Treasury appoints FN100 Woman as diversity champion

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive officer of Virgin Money Holdings (UK) Plc, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in London, U.K., on Thursday, March 5, 2015

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Jayne-Anne Gadhia

The position was created for Jayne-Anne Gadhia to formalise her work promoting the Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter and the benefits of a diverse workforce across the UK financial services sector, a Treasury spokeswoman told FN.

Philip Hammond said in a statement: “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.”

Gadhia, who was this week named among FN’s annual pick of the 100 most influential women in financial services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said: “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.”

She previously led a nine-month review into diversity in the financial sector which culminated in the Treasury’s March 2016 report into gender equality in the City. The report’s recommendations included calling for organisations to link senior managers’ pay to internal diversity targets, publishing annual progress reports, and appointing an executive responsible for gender, diversity, and inclusion.

The Treasury launched its Women in Finance Charter initiative in conjunction with the report’s publication. The Charter, which commits firms to implementing Gadhia’s recommendations, now has 93 signatories, up from 72 in October, according to the latest Treasury data released on November 8.

New signatories include 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.

Gadhia will now “play a key role” in encouraging more fintech firms, payments companies and investment banks to sign up to the Charter, according to the Treasury statement.

To-date, 15 banks and 13 insurance firms have committed to having at least 30% of women in senior roles by 2021 and 13 firms, including Virgin Money, the Financial Conduct Authority and Legal and General, are aiming for complete gender parity in senior roles.

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

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