HM Treasury has named Amanda Blanc, chief executive of Aviva, as the new Woman in Finance Champion.
She replaces Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia, who will continue to support the Women in Finance Charter as an advisor.
Blanc’s appointment marks the five year anniversary of the Women in Finance Charter. Since its launch in 2016, 400 signatories have joined the charter, representing 950,000 employees across the financial services sector.
More than 70 per cent of signatories have already met their targets or are on track to meet targets with future deadlines. Where deadlines have been missed, this was primarily due to Covid-related recruitment and promotion freezes.
Read more: Supporting women in finance
In her new role, Blanc will promote the Women in Finance Charter’s aims of helping women progress into senior roles and setting targets for gender diversity.
“This is a huge honour but also a huge responsibility,” said Blanc.
“Ensuring women have as many opportunities as men in financial services is critical. It’s critical for women. It’s critical to the future of UK financial services. And a successful, inclusive, financial services industry is critical to a revitalised UK economy.
“There are still far too many barriers blocking women’s progress in financial services. We’ve got to work quicker and harder. Now is the time for less talk, more action.”
Dame Gadhia added that five years after the Women in Finance Charter was launched, firms must continue to treat gender diversity as a business task and focus on building an inclusive culture.
“I am certain that Amanda will bring fresh ideas and energy to this important task and I wish her well,” she added.
“The Women in Finance Charter isn’t a box ticking exercise – it requires real change to help talented women to reach their potential and drive forward one of our most important and innovative sectors,” said John Glen, economic secretary to the Treasury.
“The last year presented a unique set of challenges and there is still much more to do, so firms must not take their foot off the gas.
“I want to thank Dame Jayne-Anne for inspiring the Charter and encouraging firms representing nearly one million employees to sign up the past five years. I am delighted that Amanda Blanc will now take up the reins and boost our gender diversity agenda in the coming years.”