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EY joins PwC in signing Women in Finance charter

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EY has become the second Big Four firm to sign HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter, which looks to promote gender diversity in the financial service industry.

Less than a month after PwC signed the charter, EY is the latest big organisation to pen its signature to the document, which HM Treasury believes will create a “gender balance in financial organisations”.

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

Tara Kengla, an EMEIA financial services partner at EY, said: “As a signatory to the charter, we join arms with other organisations to help build a more balanced industry for the future. We welcome the opportunity to share our own best practice and to learn from others to accelerate gender equity.

“Organisations that live and breathe diversity and inclusion know the positive impact it has on business performance; it delivers competitive advantage. Creating an inclusive environment where everyone can achieve their potential remains firmly front and centre of our business strategy.”

Announcing its signature, EY said it already employs a number of initiatives to help accelerate gender equity in the workplace, including rolling out “inclusive leadership training and enabling flexible working at every level of the organisation”.

Speaking to Accountancy Age, a spokesperson from fellow Big Four firm KPMG said that it has not “formally signed up to the charter, but we are very supportive of its aims.”

Melanie Richards, vice chair at KPMG, added: “We are very supportive of the charter’s call to set targets and publicly monitor and publish progress against these. We ourselves set detailed diversity targets in 2014, and are publishing yearly updates in our annual reports which are available to all on our website. There is no question that having target zones creates a different level of focus for leadership. By measuring the diversity of the business, we can improve our understanding of cause and effect, and apportion responsibility to management to drive change.”

In the aftermath of Brexit, PwC last week said that progress made towards greater female representation on company boards must continue in the face of uncertainty created by the EU referendum.

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