I feel hugely passionate about the Women in Finance Charter and gaining more support within the mortgage market. To this end, I have exciting plans for 2018 to build awareness and gain more signatories from across our sector.
To achieve this, Brightstar will be working closely with Virgin Money who have been absolutely key to this whole crusade and the introduction of the charter.
Last week, I was privileged to meet Emily Cox, director of public affairs at Virgin Money. Emily was named Women in Finance Woman of The Year 2017, recognising her as an inspiring leader who has challenged, influenced and revolutionised the culture of Virgin Money and the financial services sector.
On behalf of CEO Jayne Anne Gadhia, Emily led the team responsible for the Women in Finance 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. The report provided insight into the representation of women in senior managerial roles in financial services, making recommendations on how companies can improve the representation of women.
It has been this report that has fuelled the onset of signatories.
Impressed by the work undertaken thus far by Brightstar, Virgin Money will be featuring us as a case study organisation of their new app which is designed to assist organisations in taking actions to improve gender diversity and the career progression of women in financial services.
Virgin Money will also be partnering with Brightstar for an exciting event in 2018 – details to be revealed soon.
It was wonderful to learn that thus far the Women in Finance Charter is viewed as a huge success by HM Treasury, with it gaining further support from prime minister Theresa May and economic secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Barclay.
And Treasury is actively communicating with non-signatories to get them on side, with a current focus on global investment banks, financial technology firms and payment services. Indeed, while there are notable names among the latest signatories, sadly, there are still notable absences.
Whatever the reasons are, this issue is not simply going to fade away.
Diversity should have been tackled some 20 or 30 years ago but as that hasn’t happened, the very best time to do this is right now. Therefore, if you or your organisation hasn’t signed, please may I urge you to take the plunge today and sign the charter.