It has been long debated the effect of gender diversity on business.  A diverse team is proven to develop more innovative ideas and greater creativity due in part to the differing perspectives and life experiences.
According to McKinsey, the most gender diverse companies are 21% more likely to experience higher than average profitability, and in fact further reports shows that in having women as part of the “C” suite board level posts boosts productivity.
Diversity – a signal for an attractive work environment for talent
Numerous studies have shown that employees in pro-diversity regions, such as the United Kingdom and Western Europe prefer a diverse work environment. In fact, the employee reference site Glassdoor found that 67% of job seekers overall look at workforce diversity when evaluating a job offer. Another survey found that 61% of women look at the gender diversity of their possible new employer’s leadership team. In simple terms the research says the most talented individuals go to places that have a stong gender diversity policy in place.
The recent HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter Annual Review 2019 stated that nearly 62% of its signatories increased the proportion of women in senior management during 2019, which equates to an additional 2000 women joining the ranks of senior management.

“We are pleased to report that, for the second year running, we have seen an increase in female representation at senior management level. Our Focus now is to continue to optimise our recruitment, development and retention activities.” – Charles Stanley

Driving change through recruitment
The Women in Finance Charter, which Campbell & Fletcher Recruitment are proud to be members of, allows its signatories to choose their own targets based on their own strategy for improving gender diversity. All 187 signatories reported they were on target to meet their top three targets and continue to improve year-on-year.
We know from working with many companies who are part of the Women in Finance Charter that they are looking at new ideas with regards to recruitment, including ensuring diverse interview panels, complete diversity during the long-list and short-list stages, alongside the use of Blind CV’s and the effective training of management in gender diversity.

“There is no silver bullet, therefore having a robust plan and understanding the compound nature of its component parts has proven essential, as is measuring its impact.” – RBS Group

One of the most innovative approaches is being led by Zurich Insurance who have made all of their vacancies available part-time or as a job-share; many others are also adding an ‘always happy to talk flexible working’ tagline to their adverts. These particularly are targeted towards encouraging women back in the sector after a career break.

“As a banking professional I have experienced first-hand some of the struggles women face trying to advance their careers within Financial Services as well as appreciating the difficulties faced as an employer committed to supporting an equitable diversity strategy. We are ideally placed to support our clients’ individual needs and can offer meaningful and practical advice as to how a company can improve its own performance.” – Tracy Fletcher – Campbell & Fletcher Recruitment

Campbell & Fletcher “Passionate about supporting women to fulfil their career potential”
As part of our own targets for Women In Finance Charter, we are fully committed to closing the diversity gap. We have committed to providing clients with a diverse shortlist of candidates with a target of at least 30% of these applicants to be female, alongside educating both new and old clients about the importance of gender diversity.
In January 2020, we announced that we had chosen SmartWorks as our chosen charity for 2020. SmartWorks assists women from a range of different backgrounds and age groups back into employment by providing tailored interview coaching alongside appropriate clothing and accessories.

Campbell & Fletcher Recruitment work across the United Kingdom sourcing the highest equality talent in the banking and financial services industries. If you would like to discuss developing or progressing a gender diversity recruitment programme then please contact one of our team on 0161 932 1722. 
Information and data used in this article has been sourced from McKinsey, Glassdoor and also the HM Treasury Women in Finance Annual Review 2019
As we start entering the ‘new norm’ of a post-covid world we started to think about how the rest of 2020 and beyond will change the financial services sector.
Firstly let’s take away the implications of Covid-19 as they are really still an unknown quantity and we really would be making ‘best guesses’.
International Payment Transactions – Smaller and Faster
During the start of 2020 we have seen an acceleration in real-time low-value payments across borders at a reduced cost, driven by customer requirements for on-demand payments. This has resulted in a gaining of transaction and scaling up for suppliers of interledger and distributed ledger technologies.
Watch out for a raft of pioneering Cloud-hosted banking technology providers
Many banks are already using banking-as-a-service tech platforms to evolve their cost-to-serve and cost-to-charge offerings. However technology costs with the operation and development of these services continues to climb we fully expect the finance sector to turn to cloud providers to reduce these costs.
Cloud-hosted banking tech providers have already developed new platforms with the latest technology, and are best placed to economically plug into the emerging blockchain networks employed and other areas if FINTECH. We wonder how longer it will be until we reach the tipping point from face-to-face premise banking to agile, cheaper cloud hosted banking.
Creating a Ripple in Mobile App Payments
Again we are seeing consumer purchase payment choices changing as many embrace mobile app as their preferred payment choice. Linking with blockchain technology, mobile apps driven by technology like Ripple are key to achieving this especially in the tourist industry (when it kicks back in) as a UK Tourist visiting the far east could trigger instant cross-border payment from their Sterling Account to a merchants local currency account.
The use of Ripple will also enable SMEs to invoice and receive international payments immediately, in small amounts. This reduces cash flow issues for the more agile SMEs as well as reducing cost-of-business, alongside opening up the potential of new markets.
The Consumers Micro Wallet
The use of micropayments has traditionally been limited to pure payment messenging apps, however as the larger tech companies introduce their own payment services, we can expect many developers rushing to create solutions for in-app, real-time on-demand payment processing.
Will the future be built on Blockchain?
With about 80% of the total of digital asset trading coming from Asia there has always been an appetite for payment innovation. Blockchain,with its ability to make micro-transactions such as loans, payments, remittances – much more efficient and transparent, has been a key factor in this innovation.
There is still an opportunity for continued advances for both consumer and enterprise remittances, there are opportunities for the use of blockchain technology to primarily address issues of liquidity, speed of implementation, and the cost of readily available capital.
So what about the implications of COVID?
The UK’s focus during the COVID-19 outbreak has been in the preservation of jobs and supporting the self-employed. Measures have been implemented to help businesses of all sizes manage the immediate cash flow problems which came with the pandemic.
Many have spoke about a repeat of the 2008 Financial crisis, however this time the banking industry is being seen as an integral part of the solution not the problem. UK regulators have acted quickly to provide easier capital and credit conditions for banks.
The final impact of COVID-19 might not be known for months or years, it will however effect the whole of the UK to differing extents. Oxford Economics estimates that cities such as Cambridge and Bristol may be more resilient due to their larger professional services and digital industries; Only time will tell.
Campbell & Fletcher Recruitment work across the United Kingdom sourcing the highest equality talent in the banking and financial services industries.