PwC have become the latest company to sign the Women in Finance Charter, aiming to improve gender equality amongst the finance industry.
PwC have joined major UK banks such as HSBC, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group. Most recently, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has also signed the voluntary charter.
The Women in Finance Charter has come as a result of the review published by Jayne-Anne Gadhia, CEO of Virgin Money in March. The review found that within the UK financial services, female representation stands at 23 per cent on boards, but only 14 per cent on executive committees.
By signing the charter, organisations pledge to support and encourage more women to apply for senior roles. They will also designate a specific member of their senior executive team to be responsible for gender diversity and inclusion. Companies will also set their own internal targets and publicly report on any progress made.
Kevin Ellis, incoming chairman and senior partner at PwC from 1 July 2016, said, “We are proud to have signed the charter and support the focus and accountability it will bring to help change the gender balance in financial organisations. We are committed to equality in the workplace and see diversity as a business imperative – it leads to better business decisions and creates an environment where everyone can reach their full potential.”
PwC have already made steps to improve gender equality within their company. They were one of the first companies to publicly announce their gender pay gap figures; they also publish their gender and ethnicity targets; and they have scrapped UCAS scores as entry criteria for their graduate roles; and
They have introduced a number of schemes and programmes designed to support gender equality, including unconscious bias training for all their staff and a female sponsorship programme.