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Attracting new talent ‘low priority’ for Women in Finance charter

paper men and women silhouettesMore than a third of finance firms say they joined the government’s HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter because it is “the right thing to do”.

In a new update on the WFC, signatories say attracting good talent into their firms was one of the lowest motivations for signing up.

Three years on from the launch of the initiative, most firms say being held accountable to promoting gender diversity is driving change, but a third are still unsure of its sustainability.

The government’s review asked firms to identify the main reasons they chose to become signatories of the charter, ranking 10 responses by percentage.

Corporate chartered status to include diversity criteria

The most popular motivators for joining were to accelerate action on diversity (46 per cent), demonstrate leadership (45 per cent), and to support an “industry-wide approach” on gender (42 per cent).

This was followed by 39 per cent believing it to be the right thing to do, ahead of 26 per cent who view it as a wider chance to commit to public reporting and accountability.

Just under a quarter (20 per cent) say they became a signatory to raise awareness of diversity externally, while 21 per cent want to raise awareness internally and 12 per cent wanted to use the WFC to attract good talent.

The government first launched the WFC initiative in March 2016 to improve gender balance in senior management across financial services.

Pensions minister slams fund managers over pay packets and diversity

Under the terms of the WFC, signatories must have one member of their senior executive team responsible for gender diversity and inclusion initiatives.

They also pledge to support diversity by setting internal company goals for greater gender balance and commit to publishing progress publicly.

The Women in Finance Charter now covers more than 800,000 people in the financial services sector. The newest 21  signatories bring the total to over 350 signed up firms.

Alongside the initiative, the Treasury is also looking for finance firms to better encourage women as entrepreneurs, announcing its Investing in Women Code for better access to finance, resources and tools earlier this week.

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