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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.
As an all-female company, and proud members of the Women in Finance Charter, the whole team at Campbell & Fletcher Recruitment are keen to see the closing of the gender diversity gap. We are not an all-female team by design, in simple terms when we needed to, we employed the best candidates available, regardless of gender, which is surely the best move for any business.
The gender pay gap has been an ongoing topic for some decades, and much work has been done to address this since the radical political change of the Equal Pay Act of 1970. Unfortunately, 50 years on, gender inequality is still evident across all industry sectors in the United Kingdom; there are advances being made but it appears to be a long journey until we see parity.

Where does the finance and banking sector stand when it comes to gender equality?
Amazingly the mean gender pay gap across all industries in the UK is still some 10 percent, however in the banking and finance sectors this pay divide is in excess of 20 percent. More disturbing is the spread and inequality at executive and board level; only 15% of all board members in finance and banking are female, with a pay gap for individuals taking home in excess of £1 million per year of over 90 percent. Many will claim this is as a result of men being more proficient in finance, however statistics show that companies with a greater number of females in senior management are more successful.
There are obviously some companies who have made concerted efforts to address this inequality. For far too long equality and addressing the challenges associated with it have been seen as a female issue and thus theirs to resolve. We believe it is vital that male leaders in banking and finance feel comfortable in discussing gender equality and resolve bias and issues arising with all their employees.

Jobs for the boys?
Finance and the banking sectors have long been associated with a culture for the Alpha-Male. Women were and sometimes are still dissuaded from entering a career in finance and banking out of fear of fitting in, often alongside an employers’ subconscious bias towards employing the male stereotype of their perfect employee.  Company culture building and team events have historically been built around the male domain. We believe it is vital that employers are careful at time of hire that the language and image they portray is not seen to encourage or discourage female applications; where possible the hiring panel should always include a female, a reassurance that there is a place in the company for females.
At Campbell & Fletcher Recruitment we have always worked with a large percentage of women looking to return to the workplace after time away; often having taken a break to bring up children or for maternity. There are many challenges for a woman looking to return to work, least not childcare. A Woman in Finance Treasury Committee report highlighted that flexible working is seen as a ‘female way of working and can shunt career growth’ – with the recent COVID-19 pandemic we believe that this viewpoint will change. We know that from the working mothers we have placed, that they have the ability to generate the same quality of work remotely around their childcare requirements.
“I leave the office at 5.30pm every day. I don’t apologise for it, but I get a lot of looks when I go. Oddly no one is looking when I go back online after the kids go to bed and I go back to work.” Anonymous
How does having staff more qualified benefit you?
So how does having more female managers and executives benefit the company?
It is believed that having a gender gap in leadership makes a difference when it comes to a banks’ stability; those with a higher share of (female) board members retained capital buffers, a lower proportion of nonperforming loans and greater resistance to stress.
There are four possible reasons for this:

  • Having more women on boards contributes to a diversity of thoughts and thus better decisions;
  • Women may be better at addressing risk factors;
  • Despite an inequality of gender hiring practices this does result in the fact that those women who make it to the top are far better qualified and experienced that their male counterparts;
  • Those institutions who do have a higher proportion of women in top positions may be better managed from the top down.

The finance and banking sector must accept that the problem of gender equality and gender pay gaps goes well beyond ‘C-Suite’ level. We believe we need to see a major change in the sectors; fostering industries that welcomes, supports and values a woman’s expertise, encouraging their promotion.
Campbell & Fletcher Recruitments founder Tracy Fletcher commented;
“I had 2 female mentors in my time working for HSBC. They taught me to be true to myself and not be apologetic for having ambition and wanting what was and still is to a certain extent a ‘boys’ job.
I believe it’s OK to be a woman, it’s OK to approach problems with a woman’s perspective – the whole point of having a diverse workplace is to have different views. I firmly believe in encouraging those women around me to fulfil their potential. I still have a mentor and I am honoured to be able to mentor for someone else”
As a sector we must reach out to women and look to invest in their potential. Part of Campbell & Fletchers commitment to the Women in Finance Charter is that we understand there is a huge diversity within the sector and companies have different starting points in addressing gender inequality. We work with companies to set targets and find the right talent recruitment strategy to meet these every day.

