Finance News

‘Prioritise gender equality’ says City Minister to finance firms

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30th June 2017
"The Charter is simple. It doesn’t tell companies who to hire, or how to run their businesses. But it does ask them to make a real commitment to supporting women"

Financial services sector urged to end the era of women being underpaid, underrepresented and undervalued and sign up to the Women in Finance Charter.

Speaking at the Women in Finance Awards last night, newly-appointed minister for financial services, Stephen Barclay laid out the importance of the four industry actions in the Charter which aim to build the pipeline of female talent for leadership positions.

Barclay said: "The Charter is simple. It doesn’t tell companies who to hire, or how to run their businesses. But it does ask them to make a real commitment to supporting women and their progression to more senior roles. It asks them to set their own targets for what that looks like. To measure their progress in achieving them – and make that progress public. I simply don’t buy the argument of those firms who say they cannot do this.

"The charter does not prevent firms focusing on other aspects of diversity, and if we are to meet the economic and political challenges ahead, we need a meritocracy which promotes diversity across all areas, including LGBT, class, and geography."

The Women in Finance Awards, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, identified and celebrated role models and advocates in financial services.

Winners were chosen by an independent panel of judges. Many of the winners, including the top prizes of the night, went to those from firms signed up to the Charter.

Top winners included Woman of the Year - Emily Cox, Virgin Money; Banker of the Year - Maria Harris, Atom Bank; Advocate of the Year - Andrew Bester, Lloyds Banking Group; Employer of the Year - Columbia Threadneedle; Insurance Leader of the Year - Debbie Cannon, LV= Insurance; and Legal Adviser of the Year - Leigh Kirkpatrick, RBS.

Stephen Barclay added: "For too long many women have been underpaid, underrepresented and undervalued compared to men and it is events like the Women in Finance Awards which rightly shine the spotlight on female excellence and achievement in financial services. I want to congratulate all of the winners and I wish them luck for their future careers."

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