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Women in Finance

In March 2016, Jayne Anne Gadhia, CEO of Virgin Money led a review into the representation of women in senior leadership roles in the finance industry on behalf of HM Treasury.

 

Gadhia’s report found that:

  • The pay gap between men and women is worse in financial services than in any other sector, with a woman earning 60p for every £1 that a man earns.
  • Women made up 23% of boards at City firms but only 14% of executive committees.
  • Just 6% of CEOs in the financial services sector are women.

In response to this, HM Treasury launched the ‘Women in Finance’ Charter. This is a pledge for gender balance across financial services – we became a signatory in July 2016.

 

The Charter

  • It commits firms to supporting the progression of women into senior roles in the financial services sector by focusing on the executive pipeline and the mid-tier level.

 

The Brightstar Pledge

We aim to promote gender diversity by:

  • Having one member of our senior executive team who is responsible and accountable for gender diversity and inclusion (Clare Jupp)
  • Setting internal targets for gender diversity in our senior management (listed on website and reported annually)
  • Publishing progress annually against these targets in reports on our website (produced each year)
  • Having an intention to ensure the pay of the senior executive team is linked to delivery against these internal targets on gender diversity (on Strategic Plan)Deliver our ‘Women into Management Programme’
  • Deliver ‘Women in Finance Workshops’ for staff
  • Continue to provide a ‘Dynamic Working’ approach to recruitment and staff retention

 

Click here to view the WIF Annual Report 2018

Click here to view the WIF Annual Report 2019

Click here to view the WIF Annual Report 2020

Click here to view the WIF Annual Report 2021

 

Targets

  • Board 25% (currently 25%)
  • Executive Committee 22% (currently 25%)
  • Senior Management 40% (currently 60%)
  • Combined Management 44% (currently 46%)
  • Admin Team Leaders / Sales Captains 50% (currently 50%)

The Brightstar Women in Finance Workshop - 18th January 2018

As part of its commitment to the Women in Finance Charter, the women of Brightstar joined together in a Women in Finance workshop.  Brightstar is one of the original signatories of HM Treasury’s ‘Women in Finance Charter’ and is committed to the wider cause of improving opportunities for women to progress in financial services as well as ensuring that women within the business have the right support, opportunities and confidence to fulfil their potential and career aspirations.

 

The aims of the event were as follows:

  • To raise awareness about the issue of Women in Finance
  • To raise awareness about the issue of Women in Finance Charter, Brightstar’s commitment to this and our progress against the published targets
  • To assemble women to share journeys, experiences and thoughts, thus providing appreciation of female colleagues as well as gaining knowledge, ideas and inspiration from them
  • To seek opinion on the experiences of being a woman in financial services and then discuss experiences, issues and thoughts surrounding this issue
  • To address issues raised from a confidential questionnaire and provide the necessary training and input on these issues
  • To discuss career aspirations and goals with colleagues, offering support and experience wherever possible

The event was preceded by the completion of a confidential questionnaire by all women within the business; the results of which were shared at the session and discussed at length. Up for debate were issues such as ‘Do you feel being a woman holds you back in financial services?” and ‘What perceptions do you feel your male colleagues hold of women in the business?’ The discussions and sharing of experiences was illuminating, with a great deal of debate around the issue of confidence and whether/why this is an issue for women working in this sector.

 

Prior to the workshop our women also completed an online self-esteem assessment, aimed at measuring their confidence levels. Although simple, the results were actually fascinating and seemingly accurate and there was much enthusiasm to share these.

 

This was a hugely successful event for us and it clear that the work that we have done within the business to ensure gender parity and safeguard equal opportunity has resulted in our women feeling valued, encouraged and confident to try new things and aim high. Equally, our men display positive attitudes towards women, this being helped by the fact that no role is gender specific at Brightstar; from PA to Director, administrator to Divisional Manager: all of these roles are performed by both men and women within the business.

 

This workshop provided opportunities for colleagues to share, listen and present and also provided opportunities for all women to develop skills and gain ideas as well as developing personal confidence levels.

 

Women in Finance event in conjunction with Virgin Money

In partnership with Virgin Money and HM Treasury, Brightstar was delighted to host a Women in Finance event, aimed at building awareness of the Women in Finance Charter and to persuade non-signatories of the Charter to ‘sign up’ and make the pledge for gender balance across Financial Services.

 

Attended by colleagues from across the sector as well as Chole Templeton from HM Treasury and representatives from Virgin Money, this hugely successful event took place at Virgin Money in London and included presentations, a lunch and an extensive Q and A session. Networking opportunities were also available after the lunch, where questions, stories and experiences were shared and compared.

 

Brightstar was honoured to work with Virgin Money on this event who have been the absolute thought leaders on this issue. Indeed, it was Virgin Money CEO, Jayne-Anne Gadhia who led a review into women in the finance industry on behalf of HM Treasury. Her report found that:

 

  • The pay gap between men and women was worse in Financial Services than in any other sector, with a woman earning 60p for every £1 that a man earns.
  • Women made up 23% of Boards at City firms and only 14% of Executive Committees.
  • Just 6% of CEOs in the Financial Services sector were women.

 

In response to this, HM Treasury launched the Women in Finance Charter http://ow.ly/UssE30hVqYd

 

Over 200 firms have now signed the Charter and over 650,000 employees in the UK are covered by its plan to tackle gender inequality in financial services.

 

The keynote speaker for the event was Emily Cox, Director of Public Affairs, Virgin Money. Emily led the team responsible for the famous ‘Gadhia Review’ and is the co-author of the HM Treasury report ‘Empowering Productivity: ‘Harnessing the Talents of Women in Financial Services’ which was published in March 2016. All of this led to the launch of the Women in Finance Charter. Emily continues to work closely with HM Treasury to encourage Financial Services firms to sign up to HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter. Emily also contributes towards Virgin Money’s ambition to achieve gender balance across the business by 2020 and was most deservedly named Woman of the Year at the inaugural Women in Finance Awards last year.