Campbell & Fletcher Recruitment work across the United Kingdom sourcing the highest equality talent in the banking and financial services industries.
We are pleased to announce that as of 1st June 2020 Campbell & Fletcher Recruitment are moving to new offices in the heart of the vibrant Spinningfields district of Manchester City Centre. With an award-winning architectural cityscape, Spinningfield sits at the heart of the city’s financial and commercial centre and is home to many of Manchesters most popular cultural and dining experiences.

Our new address is:
Campbell & Fletcher Recruitment, 10th Floor, 3 Hardeman Street, Manchester. M3 3HF
If any of our customers require any existing signed terms to be updated with our new address details then please let us know; there is however no legal obligation as it is a business as usual change.
We look forward to welcoming you to our new offices once some form of ’normality returns’.
Campbell & Fletcher Recruitment work across the United Kingdom sourcing the highest equality talent in the banking and financial services industries.
We have always known that successful remote workers go about their day very differently than those who work in office settings. Over the last 3 weeks the majority of us are having this enforced on us because of the current challenges the world is facing and it has brought its own difficulties both for employees and management teams. We have realised a vastly different managerial style is needed. Now it has been confirmed that we are facing further weeks of lockdown we thought it would be useful to share our thoughts and recommendations on how best to make it work.
Clear Communication
Firstly, it is important for all managers to have clear well-structured communication strategy, especially at the current time. Keep communicating – even if you have very little to say. Your staff will be looking for reassurance, part of our job is to remain positive and try to keep a sense of perspective on what this means to us now and in the future – try to remove any negative discussion albeit don’t gloss over genuine concerns. For some staff you might need to do this more often than with others. Don’t just use email, keep it personal, use SMS, WhatsApp, make a call or organise a video chat.

We recommend that you share goals and expectations. It is good for your team to see the bigger picture and understand the role they play in it at present and most importantly in the future.
There are many Virtual Meeting tools around and we suggest you make use of these. Do not ask each and every person for a minute by minute breakdown of their day. Try to make sure these are interactive, try to capture the spirit of the office, and most importantly keep it positive, proactive and limit the time. Use leading questions to get engagement such as “Are there opportunities for us being created by this situation?” – you might be surprised with the input from your team who have lots of thinking time on their hands.
We love our “Daily Morning Shout Out”, our ten minute virtual meeting held at the same time every morning, where every team member briefly answers four questions:
“What did I achieve yesterday?”
“What will I do today?”
“What is stopping me achieving this?”
And most importantly…   “How am I feeling?”
Avoid Micromanagement
Overcoming an urge to micromanage can be hard for a manager at the best of times. You have to trust your employees – even if you can’t see what they are doing doesn’t mean they are not actually doing it.
Be clear in what you are expecting from them whilst they are forced to work from home. Set clear and well understood objectives and ideal outcomes and deadline and then most importantly let your staff do their jobs. It is your job as a manager to set the expectations, then it your staff’s choice about how best to accomplish their tasks.
It’s Home Working not 24/7
Do not expect your staff to be available 24/7. Avoid sending them emails, texts or messages outside of the standard office hours in doing so you communicate a message that you expect them to reply immediately – respect their private life. The likelihood is that your team will already spend far more productive time working than they manage in the office, there are simply less distractions.

