For International Women’s Day 2023, Amberjack are releasing four blogs exploring four different industries which struggle with gender diversity. Today, we’re focusing on how to recruit women in Finance. Find out how to recruit women in STEM, and the Sales and Business Development sector in blogs from earlier this week.
In the UK, only 39% of full-time employees in the Finance and Insurance sector are women. In 2019, representation of women on executive committees in major financial services firms was recorded at only 20%. We asked Natalie, a Management Accountant here at Amberjack, with 5 years in the Finance industry, what she thinks deters women from applying to these roles.
Natalie loved numbers from a young age and knew a career in numbers was one of the top career paths for her. She decided to explore this following her Business Studies GCSE and experiencing the analytical side of Finance. She went on to take a degree in Accounting and Finance and train as a Chartered Accountant.
Natalie shared that from her own experience as a member of the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), she has seen a lot of equality in the balance between men and women. From her perspective, the issues affecting this sector arise more in terms of career progression. It can take a while to progress up the ladder in Finance, due to the number of professional qualifications and experience required to be eligible for a managerial position. According to Natalie, the recurring burden of care that has been mentioned over the last few days is a contributing factor to this.
Since progressing in Finance can be a lengthy process, women who want to be mothers (or have other caring responsibilities) often feel like a choice must be made – do they pursue family, or a career? The lack of female role models in the top positions is another key contributing factor in all of this. Without these role models in top positions, showing it is possible to have a work-life balance, many may feel uninclined to apply in the first place.
Improving the number of applications from women for Finance roles involves (but is not limited to) improving the way your organisation comes across and attracts candidates. It is said time and time again, but representation is key. Understanding and flexibility is crucial. Your female applicants want to see this before they even apply. These issues might be deep-rooted, requiring time and investment to address, but there is no time like the present to get started.