Empowering Women – Diversity Is Key

More frequently than ever, women are returning to work after having children and juggling a work life balance. However, despite a lot of companies offering flexible working arrangements, there still remains a lack of women working in the financial sector.

According to the FCA, within the wealth management industry only 16% of regulated staff within investment management firms were women last year and only 17.3% of FTSE 100 directors are female, reducing to only 13.2% for FTSE 250 companies. Despite these figures, according to ‘McKenzie’, companies with all female Boards of Directors outperform their peers.

However, times are changing and according to Citywire’s Diversity publication, the industry saw a 5% rise in female wealth managers over the past year. That said, the number of women still only make up 14.5% of the total across the country. Despite this, the number of women in higher paid, more senior roles is increasing and the balance is certainly shifting towards a more diverse industry.

We are extremely proud of where we are placed in the market with regard to the ratio of men and women in the workplace. A recent Citywire study showed that we are ranked in the top tier out of 19 companies within our sector.

We committed to increase our female representation at senior management level from 28% to 30%, and we met our target two and a half years early. Under the Women in Wealth initiative we had a target of 40% female new hires and last year we exceeded this with 48% of hires being women.

In the Oxford office, we are proud to have a diverse workforce with a ratio of 1:1 of men and women and with an age range of 21-60. We have evolved over the past 10 years and have seen an increase in female professionals wishing to join not only the industry, but our company. With our current ratio we are able to match the right client with the right investment manager. Sometimes it’s easier for women to discuss personal circumstances with other women, and we are fortunate that we have a female investment manager. We also have two female trainee investment managers and we want to continue to encourage women to pursue a career in wealth management.

As a forward thinking office we have piloted a series of women only seminars. The sessions were inspired by a client who, having recently lost her husband, suddenly found herself involved in managing her family’s finances for the first time. The aim is to promote informative discussions held in a roundtable style which we found made for a very relaxed atmosphere where a range of topics could be explored. We also host informal events such as our ladies shopping events in Westgate where we can network and enjoy a glass of fizz while browsing the shops!

For us diversity is important, not only in the people who work for us but also in being able to empower and meet the needs of a wide range of clients. To ensure that we are meeting our clients needs as effectively as possible we have recently integrated a financial planning team into the Oxford office. Should you wish to get in touch to discuss any of the services that we can offer then please do contact our office manager Ria Shepheard.

The value of investments can fall as well as rise. Investors may get back less than invested. Past performance is not a reliable guide to the future. Charles Stanley Wealth Managers is a trading name of Charles Stanley & Co. Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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