BPFI welcomes report showing substantial progress in increasing proportion of women in senior roles in financial services firms
Financial services firms operating in Ireland made substantial progress at increasing the proportion of women in senior roles last year, according to the first annual report on the Women in Finance charter, which has been compiled by the ESRI. The Charter, of which BPFI is an industry partner, is an initiative that seeks to improve female representation in financial services firms operating in Ireland.
Signatories to the Charter commit to setting targets for increased female representation. 56 companies that span a wide range of financial services and employ almost 45,000 people (representing 2 in every 5 employees in the sector), signed up in 2022.
The annual report outlines the substantial progress that signatories have made towards increased gender balance in 2022. Among the signatories, female representation, on boards increased to 37pc, up from 32pc the prior year. On executive committees, the figure increased to 35pc, up from 32pc the prior year.
The most commonly identified barrier to improving gender balance was firms having a low number of female applicants. Almost two-thirds (63pc) identified this as among the main barriers. Low turnover in senior management was identified among the main barriers by 56pc.
In interviews, signatories highlighted the importance of senior management ownership of equality objectives, and provided examples of effective initiatives including mentoring programmes and wider information gathering and employee consultation.
Firms reported they were motivated to sign the Charter because of the benefits of public accountability and being part of a wider movement for promoting change. Positive employee perceptions, and involvement in similar initiatives in other countries, were among the other reasons that prompted sign-ups.
For more information, and to register interest in signing the Charter, firms can visit: https://www.betterbalance.ie/partners/