Executive search and interim firm HW Global Talent Partner has just been named in an HM Treasury list of financial services leaders signed up to its Women in Finance Charter. It is one of the latest 36 companies the government has approved to join the Charter, which aims to achieve gender balance at all levels across the sector. The Charter commits firms to supporting the progression of women into senior roles in financial services by focusing on the executive pipeline and the mid-tier level.
HW Global Talent Partner has pledged to commit to four industry actions to promote gender diversity:
• having one member of our senior executive team (Founding Director John Wakeford) responsible and accountable for gender diversity and inclusion
• headline target to maintain 30 per cent of women in senior management by September 2022 and supporting targets – maintain our offering of flexible working and promotion opportunities available for all members of staff
• publishing progress annually against these targets in reports on our website
• having an intention to ensure the pay of the senior executive team is linked to delivery against these internal targets on gender diversity.
“Diversity has been a constant focus across all the Chair/NED searches we have conducted on behalf of clients over the last two years,” said Pascale Gara, head of HW Global’s Chair & NED practice. “Half of all our candidates who were successful during that time have been female.”
The Women in Finance Charter was launched by HM Treasury following recommendations in a review by Jayne-Anne Gadhia, former CEO of Virgin Money, on the representation of women in senior managerial roles in financial services. Her report ‘Empowering Productivity: Harnessing the talents of women in financial services’, which focused on the talent pipeline at the executive population below board level, was published in March 2016. It found women made up only 14 per cent of executive committees in the financial services sector.
There are now 330 firms across financial services signed up to the commitments of the Charter – from global banks to credit unions, the largest insurance companies to the smallest fintech start-ups – with headquarters in the UK, USA, Europe and Asia. This means more than 800,000 employees in the UK are now covered by the Charter.
HW Global Talent Partner already boasts successful retention rates, with 11 out of 14 female employees having remained with the firm for more than two years and half for more than five years.
Founding partner John Wakeford, head of HW Global’s Financial Services practice, said: “Although we are a small organisation, we are making a pledge for gender balance across financial services.
“We became a Charter signatory to raise awareness of the diversity agenda and to drive an industry wide approach,” he continues. “We are promoting and maintaining focus on gender diversity at the highest levels, not only within our organisation, but also in the searches and shortlists that we provide our clients with.
“We would like to see this help towards creating a permanent sustainable change across the financial services industry and other industry sectors that we work within too.”