Gender diversity for four professional services firms as they sign the Women in Finance Charter

THE IMPORTANCE OF AN ON-GOING BUSINESS PLAN
13th October 2017

Gender diversity for four professional services firms as they sign the Women in Finance Charter

The UK Treasury have announced that Brickendon Consulting, Charterhouse Research, Smith and Williamson and KPMG were among 25 new signatories to the Women in Finance Charter, meaning a total 141 firms have formally pledged to promote gender diversity since the scheme’s launch in March 2016. The new cohort of consultancies joins with Mercer, EY and PwC on the list, while Deloitte remain the only member of the industry’s Big Four not to commit to the industry actions aimed at increasing female representation in business.

The document, which focuses on increasing diversity in the finance industry, commits firms to four key pledges, based on the recommendations of a government-commissioned review by Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Chief Executive of Virgin Money, into the representation of women in senior management in financial services, published in March 2016.

The pledges call for signatories to promote gender diversity by having one member of the firm’s senior executive team who is responsible and accountable for gender diversity and inclusion, setting internal targets for gender diversity in the firm’s senior management, publishing progress annually against these targets in reports on our website, and, most controversially, having an intention to ensure the pay of the senior executive team is linked to delivery against these internal targets on gender diversity.

Interestingly an initial study had found that in financial services, women comprised only 14% of executive committees, lagging behind the global average of 16%.

Improving the pay gap

A PwC study earlier this year claimed the pay gap had since fallen to 34% from 40%, which could illustrate an early impact of the charter.

The firms who sign up to the charter are committed to supporting the progression of women into senior roles in the financial services sector by focusing on the executive pipeline and the mid-tier level, while reporting publicly on progress to that end, having set their own targets to drive change and be held accountable by, as the diversity of the industry was cited as preventing more concrete, uniform targets.

Good to see that the Charter is being taken seriously and working towards a positive change in the financial services industries. With our work impacting many different sectors within their individual finance departments we ensure that all latest movements and legislation is promoted and adhered to. If you would like to know more about the Charter contact Stuart Smith at Watersmiths on 07785 556 450.