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The UK’s recommendation to banks: Get serious about gender diversity and tie it to bonuses

Reuters/Nigel Roddis
Women at the top.
By Ashley Rodriguez
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

There are plenty of reasons why gender diversity is good for business. Yet the dearth of women at the top persists, especially in the financial services sector.

The solution: Link bonuses for top finance executives to the number of women employed in senior positions at their firms, suggests a new UK government-backed report.

The official review of women in finance, commissioned by the government in July as part of its productivity plan, recommends that UK banks set targets for appointing women to senior roles, and base executive bonuses on whether or not those goals are met.

The review, led by one of the most high-profile female bankers in Britain, Virgin Money CEO Jayne-Anne Gadhia, also recommends that financial firms appoint executives to oversee gender, diversity, and inclusion efforts.

“It should be a wake-up call to everyone in financial services that fewer women progress to senior levels than in any other industry in the UK,” Gadhia said in a statement. “My report proposes addressing the issue in a way that the City will recognise. Make it public, measure it and report on it. What gets published gets done.”

Gadhia presented these preliminary recommendations at a summit today (Nov. 4) hosted by the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Harriett Baldwin. Final recommendations will be issued ahead of the 2016 budget.

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