By: Pramod Thomas
A recent survey examining a Treasury-supported initiative has found that financial services firms have made progress in increasing the percentage of women in senior management positions to 35 per cent after two years of stagnation, the Times reported.
The best-performing companies among the over 400 signatories to the voluntary Women in Finance charter had women in over 40 per cent of their top management roles.
Notably, the top performers included companies such as Virgin Money, American Express, and PensionBee.
However, the review noted that the gap between the best and worst-performing companies was increasing.
The review by New Financial consultancy examined the performance of 235 companies, with 34 per cent meeting their targets and 47 per cent on track to achieve them.
As many as 29 companies missed their targets last year, with firms such as KPMG, Nomura International, and Grant Thornton recording the lowest targets of 21.8 per cent and 25 per cent, the Times report said. The average management team size was 438 people.
Although progress has been made, with the percentage of women in top management increasing by 2 percentage points, the report noted that achieving parity would be challenging given the current average representation of 35 per cent.
Aviva’s CEO, Amanda Blanc, expressed satisfaction with the progress made in increasing the percentage of women in senior management from 33 per cent to 35 per cent between 2021 and 2022.
However, she expressed concern about the growing disparity in performance between leading and lagging signatories to the Women in Finance charter.
Blanc told the Times that while the percentage of women represented at the highest levels had increased by two percentage points this year, the gap between top-performing companies like NatWest and Bupa, and those falling short, was worrying.
The review further said that the actual levels of representation ranged from 11 per cent to 64 per cent, with global banks having the lowest average representation at 28 per cent and the lowest average target at 31 per cent.
The report pointed out that achieving parity from the current average representation of 35 per cent will be challenging.