"Many of the things that the Charter asks for are standards that we have had in place for some time, so it made perfect sense to sign up to it formally."
Connect for Intermediaries is the latest firm to sign the Women in Finance Charter.
The Charter commits to support the progression of women into senior roles and asks financial services firms to commit to implement four key industry actions:
• Having one member of the senior executive team who is responsible and accountable for gender diversity and inclusion;
• Setting internal targets for gender diversity in senior management;
• Publishing progress annually against these targets;
• Having an intention to ensure the pay of the senior executive team is linked to delivery against these internal targets on gender diversity.
53% of Connect’s staff and 33% of its management team are women, including founder and CEO Liz Syms.
Connect says it is proactive in mentoring its female staff and helping them to grow into more senior roles. It also aims to motivate more women into sales roles and men into case management roles where appropriate.
Liz Syms said: “I fundamentally believe in what the Charter is trying to achieve. Many of the things that the Charter asks for are standards that we have had in place for some time, so it made perfect sense to sign up to it formally. Increasing the number of senior women in the mortgage market is incredibly important, not only because it is the right thing to do but also to reflect the borrowers that we see every day.”
Women in Finance Champion, Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia, added: “I’m delighted to see the Charter continue to grow. It’s the businesses that address their culture and understand the power of diversity that really succeed. The top quarter of businesses on gender diversity are 21% more likely to have above-average profits than the bottom quarter. So, this is not just the right thing to do socially, it’s the right thing to do for business.”