Emma Ann Hughes 

Forget Brexit and stupid women and celebrate goodwill

Emma Ann Hughes

Emma Ann Hughes

This week, headlines have been dominated by supposedly warring Royal brides, the failure to reach an agreement on Brexit and whether Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called Conservative prime minister Theresa May a stupid woman.

No wonder so many of my friends are messaging me in a state of shock that it is Christmas in a matter of days – it sure as heck doesn't feel like the season of yuletide cheer and goodwill.

Good news has been in short supply but earlier this week the Financial Conduct Authority stated it is "on track" to meet its gender and black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) senior leadership targets over the next decade.

Speaking at Ropemaker Place in London on Wednesday (December 19), Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said the regulator was on track to reach 8 per cent BAME senior leaders by 2020 and 13 per cent by 2025.

Mr Woolard said the regulator had set itself a target of 45 per cent of its senior leadership team to identify as female by 2020, and 50 per cent by 2025. 

The FCA had signed the Women in Finance Charter in 2016, which supports the progression of women into senior roles. 

It is good news if the make-up of the regulator starts looking more like the make-up of the consumers it is tasked with protecting.

Diversity and inclusion is not a corporate catchphrase but an organisational imperative in today's workplace.

Our society is rich and diverse, bursting with entrepreneurial talent from a wide pool of people from all backgrounds.

It is clear that diversity and inclusion in the workplace leads to increased innovation, better opportunities for all and improved business performance, while companies that fail to capture and nurture this talent are missing out on opportunities to enhance their business model.

To help celebrate those companies in the financial services industry who are striving to make their workforce more diverse and inclusive, and therefore better able to serve the needs of our modern society, Financial Adviser has developed awards to applaud the good work in this area by companies.

The awards will look at those individuals who have demonstrated their support for minority groups and promoted and inspired those who are otherwise under-represented, as well as recognising companies whose policies, schemes or initiatives encourage and enable diversity in the workplace.

Winners will be announced at an exclusive black-tie dinner and presentation ceremony on June 20 2019 at The Townhouse, Searcy's Knightsbridge

So, please make sure you use the Christmas holidays to celebrate the good you do in this industry and don't just look at headlines about squabbles.

For more information on how to register and enter the awards, please click here.

emma.hughes@ft.com

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