Women still make up less than a quarter of senior promotions within financial services businesses.
Of the 5,815 senior level promotions and hires that took place in the financial services sector in the last year, just 1,365 were women, or 24 per cent, based on FCA data.
Despite some progress being made over the previous year, when women represented just 21 per cent of new senior positions, gender parity, even in promotions, appears to be a long way off.
In fact, male board directors at FTSE 350 financial services firms earned 66 per cent more than women on those boards last year – £689,550 for male directors, compared to an average of £235,075 for women, according to the data by employment law firm Fox & Partners.
The firm told City A.M. that improving gender diversity within senior levels of financial services firms will require significant cultural changes to create a far bigger pool of potential female leaders.
Catriona Watt, Partner at Fox & Partners said: “Women remain underrepresented at a senior management level but of more concern, amongst new entrants to senior management.”
“The percentage of new senior managers that are women will have to increase dramatically, or it is doubtful that we will reach gender parity at the senior level in this generation.”
“The list of promotions and new hires today are still heavily stacked against women, despite deliberate action to achieve diversity by many employers.”Catriona Watt
Watt explained that her firm’s “experience is that being honest about and identifying potential barriers to progression is a challenging but important first step to improve gender diversity.”
“Firms should consider undertaking this exercise alongside further action including setting up and supporting mentoring and championing programmes, and committing to the pledges included in Treasury’s Women in Finance charter,” she added.
“Whilst there are no quick fixes, firms need to demonstrate their commitment to identifying and removing obstacles that may be preventing women from rising to the top.”
“Female leaders are not going to emerge overnight. Companies need to first identify and address barriers and to implement and embed a support structure that allows future female leaders to progress from junior management roles,” Watt concluded.