Women in business should be supported across all sectors

Women in business should be supported across all sectors

The Association of Accounting Technicians believes that extending the ‘Women in Finance Charter’ to cover all UK businesses will improve equality standards

The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) has revealed that they put their recommendation to extend the ‘Women in Finance Charter’ across UK businesses to parliament.

The association has reported that “most Members of Parliament” have backed the recommendation to extend the Charter; it was officially launched in the financial sector back in 2016.

“Signed by just over 300 financial services firms, including AAT, its impact currently remains limited to the finance sector the British economy,” AAT continued in their statement.

The Charter includes the implementation of four key industry actions across the financial industry that those who have signed the Charter should make sure they adhere to:

  • To ascertain that the firm has a named senior executive who is responsible – and therefore accountable – for gender diversity and inclusion.
  • The firm should set internal targets for gender diversity in senior management positions.
  • The firm should annually publish their progress in these fields.
  • The payment of the senior executive team should be linked to the delivery of the firm’s internal targets on gender diversity.

“AAT was the first, and for a long time the only, professional accountancy body to sign the Women in Finance Charter, because it knows [that] closing the gap leads to a more diverse and creative workforce, broadens the skills base, and can increase creativity and innovation—to say nothing of the obvious issue of fairness, and the financial imperative for change,” said Phil Hall, AAT head of policy and public affairs.

He continued: “However, AAT believes that much more could be done. Huge numbers of businesses, large and small, could improve their awareness and understanding of what needs to be done and make necessary changes, if the Charter was widened to include all sectors of the economy.”

AAT firmly believes that this Charter should be “widened in scope”; they have suggested changing the name to the ‘Women in Business Charter’, thus making it applicable across industries: government departments, charities, and local authorities are just a few examples.

According to a recent AAT survey undertaken by YouGov, 54% of MPs would support this change to help with the incorporation of this Charter in all sectors of the economy. However, 15% of MPs said they did not support this change, and 9% did not know either way. This proves that more needs to be done.

Hall concluded: “It’s pleasing that most MPs support such a change, and we look forward to working with them to try and achieve this in 2019.” 

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