Gender Equity in Financial Services
The solution to this challenge starts with exploring the opportunities, listening, answering questions candidly, and planning to respond in meaningful ways. Diversity is a competitive advantage. The difficult questions might include:
- What is your annual attrition rate for women and which competitors are you losing women to?
- How can you regularly track competitor demographics and compare these to your workforce?
- How are your products and services received by women in the marketplace?
- What unique efforts are your competitors making to offer more competitive compensation in pursuit of gender equity?
Banking firms, asset management companies, and insurance providers are asking these questions, committing to transforming their workforces, redefining industry and building a better world. The firms that are paying the attention that gender equity deserves, outperform financially and build more meaningful relationships. How can firm’s choose not address the concerns of half of the world’s workforce? The right investment decisions, advice on a sustainable path, and development of the right products come from having a balanced and equal point of view. The value of women’s ideas are equal to that of men, so equal pay is deserved. The solution to closing the pay gap between women and men starts with unbiased listening.
We are moving in the right direction, but have a long way to go. There are more women working in financial services than ever, the industry globally is roughly 40% women and 60% men. The number of women executives in financial services increases each year, but women in middle management and individual contributor level roles have greater pay gaps than of roles fulfilled at the executive level. Changes in state compensation law are helping close the gap by limiting questions on current incentive plans. However, the responsibility of gender equity is on the employer and should be addressed in more proactive, bold and systematic ways. Together, we can build a better world. It starts with unbiased and active listening, finding empathy and then inspiring others to do the right thing.