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Women overtake men for first time in financial jobs race

Figures released by Randstad Financial & Professional revealed that 51 per cent of its registered candidates are female – the first time the gender balance has tipped in women’s favour at the firm.

Last year, 1,209 women came onto the consultancy’s books, compared with 1,177 men. The firm’s percentage of female candidates previously stood at 47 per cent from January 2011 to December 2012.

Tara Ricks, managing director of Randstad, said the rise of female students studying “serious” subjects at university had played its part, as well as “flexible employment policies” at major financial firms.

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She said the emergence of programmes aimed at encouraging female talent was fuelled by the belief that strong business performance was “linked” to a diverse workforce.

She said: “There is not an employer in the Square Mile who would suggest diversity is not at the top of their agenda. That is paying dividends.”

The majority, 94 per cent, of women surveyed by the firm did not support mandatory quotas that stipulate how many women should be employed by organisations. Some 58 per cent of respondents said that women at the top of organisations were good at helping those climbing up the career ladder.

Meanwhile, research from financial training firm First Finance showed 20 per cent of Britons were attracted to a career in finance because it offered “good job security”.

Georgina Partridge, founding partner at London-based Plutus Wealth Management, said: “Once women are in the industry, they prove to be very adept. They are naturally good at empathy and personal relationships, which are central to financial advice.”

KEY FACTS

333,700 – the number of women applying for British univerities in 2013.

246,300 – the number of male candidates for university in 2013.

6% – the rise in the number of women educated at Oxford since 2009.

30% – the ideal percentage of women on senior boards, as proposed by Helena Morrissey at Newton Investment.