THE GOVERNMENT has called for more fintech firms to sign up to its Women in Finance Charter, as it announced that almost 100 financial services firms have joined the gender equality initiative.
It said on Tuesday that 22 more firms have pledged to improve gender diversity at senior levels by signing up, bringing the total to 93. The full list of signatories includes City heavyweights such as Barclays Bank and Aviva, challenger banks Aldermore and Shawbrook, the trading arm of oil giant BP and the London Stock Exchange Group.
Jayne-Anne Gadhia (pictured), chief executive of Virgin Money, which has also signed up to the Charter, has been appointed as the official Women in Finance champion.
“The government would like to see more fintech firms, payments companies and investment banks sign up to the Charter and Jayne-Anne will play a key role in making this happen,” said the announcement from the Treasury.
“Earlier this year, in a review commissioned by the Treasury, Jayne-Anne Gadhia found that in UK financial services, female representation is currently around 23 per cent on boards, but only 14 per cent on executive committees.”
It is estimated that equalising the role of men and women in the labour market could increase GDP by 10 per cent by 2030.
The Charter makes four key recommendations: linking the remuneration packages of executive teams to gender diversity targets; setting internal targets for gender diversity in senior management; publishing progress reports annually against these targets; and hiring a senior executive responsible for gender diversity and inclusion.
Landbay is currently the only major peer-to-peer lender to have signed up for the scheme.
“While the Charter has predominantly reached larger firms with thousands of employees, at Landbay we felt it was important to commit to gender equality within our business at this relatively early stage of growth,” it said in a 30 September announcement.
A spokesperson from the UK’s oldest P2P platform Zopa told Peer-to-Peer Finance News via email that it does not currently have any plans to sign up to the Charter, although it will review its decision before the next deadline in February 2017.
“We are still a small team and have a very different culture from traditional finance organisations who struggle with retaining female employees,” said the spokesperson.