Government Appoints Women in Finance Champion

Government Appoints Women in Finance Champion

Government appoints Women in Finance champion as it seeks to improve senior management diversity in financial firms

One of the most senior women in the UK financial services industry has been appointed as the Government’s Women in Finance Champion. Jayne-Anne Gadhia, CEO of Challenger bank Virgin Money, will head the Government’s efforts to improve gender diversity in financial services. In October 2015, it was reported that the percentage of women on the boards of the UK’s largest banks had risen to 31%, and in early 2016 it was reported that the equivalent figure for the financial services industry as a whole was now 23%, but the Government wishes to see further progress on this issue.

At the same time as her appointment was announced, it was revealed that the number of organisations who have signed the Women in Finance charter has risen to 93 and that these firms collectively employ more than 20,000 people in the UK. Whilst welcoming the increase, the Government expressed the hope that more investment banks, payment services firms and fintech companies would sign up. Signatories are committed to setting targets for the percentage of the senior management team that are women, and to linking the remuneration of the senior management team to the progress made towards these targets.

The Treasury has claimed that equalising the role of men and women in the labour market as a whole could contribute to a 10% increase in the UK’s Gross Domestic Product by 2030.

Ms Gadhia commented:

“I am delighted to be appointed the government’s Women in Finance Champion. We need to continue to manage the flow of female talent to leadership positions in financial services so that it properly reflects the diversity of our society.

“It is fantastic that 93 firms have now signed up to the Women in Finance Charter. Such widespread support of the charter will make a genuine difference to gender diversity and help to create a fair and balanced financial services sector.

“It is important to keep the momentum going and recognise the strong link between greater gender balance and improved productivity and performance.”

Philip Hammond MP, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said:

“There is still further to go. The UK leads the world in financial services, but it can be even better. I want to see a diverse sector run by talented women as well as men, to help secure Britain’s place as a globally competitive economy. The business case is obvious, and the best firms already get this.”

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