Financial Conduct Authority  

FCA admits it has further to go on diversity

FCA admits it has further to go on diversity

The Financial Conduct Authority has admitted it still has a way to go on diversity and inclusion within its own staff.

In its annual report on diversity, published today (July 9), the regulator recognised it needed to lead by example within the financial services sector to highlight diversity and inclusion as an integral element of good conduct.

But it admitted it was "not content" with its persistent pay gaps, which it published in the report.

The report showed its median gender pay gap figure for the year ending March 3 was still at 20.6 per cent — down only 0.6 percentage points from the 21.2 per cent in the year before — while the gender bonus gap sat at 23.5 per cent, down 2.7 percentage points from last year.

The FCA also published its ethnicity pay gap for the first time in the hope transparency could "drive positive action".

Its median black, asian and ethnic minority pay gap was 28.7 per cent while the bonus gap sat at 31.8 per cent.

The regulator stated: "We know we have work to do and are taking a number of actions to help address our pay gaps and to further our diversity and inclusion agenda."

In order to "reflect the society it serves", the FCA pledged several equality objectives to be reached by 2020 which included creating an inclusive culture, reflecting the society it served and remaining consumer focused.

By next year, the City-watchdog targets that 45 per cent of the senior leadership team will identify as female, rising to 50 per cent by 2025.

Currently, 40 per cent of the senior leadership team identifies as female, up from 39 per cent last year.

Within the FCA’s current workforce, only 7 per cent of the senior leadership team identify as BAME but the FCA wants this to increase to at least 8 per cent by 2020 and to at least 13 per cent by 2025.

The figures in the report showed the proportion of BAME staff was on the up and now accounted for 26 per cent of the workforce, up from 21 per cent in 2017.

The overall split of female to male workers sat at 52 per cent female and 48 per cent male, but this was not replicated throughout the ranks within the FCA.

Some 83 per cent of administrator staff were female while manager and technical specialists and heads of department and directors were 60 per cent male.

Kathryn Knowles, managing director of Cura Financial Services, said the FCA’s pay gap for both gender and BAME staff was "rubbish".

She said: "We need to get educating people at a much earlier age and make young people, and young women, think about their financial security from the get go.

"On top of that, in the working world in general there’s a prevalence of women taking career breaks to have children.

"When they come back, there needs to be genuine, good ‘back to work’ schemes and they need to be able to go back and do the job they are hired to do."