It’s 2022 and we should be operating in a time where there is equality in terms of opportunity, pay and treatment for both men and women in the financial services. But to our disappointment, there still remains a problem with gender bias. Our white paper – The Gender Gap: Change Starts With Bravery – explores the challenges facing financial services, the desire for change and the actions required to close the gap once and for all.
We believe there are 7 key areas that must change within financial services to help close the gender gap and achieve gender equality and diversity. These are our calls to action for firms in financial services and what we are doing at Simplify Consulting to be a part of that change.
1 – Gender Neutrality
We can encourage gender-inclusive language, gender equality and challenge gender stereotyping and using gender neutral language in job adverts and descriptions.
2 – Education & Career Advice
Companies should be initiating partnerships with local schools, colleges and universities to assist with workshops, mentoring and coaching programmes to raise awareness of financial services and offer employability advice.
3 – Flexible Working Policies
Flexible working policies need to be expanded to include carer responsibilities, dealing with the menopause and shared parental leave.
4 – Normalising Menopause
Education and support should be available to both men and women, equipping them to feel the support themselves or to support others at work or in their families.
5 – Recruitment
Rather than holding financial services firms accountable to quotas, firms should be asked to demonstrate that their HR processes such as recruitment, promotions, and flexible working requests, are fair and proper to consciously recruit diversity.
6 – Mentoring
- Mentoring and coaching needs to be available at all levels of seniority
- Awareness should be raised around Imposter Syndrome and embracing ‘female qualities’
- Mentoring and coaching programmes should specifically look at bravery and confidence
- Practical advice and support should equip people to apply for promotions and ask for pay rises
7 – Male Allies
- Raise awareness with men on the impacts that gender bias has on both education and career paths for young girls and women
- Encourage men to call out gender bias behaviour and be advocates for gender equality
Click here to read our full white paper for more detail on our recommendations to close the gender gap.