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Financial firms neglecting female talent

Financial firms neglecting female talent

Companies in the finance sector are still not fully using women in the workforce despite the pool of female talent being larger than the male one, according to research and indexing firm MSCI.

The investment indexer found that although more than half of the financial companies in their study had a greater proportion of women in their overall workforce than the proportion of female talent in their market, nearly all of those companies had fewer women in senior positions than the market would suggest.

Those companies that did either match their talent pool to that of the market or tended to hire more female talent has an average of 43 per cent lower compensation cost per employee than those who had more men in senior positions.

MSCI compared the gender divide in 91 companies in the financial sector against the talent supply based on the markets where those companies operate.

The study found there was a “broad divergence” in the gender divide in financial companies against available labour in their markets, and noted there was evidence of a gender inequality line or a “glass wall and ceiling” as firms largely skewed towards women in the workforce but toward men in senior management.

The report said there was evidence companies who have a more equal balance between men and women tend to perform better than those with a gender disparity.

“There is also evidence that diverse teams have stronger risk adjusted decision-making than homogenous teams. With evidence, albeit it non-causal, of the potential impact of gender diversity on companies’ performance, we’ve observed that institutional investors are increasingly interested in gender as an investment theme.”

The Women in Finance paper is the third in a series on female leadership released by MSCI, following Women in Boards in December 2016 and Gender Pay Gap in January this year.

julia.fauschou@ft.com

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