The Women in Finance Summit UK – unrelenting on gender inclusion

The upcoming summit promises actionable advice on improving senior female representation

Female representation in the UK’s financial services industry has improved, where women made up 43% of the workforce in 2019. Yet, their ongoing underrepresentation in decision-making roles means there’s more work to be done.

Gender diversity, yes, but what about inclusion?

When looking at the number of women in the highest level roles within financial services organisations, we see they only account for 33% of all board positions in the UK’s FTSE 100 companies. In comparison, they make up just 20% of executive committee members in major financial services firms.

But these aren’t the only problematic figures; only 15% of finance directors in the UK are women, less than one in five hold C-suite positions, while only 12% are CFOs globally.

If firms fail to address the lack of women in decision-making roles in financial services, they are engaging in diversity instead of genuine and impactful gender inclusion. Meaning, there is a bottleneck of female talent at the lower rungs of organisations who are not being given the support to progress.

How will the Women in Finance Summit UK help?

Presented by DiversityQ, the Women in Finance Summit UK is a platform where women in the UK’s financial services sector can come together, share knowledge, and collaborate on improving the status quo.

Central to the upcoming summit will be exploring four key themes at the intersection of finance, diversity, equity and inclusion, and professional development. These include:

  • Creating a Forward-Thinking Future with Finance
  • Widening Access to Financial Services
  • Progress and Pitfalls for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Financial Services
  • Professional Development at the Top

These themes will help businesses see that the problem of gender inequity in financial services goes beyond numbers. It is about the lack of impact women have on these organisations, which can be remedied by making the industry more attractive to a diverse talent pool – supporting their development into future leaders, and continuing this support when they reach the top.

The opening keynote: ‘Is Finance Racing Forward, or Regressing, with Diversity & Inclusion?’ by Ama Ocansey, UK Head of Diversity & Inclusion at BNP Paribas, will discuss proactive ways to create real inclusion for women in the sector.

Ocansey will explore what progress the industry has made on diversity and inclusion after a few years of public pressure, stimulating real action, and comparing performative allyship and gestures with “genuine investment in diverse representation and inclusion.”

The Women in Finance UK Summit, which will also involve case studies and networking opportunities, will take place on November 3rd. To register, please click here.

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