Our Top Five Tips to help your staff and your management of them:

  1. Use the right technology – Often remote teams end up in shambles because there is no clear overview of tasks. Continually asking your staff to update you disrupts their tasks. Using project management apps (examples: Trello or Asana) that allow team members to see exactly where projects stand and what tasks need to be done can also be an invaluable tool for remote team management. Ensure you and your team have the right software and hardware to do their job.
  2. Get the right working environment – Avoid working from the sofa. Where possible create a workspace area for which you can shut the door on at the end of the day. Treat your working day like a ‘working day’, no Pyjamas; get ready for work like any ‘normal’ day.
  3. Celebrate the wins – no matter how small. Share with them all the progress the team are making in these challenging times, remind them that our competitors are in the same boat – celebrate every success and avoid dropping into survival mode.
  4. Put down that phone – Encourage your staff and yourself to have digital detox at the weekends; when you and your staff are rested and refreshed you are all more productive.
  5. Share A Smile – Remote working can bring its own challenges with isolation. It is important that as a manager you ensure that your staff maintain a sense of purpose in being a valuable part of the company. We have organised Virtual Happy Hour Drinks every Friday since lockdown with all our team; it brings a bit of banter and lots of laughs.

As a leader, managing a remote team might be an entirely new experience, but it need not be a painful one. Keep track of your staff and check they have the tools to do their jobs and then trust them to do it. You will have doubts, especially with the uncertainty at the moment – this is a sign you care that you a doing a good job and you care about your team. It shows you are mindful of the adjustments you are having to make to your own leadership style as well as to how you manage your team in the forthcoming weeks and months.
Being a leader is never easy but remember we are #InItTogether.

Campbell & Fletcher Recruitment work across the United Kingdom sourcing the highest equality talent in the banking and financial services industries.
We are pleased to present our 2020 Financial Services Industry recruitment report.
The last 12 months have been unprecedented, with Brexit, the not completely expected General Election and currently unprecedented challenge that is the Coronavirus.
In a challenging world it is more important than ever to attract the very best calibre of people; those who are aligned to your values and vice versa.
Hopefully our survey will give you the same food for thought as it has team at Campbell & Fletcher Recruitment.
To access the report simply click the image below – we look forward to your feedback

Campbell & Fletcher Recruitment work across the United Kingdom sourcing the highest equality talent in the banking and financial services industries.
We have pulled the following list of tips which might help minimise disruption for your business. With an every changing situation, although currently it’s very unlikely that businesses will need to close their workplace, but we believe you should have a plan ready in case you need to action this.
Have you got a Business Continuity plan – and if yes have you tested it.

  • Create a team to devise and oversee the plan; with the situation changing almost daily they need to be empowered to make some tough decisions.
  • Assess the risks across the business, especially to your revenue streams.
  • Prepare and plan for different scenarios.
  • Check your business insurance and supplier contracts. Can you claim for losses incurred by business interruption? Or can you reduce your direct supplier costs?
  • Update your employee’s emergency contact details.
  • Review your key suppliers and have an alternative ready.
  • Think about your key customers, make sure they know you have a business continuity plan.

Keep everyone Informed and show them you care

  • Each member of your staff is different, with different responsibilities away from work, show them you care and consult with them. Be clear that you don’t expect your employees to come into work if they are ill or need to self-isolate.
  • Have a clear and transparent sick pay policy, and listen to any staff concerns.
  • Check which employees have children or elderly caring responsibilities. Can they work from home, or can you cover their roles? You need to maintain your business operations after all.
  • Promote regular hand washing for employees and visitors, with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Encourage social distancing i.e. stop shaking hands; check working space distances.
  • Put all your staff into different categories. i.e.
    • Staff who perform business critical time sensitive functions which must be undertaken on site
    • Staff who perform business critical time sensitive functions which can be done from home etc…

Plan to work short and/or home working

  • Get your Senior Managers to look at how they can carry on with a limited workforce, focus on the business-critical tasks, and use this period to cross train employees just in case.
  • Identify which roles can be performed from home; consider what you need to arm your staff with to help them prepare for this (laptops/printers).
  • Can home workers access the company systems, and are the IT security issues?
  • Run a test. Can everyone communicate easily? Is additional training needed to use new technology/systems?
The situation is obviously changing daily and some of the information covered above may change. It might be worth checking on the links below which may also help.
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus
Campbell & Fletcher Recruitment work across the United Kingdom sourcing the highest equality talent in the banking and financial services industries.