"The Charter does not name and shame businesses on the basis of their targets and, just by signing up to it you are showing commitment to greater diversity."
The Women in Finance Charter is a commitment by HM Treasury and signatory firms to work together to build a more balanced and fair industry.
Firms that sign up to this Charter are signalling their intent to reflect the government’s aspiration to see gender balance at all levels across financial services firms.
By signing up to the Women in Finance Charter, an organisation pledges to promote gender diversity by:
• having one member of its senior executive team who is responsible and accountable for gender diversity and inclusion;
• setting internal targets for gender diversity in its senior management;
• publishing progress annually against these targets in reports on its website; and
• having an intention to ensure the pay of the senior executive team is linked to delivery against these internal targets on gender diversity.
These commitments might seem daunting, but in my opinion, it is the actions and direction of your business that are the most important consideration.
Achieving representative diversity is a marathon, not a sprint, and the emphasis is on the actions and thinking practises required to keep things moving in the direction of your target.
By signing up to the Charter you are committing to a journey to take your business towards greater equality and reviewing your progress along this journey. The Charter does not name and shame businesses on the basis of their targets and, just by signing up to it you are showing commitment to greater diversity.
It’s fair to say that any forward-thinking business should aspire to greater diversity, and not just on gender. It says something about your organisation and that you are committed to improving representation. This does not mean filling roles for the sake of it but having the right people in the right roles and strategies in place to advance the skillset of people for those roles. Ultimately this can benefit everyone within the organisation and the business itself.
At Brightstar, we have found that the Women in Finance Charter is good for workplace culture and can encourage change in how you approach decision making, which can be beneficial for the business. The use of the logo in recruitment can also encourage more women into the industry strengthening the resource pool.
And ultimately, greater diversity in the boardroom can have a positive influence on bottom line profit, according to research by Credit Suisse, so even if you don’t buy into the other arguments, that’s a pretty compelling reason for your business to sign up to the Charter.
At Brightstar, we signed up to the Women in Finance Charter three years ago and we are doing much better in terms of diversity than when we joined. But we’re not perfect – we don’t have enough female advisers and we don’t have enough females at executive level.
However, it doesn’t matter that we are not perfect because we are better than we were, and we are on a journey.
Your company could join that journey at www.womeninfinance.org.uk.