that 162 companies have now signed up to the Women in Finance Charter. Improving the gender balance of the financial services sector will undoubtedly improve productivity, profitability and outcomes for customers.”