There has been a significant improvement in the proportion of women on the board of listed financial companies in Britain over the last five years since the government initiated an initiative to improve gender balance in the sector. A report shows proportion of women on boards of financial companies increased to about one third among the top 200 financial firms.
Think tank New Financial said in a review of the impact of the government efforts that the proportion of women on the board at the companies had risen to 32 per cent from 23 per cent since the launch of the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter in March 2016.
The report further added that representation of women on executive committees had increased from 14 per cent to 22 per cent over the same period. If the current rate of change is sustained, the proportion of men and women in the boardroom would reach parity by 2029 and on executive committees by 2033.
“While female representation is moving in the right direction, there is still a long way to go,” said Yasmine Chinwala, partner at New Financial and co-author of the report. “If the industry is to maintain the pace of change in the next half decade, it will have to take on the tougher challenges,” Chinwala added.
One of the major challenges that can impede the rate of women participation in the company boards and executive committees is the requirement for building up a pipeline of female talent. Other challenges include ensure accountability is spread right across an organization as well as for development of more women in roles and positions that generate revenues.
According to Amanda Blanc, chief executive at British insurer Aviva, it is important for the British financial industry to move “from talk to action” and “from working in isolation to working together” over the next five years to achieve men-women parity on company boards. She said that the British financial industry needs to “move from a narrow perception of gender diversity to encompass women from every walk of life and every part of society”.
(Adapted from EconomicTimes.com)