Why We Need More Women Working Higher Up in Finance
The finance industry is often associated with males. From offices and board rooms full of men in suits, to the stock market floor being dominated by rabbles of them shouting, pointing and trading, in many ways it really is a man's world.
However, this was picked up on by many working in the industry and efforts have been made to improve the situation. From 2008 to 2016 the hiring of women across all financial roles increased by seven per cent on average. Yet in the board rooms and management positions there is still a sever lack of much female presence.
Financial Management Roles
Information compiled by the Financial Times showed that in 2016 women made up just 25.5 per cent of senior roles across 50 of the world's biggest banks, insurers, asset managers and professional service firms. This does represent an increase compared to 2014 when it was only 23.7 per cent but shows that progress remains slow. At the other end of the scale, 58 per cent of staff at a junior level were women.
There were more positive findings from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which discovered 47 per cent of management and professional roles in American financial firms are occupied by women. When looking at the very top though, women only account for 20 per cent of executive committee roles, 22 per cent of board positions and just 12 per cent of women are CEOs of financial firms in the USA.
There is a clear lack of women working higher up in finance, despite the fact that we bring a lot to the industry.
Women are More Cautious Traders
One area of the financial industry where women are hard to find is on the trading floors of investment banks. Here women make up around 15 per cent of traders in investment banks. This same research found that according to a lot of metrics both male and female traders were tested against, women perform better.
It showed that men take far more risks than women, which in some cases could be beneficial, but overall also lost a lot more money, suggesting female traders offer a safer option. Male traders would also break the rules 2.5 times more than their female counterparts and would place a higher volume of trades in total.
Such findings suggest that financial companies should seek to hire or try and attract more women to these positions, for the benefit of their business and clients.
Help Attract More Female Clients
Promoting more women to financial positions higher up could attract an increasing number to apply for more roles. Not only that but for traders, consultants and client-facing roles it could also attract more female clients. Especially for those new to investing and wanting to learn how to trade currency pairs, such women may prefer to deal with a female trader. This could open up a greater market and opportunities for the wider company.
What Could Persuade More Women to Work in Finance?
There are a range of measures which could attract more women to roles in the financial industry and to strive to work their way up. These include:
- Equal pay
- Flexible working hours
- Real career progression opportunities
- Strong support and feedback
According to a PwC study, the top reason for female millennials leaving their last job was down to a lack of career progression opportunities, followed by a better paid new job. These issues need to be addressed to firstly attract more women to work in finance and then allow them to work their way up to higher positions in finance.