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More women in senior financial services management positions in 2022

Written by: Shekina Tuahene
The average female representation in senior management roles across the financial services sector rose to 35% in 2022, an improvement from 33% in both 2021 and 2020.

The Women in Finance Charter showed that the number of women in senior management roles improved last year, with 77% of signatory firms citing a rise in representation. This was up from 71% the year before. 

Only6% of firms said the proportion of women in senior management roles stayed the same when compared to 2021. 

For the first time since the Charter was introduced in 2016, there was a 40% representation of women in senior management roles recorded across the 52 top firms. 

Half of the signatory firms have set targets to have at least 40% of women in senior management positions. Of the 73 firms that set a target for 2022, 44 reached their goal.

Some 29 signatories missed the target, down from the 31 firms that did not reach their aim in 2021. Of the 29 firms who did not meet the target, 22 were within five appointments of fulfilling the goal. 

‘Much to celebrate’

Treasury Lords Minister Baroness Penn said: “There is much to celebrate this year. Signatories have demonstrated their commitment to delivering on this agenda: analysing data to drill into the issue at hand, setting ambitions high, and working to develop and inspire the leaders of tomorrow. It is most encouraging to see that after last year’s stall in progress, our 400+ strong signatory base has brought itself back on track. 

“This report should serve as a marker of strong progress but also a reminder that we shouldn’t be complacent. I want to ensure that the Charter continues to be a tool for keeping the sector competitive, innovative, and productive. 

“This journey is not linear, but together we can keep each other accountable, drive growth and boost innovation in the financial services sector.” 

Amanda Blanc, group CEO at Aviva and government Women in Finance Champion, said the results were encouraging and a 2% improvement was good progress, but more was needed to make a lasting change. 

She added: “The signs are good, and what is hugely encouraging is to see leaders being held accountable for the levels of diversity in their business and that data is finally being allowed to flex its muscles on this issue. 

“A quarter of Charter firms now have 40% of women in senior management and they should be applauded for that. But all of us need to do more to ensure that we finally improve the pace of change to achieve wholesale and permanent acceptance of women in finance.” 

Yasmine Chinwala OBE, partner at New Financial and lead author of the report, said: “Signatories’ progress is clear evidence that the Charter’s principles work. They encourage business to tackle the challenge of increasing female representation just as it would treat any other strategic imperative – with a target, progress reporting and individual accountability, all incentivised by pay. 

“The data shows more signatories are finding the link between diversity targets and pay is making a difference, with 64% reporting that they believe the link to pay has been effective, up from 53% in 2021. Having a link to pay means diversity is increasingly positioned as a business issue, rather than voluntary or owned and led by HR and diversity and inclusion teams, and has been transformative.” 

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