It is widely known that across the globe few women reach leadership positions within the financial services sector, with women only representing 12% of CFOs in large-cap firms and 34% of CFOs in mid-cap firms in 2018. Research by Catalyst shows that progress is being made, but not nearly fast enough with women’s global representation on executive committees in major financial services firms increasing at 1% per annum since 2016.
Australia (34%), the US (26%) and Singapore (23%) are amongst the frontrunners across the globe, with countries such as China (5%) and Japan (5%) amongst the poorest performing.
Recently there has been an increased focus on the importance of including women in leadership positions, including on boards. Apart from the obvious reason of legal equality, why is a policy of mixed-gender board representation important?
Broadening the leadership model
By the start of the 1990s, women had been routinely entering the workplace for 15 or 20 years in most European countries. Yet during that time, the expectation among both women and the organizations they worked for seemed to be that women would simply slot into cultures and structures that had been designed entirely by and for men.