Today is International Women’s Day

This week in our City AM article, Peter Alderson, White Oak UK Managing Director focuses on how the financial services industry is working to improve diversity and equality.

Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), perhaps an odd subject for me to comment on you might say, but given recent high-profile movements such as #TimesUp and #MeToo, this year’s event carries perhaps more importance than ever before.

The finance industry is one that has always been traditionally dominated by men, but the turning point came in 2015, with a government review of the representation of women in senior managerial roles within the sector. As a result, the ‘Women in Finance Charter‘ was launched. With many high-profile companies signed up, it asks financial services firms to commit to implementing 4 key industry actions to help improve diversity and equality.

Another industry initiative paving the way is the Leasing Foundation ‘Future Leaders’ programme, offering a real advantage to our industry and something we have supported for several years.

It is however, just one small part of a broader mission to develop the business finance industry. Their Diversity and Inclusion initiative is also helping businesses to understand the commercial advantages of a more diverse workforce. Through research, training and development, it’s driving greater knowledge and is an important framework to support increased diversity in financial services.

There’s no doubt that with their help, we are starting to influence a welcome change in the dynamics of the industry, with a view to both nurturing diversity and attracting the next generation of finance leaders

There is however, still much work to do on ensuring wholesale adoption, and this is clearly reflected in the IWD’s 2018 theme, #PressforProgress. Hiring the right person into the right role, regardless of gender is something that all businesses should have as front of mind moving forward.

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