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Report criticises lack of diversity in senior roles in financial institutions

Report criticises lack of diversity in senior roles in financial institutions

The House of Commons Treasury Committee’s new report, “Women in the City”, criticises the lack of diversity in senior roles in financial institutions. With women only making up 9% of those on the boards of FTSE 100 banks, the report recommends a change in practice and, where necessary, culture.

The Treasury Committee report, “Women in the City“, finds that in general women are in the minority at senior levels in financial institutions, especially at the top. The boards of FTSE 100 banks are only 9% female and the proportion of women executive directors is even lower at 1-2%. The Committee believe the lack of diversity on the boards of many, if not most, of our major financial institutions, may have heightened the problems of ‘group-think’ and made effective challenge and scrutiny of executive decisions less effective.

The Committee comment that while much of the legal framework that should support women has already been put in place, there are areas that may need strengthening. The challenge is not so much to change the law, but to change practice and, where necessary, culture. The onus is on the City to demonstrate that it is committed to improving the representation of women at senior levels within the industry. A quota system is not appropriate, but pressure should be brought to bear if the industry fails to act.

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