Earlier this month, the FCA published a research note into ‘Gender Diversity in UK Financial Services’.
Using its own data, the regulator looked at how gender diversity has developed at senior level, noting that financial services is an industry that has been highly scrutinised for gender diversity – often finding itself in the spotlight over the issue.
The finding showed that, across financial services women make up just 17% of senior roles – a percentage that has remained low since 2005.
It also indicated that there is generally greater diversity in larger firms than smaller ones. From a sample of major institutions, there was shown to be a significant variation in the percentage of senior managers, ranging from 3 to 40%.
The FCA’s research also noted that “the share of female senior managers is highest for investment management institutions and lowest for institutional brokerages in the sample.”
It is worth remembering, however, that the current data covers a relatively small portion of the UK financial services sector.
The push for increased diversity across the sector is driven by the desire for firms represent the diversity of the consumers they serve. Arguably, firms are better placed to represent a diverse society better when they themselves are diverse.
What this research indicates is that diversity and inclusion remains a key supervisory concern for the FCA. It is something firms should be considering for themselves ahead of the implementation of SM&CR on 9th December 2019.
Click here to read the research note in full.