IMPACT Newsletter: March 2023

Spring is here…finally! We’ve had a good couple of events in March; Eliza, one of our Senior Associates was invited to speak on the panel at the Guild Event: Achieving Social Mobility in the Financial Services Sector and we also hosted an Industry Leaders’ Roundtable at COYA for our Heads of Consultant Relations clients.

We are always planning our next events in the background and are open to any suggestions of topics that you would like to see covered.

I hope you all enjoy the Easter break when it comes.

Articles from March

How do asset managers avoid ‘genderwashing’?

The global wealth concentrated in women’s hands is expected to reach $97trn by 2024. Last year it already represented 32% of global wealth.

The asset management industry, motivated by shifting attitudes as well as the clear business opportunities, is responding to the growing number of female investors by offering more products focused on gender equality.

Read More

The three women tackling the gender finance gap

Negative stereotypes about womens’ attitude to money are causing women to fall behind financially, the co-founder of a financial education platform has said. Anna-Sophie Hartvigsen told FTAdviser there are many reasons why women are less well-off than men, most of which she cannot change. “But [what] we do not talk about enough is the fact that women do not manage their money to the same extent men do,” she said. Anna-Sophie co-founded Female Invest with Emma Bitz and Camilla Clotta Falkenberg in 2017, aiming to close the gender investment gap. The company operates a subscription-based platform which focuses on education around investing and money management.

Read More or visit the Female Invest Website they have some excellent content!

Quilter and Schroders hit senior female representation targets early

Quilter and Schroders have both hit their targets for female representation in senior management roles ahead of schedule. The Women in Finance Annual Review, published by the Treasury today (16 March), reported that charter signatories bounced back in 2022. Average female representation in senior management reached 35% after a flat 2021. Quilter and Schroders are among the 35 signatories that hit their targets early. Quilter said 40% of its board are women and 20% are ethnically diverse. As at 1 March 2023, 39% of the firm’s senior management team are women.

Read More

The Women in Finance Charter Annual Review 2022 has been published

The Women in Finance Annual Review 2022 offers a unique insight into what Charter signatory firms – from across financial services – are doing to boost the proportion of women in senior leadership. It is great to see some headway being made.

Highlights of the review…

Meeting targets: A third (34%) of the 235 signatories analysed in this review have met their targets for female representation in senior management, and a further 47% that have targets with future deadlines said they are on track to meet them.

Bounce back from 2021: After a plateau in progress in 2021 (when the average level of female representation remained flat at 33%), signatories have recovered lost ground, reaching an average of 35% in 2022.

Leaders breaking through 40%: For the first time, the top quarter of firms (52) signed up to the Charter that conduct regulated financial activities have achieved at least 40% female representation in senior management. But the gap between the top and bottom quartile is getting wider and is clearly split along sector lines – with building societies and UK banks at the top and global/ investment banks and asset managers at the bottom.

Fewer misses in 2022: Of the 73 signatories with a 2022 deadline, 44 hit their targets and the remaining 29 missed, down from 31 in 2021. Of the 29 that missed, 22 were close – either within five percentage points or five appointments of hitting their target.

Data and hybrid core to actions: The 2022 reporting shows a significant shift in how signatories are using data to monitor actions undertaken to pursue targets and to understand their impact, particularly hybrid working. Post-pandemic, 91% of signatories are exploring some form of hybrid working, and more of them are on the lookout for potential negative impacts on women.

Rapid expansion of diversity data: Signatories are extending diversity data collection, with 80% capturing additional diversity data about their female senior managers, up from 53% in 2020. Ethnicity, sexual orientation, and disability are the most commonly collected datapoints. However, most firms are at the early stages of analysing this expanded dataset.

Accountable at the top table: Accountability is sitting at the highest levels of seniority, with almost all (98%) accountable executives (AE) sitting on the executive committee. AEs are taking an increasingly strategic approach, and their role is expanding by adding diversity strands and/or new topic areas, such as gender pay gap reporting and flexible working.

Linking to pay: 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 D&I teams.

Strong ambition on targets: Half of signatories (50%) have set a target of at least 40%, corresponding with HM Treasury’s desire for alignment with the FTSE Women Leaders review, including one in six with a target of parity.  Average targets rose across all signatory sectors and sizes.

Publishing updates: Publishing progress is the only Charter principle that has not consistently improved over the years. While 77% of signatories posted an online update on their progress by the required deadline, only 36% included the required details, and the quality and format of reporting varied significantly.

You can download a copy of the review here.

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