by Tracy Fletcher  

“I was one of over 250 people from the across the Charters signatory network who joined the session live online on July 7th. In addition to presenting highlights of the Review, we heard from John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury and Amanda Blanc, Group CEO of Aviva and the Government Women in Finance Champion amongst other Charter Signatories.

Here are the highlights of the review, focusing on the impact of the Charter since 2016.

The statistics speak for themselves. Companies that have embraced the Charter and are recruiting/retaining top female talent are seeing tangible improvements to their bottom line.”

“Being a Charter signatory has given us a focal point, a milestone to aim for and to make a conscious effort to achieve…” 

“The Charter has helped us leverage senior management interest over a sustained period.”

“We have embedded the four pillars into everyday working and our culture. Ultimately we would hope not to have to have targets.”


1. A step change in senior female representation: 

There has been a significant step forward in the proportion of women on both boards and executive committees (“Excos”) over the past five years across all financial services sectors. Excos have increased from 14% in 2016 to 22% on average today, while boards have increased from 23% to 32%. The increase for excos is nearly 60%, for boards it is nearly 40%.

2. Signatories surpass their peers: 

For the 100 Charter signatories in the sample, average representation on both boards and excos is much higher than the average for non-signatories – more than 50% higher for excos and 40% for boards.

3. Driving sustainable change: 

Of the respondents to the 2021 Signatories’ Survey, 56% said the Charter had driven permanent sustainable change in their organisations, and 63% said the same for the industry. Of those that said it was too early to tell, most anticipated change would become sustainable in the next five years.

4. Advancing the gender agenda: 

Nearly all signatories surveyed (97%) said their agenda to improve female representation had advanced over the past five years (fig.14), and only a fifth (21%) believed they would have advanced to the same degree without being a Charter signatory.

5. Normalising diversity targets: 

Targets have been the most impactful of the four Charter principles and have overhauled how companies approach improving diversity. Despite having the flexibility to choose their own targets, more than 60% of signatories have a target of at least 33%women in senior management, and nearly 40% have a target of at least 40%.

6. Benefitting from the link to pay: 

Although signatories have found linking diversity targets to pay the most challenging of the four Charter principles and it has taken time to get to grips with the mechanisms, half (49%) are now finding the link to pay effective in driving change.

7. Accountable at the top table: 

The role of the accountable executive has evolved from awareness raising and speaker engagements in the early days to actively holding leadership and managers to account for delivering improvements. Two thirds of signatories (64%) have appointed accountable executives to other diversity areas, particularly ethnicity.

8. Shy about publishing progress: 

Making a public annual update against targets is the only one of the four Charter principles that has not shown clear improvement over the five year period. In the most recent round of reporting, a third of signatories failed to publish an update at all.

9. Rolling out the Charter framework:

The Charter has made a huge impact far beyond its original remit – 70% of signatories are applying the principles to other diversity areas, and the Charter has been emulated in other sectors, in other countries and across multiple diversity strands.

10. The road ahead: 

The big wins for the Charter have been building a wide signatory base and ensuring gender diversity is a top level agenda item. At the current rate of increase, our sample would on average reach a target of parity on excos in 2033 and boards in 2029. The Charter has an important role to play in maintaining signatories’ focus in the years to come.


In 2015, the UK government commissioned Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia to lead a review of women in senior management across UK financial services. The review team published their findings in March 2016 in the report Empowering Productivity: Harnessing the talents of women in financial services.

In support of the Gadhia review’s recommendations, the UK government launched the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter in March 2016. Firms of all shapes and sizes across financial services have signed up, with headquarters in the UK, USA, Europe and Asia. Firms sign the Charter on a voluntary basis and set their own targets.

The four Charter principles 

In becoming a Charter signatory, firms pledge to promote gender diversity by:

  • Having one member of the senior executive team who is responsible and accountable for gender diversity and inclusion.
  • Setting internal targets for gender diversity in senior management.
  • Publishing progress annually against these targets on a page on the company’s website dedicated to their Charter commitment.
  • Having an intention to ensure the pay of the senior executive team is linked to delivery against these internal targets on gender diversity.

International versions of the Charter launched in Belgium in 2019 and in 2021 in Norway, and discussions are underway in Ireland, France, Japan, Brazil and Mexico.

At launch, the Charter had fewer than 10 signatories, now it has in excess of 400, covering nearly a million employees in the UK Finance sector.


Campbell & Fletcher Recruitment are extremely proud to have signed and committed to actions to support the Women in Finance Charter. As an all-female company, closing the gender diversity gap is of high importance to us. As such, we have set out a number of internal and external targets to play our part in this movement.

As a company we are passionate about supporting women to fulfil their potential in the work place and in addition to our commitment to the Women in Finance Charter, we are proud supporters of SmartWorks, a charity which assists women from a range of different backgrounds and age groups back into employment by providing one-to-one interview coaching and interview-appropriate clothing and accessories, with our own Managing Director Tracy Fletcher who is a Trustee of SmartWorks Leeds, where she also coaches.

Tracy would be pleased to discuss either the Women in Finance Charter or the challenge in creating a more diverse workforce with any companies who are interested. Please contact her here or give us a call on 0161 932 1722 to arrange a time.