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Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Harriett Baldwin visiting our headquarters in Kent on 17 May.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Harriett Baldwin visiting our headquarters in Kent on 17 May.

Tina.Freed / 20 May 2016

Why we believe it’s important for employers to sign up to the new Women in Finance Charter

On 22 March, Jayne-Anne Gadhia, CEO of Virgin Money, published a review into the representation of women in senior managerial positions in financial services.

Her report, Empowering Productivity – Harnessing the Talents of Women in Financial Services, and recommendations explore fairness, equality and inclusion for men and women. Like us, Gadhia believes that a balanced workforce at all levels in financial Services will improve culture, behaviours, outcomes, profitability and productivity.

Watch the highlights of Harriett Baldwins visit to E2W:

The UK government also strongly believes the report’s recommendations will be key to driving change in the senior levels of the male-dominated financial services industry. As a result, they have launched a new Women in Finance Charter. The charter asks financial services firms to commit to implementing four key industry actions:

  1. Making one member of their senior executive team responsible and accountable for gender and equality 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 these internal targets on gender diversity.

Gadhia was the first bank chief to sign the charter on behalf of Virgin Money. She was joined by representatives of four of the sector’s largest employers, Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays, HSBC and the Royal Bank of Scotland, all of whom have pledged their commitment to improve gender diversity in their firms.

The first Asset Management firm to sign up was Columbia Threadneedle, and Capital Credit Union led the charge for mutuals. After three months the Treasury will publish a list of all firms who have signed up. Thomson Reuters and E2W were the first non-regulated entities to sign.

Why the Economic Secretary to the Treasury visited E2W

We believe the charter is an important and much-needed step forward in encouraging gender diversity, and were delighted to sign up. And our involvement led to the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Harriett Baldwin visiting our headquarters in Kent on 17 May.

As minister responsible for women in the economy, the Economic Secretary chose to visit E2W thanks to our reputation as a financial services consultancy that helps women manage their financial services careers and connects them with financial institutions who wish to claim the Gender Dividend by retaining them.

The minister also wanted to put across the benefits of remaining in the EU for financial services, and how the vote on the 23 June will define the opportunities available to women and girls for generations to come:

“For me – as the Economic Secretary to the Treasury and as a woman – the economic argument is clear. Remaining in the EU will offer us and our children the opportunities we need to succeed and protect the public services we rely on now and in the future.

A record one million women lead businesses in the UK. Without unrestricted access to the EU and the 500 million customers it contains, the ability of these businesses to flourish now and grow significantly in the future will be put at risk.

If the UK leaves the EU, we will lose our influence. We will have to comply with EU laws without having a say in how they are made. Women know what it is like to be side-lined. We know that to be truly heard you have to have a ‘seat at the table’.”

 

A gender balanced workforce delivers better outcomes

 

Whatever the outcome of the EU referendum Europe, improving opportunities and equality for women, and by association the government’s new charter, remains essential. As Co-founder of E2W, Tina Freed, explains:

“Harnessing women’s experience, knowledge, skills and passion for a career in financial services or supporting females wanting to get back into the industry after a break is not only helping companies collect the gender dividend, but is also reducing risk, increasing performance and improving decision making.

The arguments are clear that having a workforce that is gender balanced gives better outcomes. If you are trying to manage risk, then having a gender balanced, diverse and inclusive team helps you manage it better. The Women in Finance Charter led by Harriett Baldwin has set a challenge to the industry to improve the gender balance.”

Are you ready to sign the charter?

Are you ready to accept the challenge laid down by the Women in Finance Charter? To sign up to the charter and formally commit to implement these recommendations, all companies need to do is complete an online form at www.womeninfinance.org.uk

Full coverage of Harriett Baldwin’s visit to E2W:

 

 

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