HM Treasury has published the result of its 2019 review of the Women in Finance Charter. It analyses data received from 187 firms and reviews their progress against their Charter commitments.

The Women in Finance Charter was launched by the UK government in March 2016 as a HM Treasury initiative to encourage the financial services industry to improve gender balance at senior management level and has since grown to include over 370 firms.

Highlights of the review include:

  • Greater insight into gender diversity in financial services: this is the third annual review to date. The data acquired since 2017 has facilitated a greater understanding of how firms are executing their Charter commitments and the areas for improvement and continued focus.
  • Definition of ‘senior management’: the Charter allows firms to choose how they define the senior management population to which the Charter applies. A clear consensus was reported on who firms were including in their senior management population. The size of this population was noted as varying significantly, even among firms of a similar size. 
  • Female representation in senior management is rising, albeit at a slow pace: approximately three-quarters of firms have either increased or maintained the proportion of women in senior management during the year. Based on the average across the group, female representation in firms at senior management level has increased by 1% each year since 2017 and is still quite a way below parity at 32% of senior management.
  • Targets: the Charter allows firms to choose their own targets based on their specific strategy for improving gender diversity. Approximately 60% of firms have set themselves ambitious targets to increase their proportion of women in senior management to 33% or more. One-third of these firms have met or exceeded their target and 48% have said that they are on track to meet their target.
  • Main drivers of change: while similar to those identified in previous years (e.g. having diverse shortlists, promoting flexible working), a notable shift has been reported in how firms are using the data they collect on these drivers to embed diversity into their business and drive accountability. 
  • Transparency: while firms have improved in their compliance with publishing updates on their progress, the quality and the format of these updates varied significantly.


HM Treasury initiatives support female entrepreneurs
HM Treasury has launched an 'Investing in Women' code to promote female entrepreneurship among organisations that offer finance. 

External link                                                                              

HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter Annual Review 2019