The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has signed the Women in Finance Charter.
In April, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission published a guide on how to improve board diversity, with these overarching recommendations then being transposed into the Women in Finance Charter.
The voluntary initiative aims to give financial services firms flexibility to adopt the charter in a proportionate manner.
It recommends a voluntary approach as being appropriate initially. But, if in 12 months’ time large sections of the financial services industry have not engaged, the expectation is that the Treasury should re-examine whether a more prescriptive approach is required.
Signatories commit to supporting the progression of women into senior roles by focusing on the executive pipeline and the mid-tier level, publicly reporting on progress to deliver these targets.
In a statement, the regulator said it has a strong gender profile, and believes a diverse workforce makes it a better place to work. “Signing the charter shows our ongoing commitment to equality in the workplace,” it added.
Although this specific initiative is about gender, the FCA’s statement added that it is committed to diversity and inclusion generally.