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.