IN an effort to create a “gender balance in financial organisations”, Big Four firm PwC has signed up to HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter.
The Women in Finance Charter asks financial services firms to commit to implement four key industry actions.
All businesses that have signed the charter have pledged to:
- Support the progression of women into senior roles in the financial services sector by focusing on the executive pipeline and the mid-tier level
- Recognise the diversity of the sector and that firms will have different starting points – each firm should therefore set its own targets and implement the right strategy for their organisation
- Publicly report on progress to deliver against these internal targets to support the transparency and accountability needed to drive change
In its announcement, PwC emphasised that it has already taken “bold steps to ignite change in its own business”, including becoming one of the first firms to publicly report its gender pay gap. Its outgoing chairman Ian Powell is a keen advocate of increasing the number of female partners at the firm.
The Big Four firm has also set and published gender and ethnicity targets, has scrapped UCAS scores as entry criteria for graduate roles and has launched a number of equality programmes, including its Back to Business programme, female sponsorship programme, reverse mentoring and its ‘Open Mind’ unconscious bias training for all of PwC staff.
Last week, PwC promoted a record 61 equity partners, with nearly 30% of the new partners female appointments.
Kevin Ellis, incoming chairman and senior partner at PwC, said: “We are proud to have signed the charter and support the focus and accountability it will bring to help change the gender balance in financial organisations.
“We are committed to equality in the workplace and see diversity as a business imperative – it leads to better business decisions and creates an environment where everyone can reach their full potential,” continued Ellis, who in May revealed his new UK executive board.
In its 2015 annual report, PwC noted that its gender pay gap (15.3%) is four points lower than the national average (19.1%).
Earlier this week, Powell and David Sproul, CEO and senior partner of Deloitte joined a number of accountants in signing a 1,200-strong letter from the Remain campaign urging people to vote ‘in’ for the EU Referendum.
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