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MPs examine lack of women in finance

MPs examine lack of women in finance

A committee of MPs has launched an inquiry into the number of women working in finance.

The Treasury select committee will seek to identify the barriers for women entering and progressing in the financial services industry and the value to financial firms of having greater gender balance across all job grades and functions.

It will also scrutinise the role of government and financial regulators in acting as role models for good gender diversity practices.

Nicky Morgan, chairman of the Treasury select committee, said: “More women than men are employed in the financial services sector, but female representation at senior levels has been historically low.

“Gender diversity across job grades and functions delivers benefits to firms, society and the wider economy.”

The inquiry will also focus on HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter and the progress made against it.

The first evidence session will be on Tuesday (24 October) with Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive of Virgin Money and the government's Women in Finance champion.

Claire Walsh, an independent financial adviser at Brighton firm Aspect 8, said women were severely under-represented at senior levels in the financial services industry.

She said: “Personally, I feel that being a woman adviser in a male dominated world has helped me stand out.

"I’ve not encountered discrimination, but I am conscious that I am quite confident to forge my own path and as a profession we need to ensure that we are trying to open up and encourage greater diversity.

"I think that because finance is so male dominated this in itself is off-putting to women and it is not seen as an easy or attractive career path.

"It is hard to pursue something if you don’t see many role models. I welcome the inquiry and it will be interesting to see what they identify.”