Finance is known for gender imbalance. Men take the majority of top management roles. In fact, the 2021 Within Reach report from Deloitte concluded that women occupy only 24% of executive roles in finance.
Now, officials are looking for ways to break this long-standing tendency. Recently, in the 2015 Women in Finance Charter, Treasury made a promise to fix gender inequality. As of now, 330 financial firms have come out to support the pledge by setting goals to boost women’s involvement in key decision-making.
Amongst the entities aiming to reinstate the gender balance is 100 Women in Finance. The organization outlined an approach financial firms must follow – a thirty-forty ratio, where at least 30% of the team must be women by 2040.
It is crucial to raise the representation of women in finance. But to get where we want to be, it’s vital to follow several key rules.
School is the starting point
Women wishing to get into finance face their first challenges in school. Young girls are suffering from a lack of support when they try to take on activities that are deemed male.
Acing the school program is excellent, yet we must encourage girls to develop strength and confidence outside the class and be ready to be in a room fully occupied by men.
One of the key things that sometimes goes unnoticed is the importance of mentorship. Nourishing connections with people from the industry that went through a similar experience is one of the keys to success. They know how to grow in an environment with gender imbalance and can provide helpful tips.
The Covid-19 pandemic was a difficult time for people in finance. During these uneasy times, mentorship from women holding top management roles provided a safe environment for exchanging experiences and a sense of unity that many strived to have during isolation.
Having time for a career break
We know that fewer than one in five women who recently gave birth return to the office during the first 36 months of maternity leave. Thus, it is crucial to have a career break for women, both recent mothers and those without children, with the option to return to the same position they held before the break.
Not every woman seeks a break, but we shouldn’t ignore those who intend to do so.
To feel accepted and safe, choosing a company with values aligned with your life mottos is vital. After all, if you do otherwise, you might feel pressured and undervalued, leading to a tumble in your self-development. A good firm will accept and understand you, nourish your talent, and ensure you do your best.
Country’s policies also play a major role in tackling gender inequality. Companies must be ready to protect women’s rights, enhance female representation and create a diverse team. Only after that we will achieve a corporate culture that answers the calls of time.