In a perfect financial services world, what might gender equality look like? We asked – but what did people tell us?

by | Mar 8, 2024

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As part of our celebrations for International Women’s Day today and our reflections on the state of gender diversity in financial services, women across the sector have been sharing their thoughts with us on what ‘perfect’ might look like.

Of course, in reality there is no such thing as a perfect world, but we couldn’t resist asking the question! What did people tell us? Well, it’s not about numbers or quotas – it’s all down to the getting the right people for the right jobs at the end of the day. See below.

Rose St Louis is a Protection Director for Lloyds Banking Group is quite clear that it should be about each individual’ s talent, knowledge and skills and not gender or any other factor as she comments: “In a perfect world gender diversity is not a ‘thing’, conference organisers don’t need to think about whether there are enough women on a panel or about a balance of keynote speakers. No one should have to spend time thinking whether agendas are attractive to one gender over another. It’s a world where parental leave is taken by both men and women equally with the same return to work opportunities, and where women are recognised for their expertise and excellence in their field of work. That should be the point of recognition. The woman should be a trailblazer because of her professionalism, not because of her gender – that shouldn’t even come into it.”

Laura Grenier, director of operations at WHEB Asset Management said: “Equality of opportunity and working environments that support and encourage women to bring their whole selves to work, reflected in an even balance of genders at all levels of seniority and roles.”

 
 

Romany Youell, financial adviser at NeedingAdvice.co.uk, was also sure that fairness to all is the only way forward as she comments: “Gender diversity, to me, is an equal and fair representation of people of all genders – including men, women, transgender and non-binary individuals, on all levels of the organisational hierarchy.”

“It’s about making sure that people of all genders are given equal workplace opportunities at all levels. This ensures that women and men are hired at a similar and consistent rate, are paid equally, and are given the same opportunities.”

Completing the set of people agreeing that when it comes down to it, what really matters is someone’s capability to do the job and no other factor, Sandhuni Correa, management accountant at WHEB Asset Management said: “In a perfectly diverse world, in any organization there would be a gender distribution consistent with the gender distribution in wider society. The underlying principle would be to have the best people appointed to roles, regardless of gender, ethnicity, age or sexual orientation.”

 
 

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