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How to Keep Women in Finance

advancement opportunities. If you examine the number of top-ranking roles held by women in financial institutions (FSIs), this trend is evident. As of 2021, only 5% of CEO posts were held by women, 19% C-suite positions, and 21% board seats.


Deloitte’s Within Reach series addressing gender equity has just published Advancing More Women Leaders in Financial Services: A Global Report. It found that while FSIs have made significant progress over the past decade, there is still much to do. Deloitte’s report assesses gender diversity in FSIs across the globe. It identifies lessons that can be used to help these organizations advance equity. This is done by drawing on the input of stakeholders and taking actions from outside the organizations.

Gender equity and the spheres o influence

Gender equity is a topic that FSIs can’t work in isolation. To advance gender equality, FSIs must understand how different “spheres” of influence–the marketplace, society, and the workforce–challenge their organization and help them to achieve their goals.

  • WorkforceA encouraging finding from the Advancing More Womenstudy is that women who have a truly inclusive and respectful workplace culture are more productive, engaged, and loyal to their companies. This culture is most likely to be fostered by FSIs that have policies that encourage inclusion. Hong Kong is a good example. FSIs in Hong Kong recognize that women’s advancement is a competitive advantage and offer solutions like flexible work hours, remote work using technology, mentoring, and sponsorship programs. Similar to South Africa, some FSIs set gender diversity targets internally and linked them with executive pay.
  • Marketplace –External FSI stakeholders (such as suppliers and alliance partners) are increasingly concerned about how organizations are working towards improving women’s representation in boards and executive leadership. These stakeholders want transparency and hold organizations accountable for gender equity results. A recent survey of institutional investors found that more than 70% considered a company’s diversity metrics, 69% reported that the diversity within a company’s board had impacted their trust. The marketplace has a significant influence on gender equity around the world. Japan is a country where gender diversity is still in its infancy. Organizations are being pressured to improve, with companies listed on Tokyo Stock Exchange required to publish their diversity goals and policies. Many of Australia’s top employers include their suppliers, clients, and even their competitors in their efforts to gender equity.
  • Society With equity becoming a growing concern for the general population, the role of public policy in shaping diversity efforts within the private sector is increasing. Public policy does not always need to be about quotas. Public policy does not always have to mean quotas. Organizations can work with the government to prioritise and promote gender equality by creating programs and initiatives that support the private sector. In Singapore, for example, and in other Asian countries, the government works to promote gender equality through low-cost childcare and government subsidies. Canada’s government supports gender equity by requiring companies to disclose their gender equality policies, such as the percentage of women in boards and executive positions.

Taking Action

What can FSIs do for gender equality? The following lessons can be learned from all corners of the globe and in various spheres.

  • Permanent challenges like remote work options and childcare needs – both of which were amplified by the pandemic
  • Ensure that FSI leaders provide ongoing support through mentorship, sponsorship, and allyship programs to women at all levels.
  • To ensure that every open position draws from a wide range of candidates, it is important to evaluate and refine succession-planning. This can be a great way to build a diverse group of future leaders.

Some countries and regions around the globe have made significant progress in gender equity. The UK’s banking sector saw a rise in women CEOs to 9.7% by 2020, compared to 1.7% in 2001. This is great news but, in the overall picture, many countries are still far away from the 30% threshold that is often considered to be the tipping point for bringing about real organizational change.

It’s actually a positive cycle. The more women in leadership positions, then the better. According to Deloitte research, for every woman who is promoted to the C-suite, there are two to five times the number of women in senior leadership positions. This can only be achieved if FSIs build on their recent successes and learn from the lessons learned.

For more information on women in finance and gender equality please refer to the Deloitte reports, Women @ Work 2022: A Global Outlook and Advancing More Women Leaders in Financial Services: A Global Report.

Bob Contri

Global Financial Services Industry Leader

Bob Contri is DTTL’s Global Financial Services Manager

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reduce its CO 2emissions by half by 2050 (against 2005 benchmark). This ambition is in line with the Paris Agreement objectives, with the industry even seeking to reach total carbon-neutrality for intra-European flights by the same year.


To achieve these goals, the industry must adopt a holistic approach. This is a holistic approach that includes the entire aviation value chain and ecosystem. It goes beyond just aircraft production.

Technology is the key

The key to reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions in the aviation industry is structural evolutions of aircraft and propulsion technology. A few key technological developments are helping to move the GHG agenda forward.

  • Fleet renewal. New aircrafts leveraging advanced technologies, such as lighter alloys, optimized designs, and higher efficiency engines are delivering sizeable devices that reduce drag on wings – have led to an 80-million-tonne CO2 reduction worldwide since 2000.
  • Use Sustainable Aviation Fuels This could result in a 50% to 98% decrease in CO 2emissions depending on how the SAFs are treated. SAF options are being explored by 45 airlines . Although SAFs are still expensive, they have a history of being two to four times more expensive than jet fuel. However, recent sharp increases in oil prices are decreasing the gap.
  • Using hydrogen to power aircrafts. This means that there will be no CO 2 emissions. Major aircraft manufacturers are creating models that are not only hydrogen-powered but also have alternative flying wings that improve overall performance.

Operational modifications are also required

The operations of airlines and their maintenance optimization can have a significant effect on CO 2emissions. These changes include:

  • Improved flight-planning and eco-pilotingwhich includes reducing cancellations that can disrupt planning and being more strict about landing and flight paths optimizations. These transformations will be possible with improved traffic management systems.
  • Inflight weight reduction. Airlines are always looking for ways to make an aircraft’s interior lighter (e.g. seats, equipment, galleys). They also employ policies to reduce paper onboard (e.g. digitization of flight documentation magazines) and adjust water usage to better match flight durations and occupation rates.


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