Women still receive 28% less pay than men and account for only 17% of those approved by the FCA – generally speaking, the most senior people in financial services.
The Women in Finance Charter is making a difference – 62% of signatories have seen an improvement in female representation in senior management. But, even among those signatories, women represent less than a third of senior management.
Fewer than 1 in 10 management roles in financial services are held by black, Asian or minority ethnic people.
The Parker Review reported that there were only 80 directors of colour in the FTSE250 – 5% of the total. And where there are directors of colour they tend to be concentrated in a small number of firms and few hold the positions of CEO or Chair.
FCA’s Financial Lives research shows black, Asian and minority ethnic adults are disproportionately represented among the growing number of vulnerable consumers – and so at greater risk of financial harm.
It also showed that women are less likely than men to have the savings needed to weather financial hardship and their employment tends to be more precarious. During the pandemic, the unpaid burden borne by women has increased, with women reporting they are doing 64% more housework than men and that their childcare responsibilities have doubled.
The Fawcett Society has shown the impact of the pandemic to be particularly acute for ethnic minority women. They are more worried about debt and less likely than white men or women to be able to make ends meet. Ethnic minority women are working more – both paid and unpaid – and are more anxious about work.
A recent LGBT Great study showed that 80% of HR leaders surveyed believe that collecting diversity data should be a firm priority in 2021, yet only 20% believe that they are good at it. Further 30% of organisations in their study said they analyse their diversity data on intersectional identities, i.e., taking account of people’s overlapping identities.
According to a reporrt from the Social Mobility Commission schools have long been viewed as the engine for social mobility but we find that gaps between the poorest students and the others are prevalent at all stages in the education system. Once in the workplace the inequality continues. The better off are still 80 per cent more likely to make it into professional jobs than those from working class backgrounds. We continue to see that those with the least skills are the least likely to get training – further a person is 17 times more likely to be a lawyer if their parents are and only 12% of chief executives are from working class origins.