News

The Business Imperative for Gender D&I in Financial Services

Wednesday 27th September 2017

Amid a wave of research showing companies with more women in leadership positions perform better and a rising interest among Alliance members in effective diversity and inclusion practices, the GBA is launching our first ever Working Group on Diversity & Inclusion (D&I).

Set for its first official meeting the week of Oct. 16, the D&I Working Group will explore key dimensions of D&I practices that positively impact women’s representation in the financial services sector. Through ongoing engagement over a period of 12 months, the group will mobilize the extraordinary D&I know-how of GBA members and specialist firms such as Mercer and McKinsey & Co. to explore the link between women as an internal human resources priority and external business strategy implications, and how financial services companies can better implement women’s D&I practices.

Companies whose workforces reflect the makeup of their customer bases are better positioned to generate insights into their consumers’ needs and preferences. GBA’s own research shows a correlation between members’ share of staff who are women and their share of women customers – demonstrating the business case for walking the talk when it comes to gender D&I.

While most leaders in the financial services industry recognize the strategic advantage of gender equity, many institutions are still falling short of fostering a diverse and inclusive environment for women internally. A series of recent studies suggests that current hiring, promotion, and retention rates will be insufficient for creating gender equity by 2025. Currently:

  • Only 35 percent of organizations have a formalized pay equity process;
  • Only 29 percent of organizations routinely review performance ratings by gender to check for disparities;
  • Less than 10 percent of organizations offer retirement, savings and education programs that are customized by gender.

The implications for the financial sector are clear: In order to effectively serve rapidly growing Women’s Markets worldwide and move the needle on gender equity in the workplace, financial service providers must develop robust internal agendas to champion women as employees and leaders.

The D&I Working Group will discuss these critical issues and how to create change around them across nine sessions from October 2017 to October 2018. Please note that this is a members-only group. Any GBA member interested in participating should email hilary.nichols@gbaforwomen.org for more information.