News story

Almost 100 financial services firms step up to tackle workplace inequality as Jayne-Anne Gadhia becomes gender diversity Champion

Women in Finance Charter sees 22 new firms pledge to improve gender diversity at senior levels by signing up.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia
Jayne-Anne Gadhia, CEO of Virgin Money and the government's Women in Finance Champion

The government has appointed Jayne-Anne Gadhia, CEO of Virgin Money, to drive further change as the official Women in Finance Champion.

New signatories include major financial services firms such as Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Jupiter Asset Management, Zurich Insurance, Allied Irish Bank UK, State Street, the Financial Ombudsman Service, and the trading arm of BP.

More information on the Women in Finance Charter, including a list of signatories.

These 22 firms employ over 20,000 people in the UK, bringing the total number of charter signatories to 93.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, said:

It is great news that almost 100 firms have signed the Women in Finance Charter and are now dedicating themselves to tackling gender inequality.

But there is still further to go. The UK leads the world in financial services, but it can be even better. I want to see a diverse sector run by talented women as well as men, to help secure Britain’s place as a globally competitive economy. The business case is obvious, and the best firms already get this.

I urge more businesses to commit to the charter- to commit to building an economy that works for everyone

The Chancellor has appointed Jayne-Anne Gadhia as the government’s official Women in Finance Champion to promote the Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter and the benefits of a diverse workforce across the UK financial services sector. It is estimated that equalising the role of men and women in the labour market could increase GDP by 10% by 2030.

The Chancellor said:

I’m delighted that Jayne-Anne has agreed to become the government’s Women in Finance Champion. Her in-depth knowledge of the industry and excellent reputation makes her the right person to drive forward the change that is needed in the industry.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, CEO of Virgin Money and Women in Finance Champion said:

I am delighted to be appointed the government’s Women in Finance Champion. We need to continue to manage the flow of female talent to leadership positions in financial services so that it properly reflects the diversity of our society.

It is fantastic that 93 firms have now signed up to the Women in Finance Charter. Such widespread support of the charter will make a genuine difference to gender diversity and help to create a fair and balanced financial services sector.

It is important to keep the momentum going and recognise the strong link between greater gender balance and improved productivity and performance.

The government would like to see more FinTech firms, payments companies and investment banks sign up to the charter and Jayne-Anne will play a key role in making this happen. Earlier this year, in a review commissioned by the Treasury, Jayne-Anne Gadhia found that in UK financial services female representation is currently around 23% on boards, but only 14% on executive committees.

Jayne-Anne is speaking for the first time as the government’s Women in Finance Champion at the launch of the Investment and Savings Industry’s ‘Diversity Project’. This is an initiative spearheaded by Helena Morrissey which calls for greater diversity in the investment and savings industry across a range of dimensions including gender, ethnicity, and LGBTI+.

Published 8 November 2016