Struggle for equal opportunities still prominent in financial services

Visible Women has carried out a report to examine gender diversity in the UK’s top financial and accounting firms, six years on since the Equality Act (2010).

Their findings show that less than one fifth of senior po Visible Women Logo sitions in the UK’s top 1000 firms are held by women, and that 64% have no women listed as executives, partners or seniors in their company. That means that 668 firms have no females in a position of authority, whilst 97% have five or less.

The  Report comes after Prime Minister Theresa May criticised Britain’s finance industry earlier this month for failing to promote women.

Of the 4,771 executives, partners and seniors, only 903 are female and just 1.5% identify themselves as being women from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. While the top 100 firms performed slightly better in terms of overall representation, 33% of them still have no female board members or partners.

The initiative, Visible Women, run by employment charity Elevation Networks, aims to match women and girls to career opportunities by promoting mentoring, championing role models and creating a network of aspiring and pioneering females.

Barbara Kasumu, CEO of Elevation Networks commented on the findings:

“Our findings suggest that the glass ceiling is still very much evident in the accounting profession. Too few women are making it to the top of the profession, despite almost half of students enrolling with professional UK accounting courses being female.

Accounting firms need to be more intentional with initiatives designed to support women as they progress through the ranks. The profession needs to borrow best practice from other industries as a matter of urgency. The current rate of progress is too slow.”

To discuss the report findings and other issues, Visible Women will be hosting a one-day conference, VW Rising, on 4 November 2016, bringing together industry leaders to celebrate the performances of women and champion their progression in the financial services sector.

For further information and to buy tickets visit the website.

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