Led by industry and supported by the Government of Ireland, Ireland’s Women in Finance Charter underpins the financial services industry’s ambition to see increased participation of women at all levels, including junior, middle and senior management, leadership and board roles within financial services organisations based in Ireland.
The Charter, guidance note and templates were developed by industry to assist firms foster and harness the talent and experience of all women in financial services, which is crucial in developing a strong pipeline of talent. This will lead to greater diversity of thought, experience, and leadership styles in decision-making processes, for the economic benefit of the business and the wider community as a whole.
Why the need for a Women in Finance Charter?
Gender equality, diversity, and inclusion are at the heart of progressive societies and there is much research available which documents the benefits. While significant progress has been made, the reality is that gender gaps remain, including in financial services.
While female representation in the general population of financial services firms tends to be equally balanced, significant differences emerge in the progression to more senior levels. A Central Bank demographic analysis on Pre-Approval Controlled Function (PCF) roles within Regulated Firms published in March 2022 reports that from a low base, female applicants for PCF roles accounted for 31% of the total applicants in 2021 (up from 16% in 2012). Across the financial services sector the pronounced gender imbalance for board level applications is showing progress, with female applications for these positions increasing from 22% in 2020 to 28% in 2021. Females continue to be underrepresented in revenue generating roles such as CEOs and head of business lines, of which 84% of roles were held by men as of December 2021 (no change on 2020).
Fostering and harnessing the talent and experience of all women in financial services is crucial in developing a strong pipeline of talent. This will lead to greater diversity of thought, experience, and leadership styles in decision-making processes, for the economic benefit of the business and the wider community as a whole.
What are organisations committing to under the Charter?
As a signatory, organisations will be committing to:
- Taking Action
- Making a visible commitment to the advancement of women through the various management and board levels in order to achieve a greater gender balanced and inclusive working environment.
- Setting and communicating stretch targets for the short and long term, recognising that each firm varies significantly in terms of business model and starting point on gender balance.
- Underpinning these commitments via a clearly documented action plan for gender balance and inclusivity.
- Leadership & Accountability
- Leadership and accountability for progress against this charter resides with the CEO and senior leadership team or a designated member of the team. Targets and action plans will be integrated into our organisation’s goals and business priorities, which will also take account of any gender diversity legislation.
- Measuring & Communicating Progress
- Measuring, monitoring and publicly communicating on an annual basis on progress against the targets set, so that transparency and accountability on progress in driving change is evident.
BPFI along with the three other trade associations (Financial Services Ireland (FSI), Irish Funds and Insurance Ireland) will act as firms’ main point of contact. We will guide firms on how to become a Charter signatory. If you have any questions on how to sign up to the Charter, please contact us or your relevant trade association. Where an interested firm is not a member of one of the four trade associations, please contact any one of the four trade associations at the email addresses below and they will facilitate your firm through the Charter sign-up process.
Engaged and funded by the Charter’s industry partners, the ESRI will collect and collate data from signatory firms to produce an annual report. All data will be held on the ESRI secure data platform. All data will be anonymised except where a firm provides express permission for certain data/case studies to be used.
The Charter will be overseen by a Steering Group comprised of public sector officials and industry professionals. The Steering Group will also provide guidance and direction for the Charter.
How can firms sign up?
- Download Ireland’s Women in Finance Charter and send your firm’s signed Charter by email to your relevant trade association (listed below).
- Firms will receive an acknowledgement email which will include an ESRI link to an online version of the Baseline Data Template –
Note: This template must be completed to become a Charter signatory.
- Once a firm submits their baseline data template to the ESRI, they will be issued an email confirming them as Charter signatories. They will be provided with an Ireland’s Women in Finance Charter signatory logo.
- Firms will be required to complete the Annual Reporting Template early in each new year.
Note: Please note the website PDF version of the data templates contain all questions (branching) but the online versions are more streamlined, as firms will be guided to only answer the relevant questions applicable to the data inputs.
Note: Firms will be given clear deadlines to submit the required data and if, following contact, the deadlines are not adhered to, after a certain period of time they may be removed as signatories to the Charter.
Who to contact
- BPFI – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Financial Services Ireland (FSI) – email@example.com
- Irish Funds – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Insurance Ireland – email@example.com
- Ireland’s Women in Finance Charter
- Ireland’s Women in Finance Guidance Note
- Ireland Women in Finance Baseline Data Template
- Ireland’s Women in Finance Annual Reporting Template
- List of Signatories