This week, Money Marketing is celebrating International Women’s Day with an all-female cast of contributors in our print edition. Last Friday marked International Women’s Day 2019, with this year’s theme, #BalanceforBetter, aiming to build a gender-balanced world where everyone has their part to play.
While men will inevitably appear where, for example, they are the subject of the news story, for this week’s edition, where the editorial team has had a choice of commentator, analyst or expert, we have called on women – which is why we have taken over this page from your regular editor Justin Cash.
A day marking social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, International Women’s Day has been occurring for well over a century. This year’s campaign has focused on gaining a gender balance for economies and communities to thrive. This is something the financial services industry still needs to play a bigger part in.
Back in 2016, FCA data showed that just 13 per cent of financial advisers were female. More recent data, and personal experience, gives no clear indication that this has changed significantly since.
But steps in the right direction are being taken. The Women in Finance Charter, a commitment between the Treasury and signatory firms to build a “more balanced and fair industry”, now has 300 companies signed up, committing to producing a workforce which is good for customers, profitability and workplace culture.
The charter requires firms to recognise the diversity of the sector and have different starting points, so each company can set its own targets and implement the right strategy for their organisation. But while financial services often talks about wanting diversity and change, for true diversity to happen we need to stop seeing women as the minority or token members of a panel to even things out. Women represent 51 per cent of the UK’s population. In order to gain true diversity and balance, we need to be welcoming people from all societal backgrounds, of all races and skin shades, factoring in disability and other differences, into our industry.
Elsewhere, we cover another landmark, devoting our cover story to the 30th anniversary of the Sipp.
The past few years have seen Sipps come under the spotlight across the media. It has become difficult to escape the radio advertising asking if you have been “missold” one.
Starting on page 6, we take a trip down memory lane and look back at the history of the product and its role in retirement planning.
Much has changed in those 30 years. Planners were looking to this week’s Spring Statement for a more stable approach from the chancellor. For the highlights from Wednesday’s speech, see page 18.
Charlotte Richards is investment editor of Money Marketing