PIMFA signs Women in Finance Charter

October 5, 2017 | ProfessionalAdviser

The Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association (PIMFA) today signed the Treasury's Women in Finance Charter.

 

At the professional body's 2017 Women in Wealth forum on 4 October, PIMFA chief executive Liz Field announced the charter would be signed that afternoon.

The Women in Finance Charter is a government initiative designed to improve equality within the financial sector. It is intended to highlight that a balanced workforce is good for "business, customers, profitability and workplace culture, and is increasingly attractive for investors".

The charter sets out three principles, the first of which is a commitment from firms to support the progression of women into senior roles in the financial services sector by focusing on the executive pipeline and the mid-tier level. 

It also recognises the diversity of the sector and that businesses would have different starting points, suggesting each firm should, therefore, set its own targets and implement an appropriate strategy for its own organisation.

Finally, the charter requires firms to publicly report on progress to deliver against these internal targets to support the transparency and accountability that is needed to drive change.

PIMFA joined a list of 141 organisations, as of July 2017, which includes more than 70 of the world's largest investment, insurance and banking firms including Barclays, Lloyds of London, Schroders and the London Stock Exchange Group.

Field said: "We need to ‘up' the conversation on diversity in the sector. Diversity has proven benefits and we intend to lead the way in emphasising this through our signing of the charter."

Practical Assistance

She added: "We will also continue to provide practical assistance to firms in developing the equality conversation with events such as today's forum.

"The Women in Wealth forum offers a valuable opportunity for all those across our industry to provide inspiration, hear from experts and share knowledge and experiences."

In October last year, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) also pledged to increase gender diversity within its own senior management. It set itself a target of 45% of its senior leadership team to be women by 2020 and said it aimed for this to reach 50% by 2025, on a team consisting of 95 members.

At the time, data from executive search firm DHR International revealed just 7% of CEOs at UK-regulated financial services firms were female. Based on FCA data, the firm found in 2015 just 195 out of 2,626 CEOs in financial services were female, proportionately the same as in 2013, when 157 CEOs out of 2,234 were female.

PIMFA was created in June, through a merger between the Association of Professional Financial Advisers (APFA) and the Wealth Management Association (WMA). Field was appointed from her role as WMA chief executive. In September it was announced former APFA chair Lord Deben had replaced the WMA's Tim Ingram as chairman when he stepped down from the role in June.