The Women In Finance Charter (WIFC) Blueprint Document released in 2022 was originally focused on gender equity, however it is common belief that the four reinforcing pillars can be used by companies of any size in meeting their whole diversity, equity and inclusion targets.

The blueprint was structured into four reinforcing pillars; Recruitment , Retention & PromotionCulture & Behaviour and Embedding Diversity Equity & Inclusivity.

The blueprint identified that for it was essential to reverse the loss of women in financial services and to do so would require a fundamental shift in the status quo.

Pillar 2 – Retention and Promotion showed that for success company’s would need a transparent gender neutral pay and performance management process, plus also flexible working available in every role. It advised that wrap-around care and support would be required alongside a formal female sponsorship programme and female acceleration pipeline for top talent.

The report showed that females received less pay than males in a similar role, with the gender pay gap in financial services is -25%, the worst performing industry in the UK.

Over 54% of women working in Financial Services believe that their gender is a barrier to career progression. This is not helped with the general findings that performance reviews are gendered biased and that 82% of the surveyed businesses did not audit reviews for bias.

The report also found that women lack exposure to support sponsorship to C-Suite level compared to men, with me 45% more likely to have a support sponsor to help career progression. Of the surveyed signatories only 20% offer sponsorship programmes to senior women in their company’s.


Though not a gender specific challenge, it is hard to balance work and caring commitments. A consequence of Covid-19, is that women have reported adding an additional 5 hours per week on childcare and at same time still take on the majority of household responsibilities. The report suggested that 35% of women employees who worked part-time reported that their working pattern had effected their career path progression.

The blueprint suggests a number of ideas to improve your DE&I employee retention and promotion. For those company’s leading the way in an effective DE&I retention and promotion process these include:

  • Career path coaching tailored for parents
  • On-site or near-site quality childcare
  • Incentivise senior leaders to become role models
  • Active promotion of flexible working options
  • Succession planning for C-Suite, C-Suite -1 and – 2 levels
  • Benefits packages that support women at key life stages
  • Formal sponsorship programme for women at all levels
  • Emerging Women Leaders Acceleration programme
  • Clear career ladder including lateral movement and path to middle management
  • Ensure diverse representation on promotion shortlists
  • Audit performance reviews with regards to bias
  • Monitor and measure DE&I retention and promotion levels


GOLDMAN SACHS have created dedicated on-site facilities for nursing mothers with access to breast-pumping equipment, and on-site healthcare.


The blueprint identified a number of key questions for companies to do a self-assessment of their retention and promotion.

Are parents being fully supported to balance their home and careers?

Are flexible working options available to all and is this being taken up?

Do you have a transparent and equal compensation package?

How are you accelerating talented women?

Is your performance review system allowing for a diverse candidate to succeed?


Firstly if you haven’t read the WIFC Blueprint make sure you get a copy of it, one of our team would be happy to send you across a digital version. The blueprint report helps you identify the key DE&I dimensions, shows ‘best in class’ examples, and provides you with an actionable toolkit to accelerate your journey.