- Second edition of Oliver Wyman’s Women in Financial Services report finds slow progress for women leaders in financial services
- Mid-career female executives in financial services are more likely to leave their employer than any other industry
- At current progress, female representation at executive committee level set to hit 30 percent in 2048
Globally only one-fifth of Boards and 16 percent of Executive Committees in financial services are comprised of women, according to the Women in Financial Services report by global management consultancy, Oliver Wyman. This is only a slight improvement in both categories since the report was last published in 2014.
The report includes an analysis of 381 financial services organizations in 32 countries, a survey of 850 financial services professionals around the world and interviews of more than 100 senior female and male leaders.
Oliver Wyman notes that at current progress levels, it will take a further 30 years (until 2048) for Executive Committees in the financial services industry globally to achieve 30 percent female representation; the level at which research suggests a minority’s voice comes to be heard in its own right.
Mathieu Vasseux, Partner and Head of Financial Services MEA region, Oliver Wyman, said: “The industry is far from where it should be on gender balance. We hope that this second report will advance the discussion – delving deeper into it, raising awareness and supporting much needed change in the industry. We see increasing attention to this topic at the highest level, for instance in the recent KSA 2030 Vision in Saudi Arabia.”
“Increasing representation of women on Executive Committees in this part of the world is an opportunity, leveraging a broader talent base and improving decision making. Executive Committees’ decisions are both most impactful and visible, making them effective as role models and sponsors – and driving business success,” Vasseux said.
Of additional concern, female executives in financial services are 20-30 percent more likely to leave their employer than their peers in other industries. The data and responses suggest that many women face a mid-career conflict and a less attractive ‘career trade off’ than men – with insufficient flexible working hours and support for family responsibilities, persistent views of shortcoming regarding promotion and equal pay, and unconscious bias.
Astrid Jaekel, Partner and author of the report, said: “Diversity must be seen as a commercial imperative rather than just as part of corporate social responsibility or fairness in the workplace.”
“Gender balance provides access to the full talent pool, better decision making by bringing together different perspectives, better services to customers by better representing them, and a stronger economy. Organisations need to advance women by offering bolder structural solutions to the mid-career conflict outlined in this report, creating the right working arrangements and fostering more profound cultural change,” Jaekel said.
The report also includes a series of shorter articles on:
- Success stories with more women in leadership positions (the public sector)
- How the industry can move forward (a call for action by 30% Club)
- Only 15 percent of CROs are female –four reasons for the low representation:
- Specific aspects of diversity (pay equity, leadership styles)
- Financial inclusion of women (based on a roundtable discussion conducted in collaboration with Women’s World Banking)
Scott McDonald, Oliver Wyman’s President and CEO, concludes the report with his views on progress within Oliver Wyman.