Major UK banks pledge to tackle gender imbalance

Lloyds Banks
HSBC, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group and Lloyd’s of London are amongst some of the major banks who have signed a voluntary charter with the aim of hiring more women into senior roles within the finance industry.

The voluntary charter is a recommendation of the review conducted by the chief executive of Virgin Money, Jayne-Anne Gadhia. The report found that within the UK financial services, female representation stands at 23 per cent on boards, but only 14 per cent on executive committees.

Within the charter, companies will pledge to report gender statistics publicly; to set targets internally for gender diversity within senior management; and appoint an executive responsible for gender.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, CEO Virgin Money featured

Speaking of the report, Gadhia said, “The objective of the review was to understand what more could be done to get more women into senior leadership positions.”

“To achieve this, we had an open, transparent and democratic debate, and involved as many firms and individuals as possible to hear all the relevant voices and win broad and widespread support.”

“Too few women get to the top and this is not just about childcare. Women are leaving because the culture isn’t right. It’s very encouraging that a number of major financial services companies have already agreed to implement our recommendations.”

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Harriett Baldwin said, “Achieving gender balance at all levels across financial services firms is a personal priority of mine which is why I asked Jayne-Anne to carry out this incredibly important review into women in finance in the Productivity Plan.”

“Financial services can lead the way as the sector with the highest pay in the UK and the widest gender pay gap. The widespread adoption of the review’s recommendations will help make a genuine difference to gender diversity in financial services. This is just one part of the government’s broader ambition to tackle gender inequality in the workplace.”

This news comes as the Women’s Equality Party have stated that they ‘are the party to end the gender pay gap’.

Sophie Walker, leader of WE, said, “We’ve heard time and again that other parties are concerned, and want to tackle this, but it will take time. WE disagree. WE will act now, and WE will act decisively, forcing employees to publish pay data and making flexible working the norm. More than 45 years after the Equal Pay Act was passed, the existence of a 20% gender pay gap is just beyond a joke.”

Download the full report here

About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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