The Treasury has released statistics showing over 400 businesses are now signed up for the Women in Finance Charter, which aims to break down barriers for women to be promoted at finance firms.
For the first time, over 400 firms now part of the scheme mean that 1m employees are working for firms now signed up to the Women in Finance Charter.
Firms pledge to support the progression of women into senior roles in financial services, set internal targets to improve diversity and publicly report on progress.
The Charter was established in 2016, and reflects the government’s aspiration to enhance gender equality at all levels across financial services firms.
The annual review published on 23 June, found that 78% of firms are already meeting or are on track to meet their targets to see more women in the boardroom – up 5% on last year – and almost half of firms have committed to have 40% of their boardroom made up of women.
John Glen, economic secretary to the Treasury, said: “Diverse representation and gender equality in the financial services sector is good for business, good for investors and reduces barriers to growth and enterprise.
“I welcome this year’s progress, but setting targets is just one part of the process – I am today calling on firms to double-down on their commitments and continue to deliver greater gender-equality in the workplace.”
Amanda Blanc, women in finance champion, said: “I am concerned to see progress stagnating. Frankly, up to now there has been too much tinkering at the edges and not enough fundamental change.
“Be in no doubt, major change in this area is tough – but it’s crucial we get it right. There are some glimmers of hope with more ambitious targets being set and met. But for the sake of women, companies and society, we’ve got to work quicker and harder.”
The average level of female representation in senior management within the industry has remained flat at 33% in 2021 compared to 2022. Two-thirds of signatories either increased or maintained their proportion of women in senior management.