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Financial boardrooms 30 years away from 30% female representation: report

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It will take 30 years at the current pace of change for women to attain just 30 per cent of the seats on executive committees in the financial services industry globally, an Oliver Wyman report said on Monday.

[LONDON] It will take 30 years at the current pace of change for women to attain just 30 per cent of the seats on executive committees in the financial services industry globally, an Oliver Wyman report said on Monday.

Globally women account for only one-fifth of boards and 16 per cent of executive committees in financial services, the management consultancy said.

Thirty per cent is the level at which research suggests a minority's voice can be heard and a separate initiative called The 30 per cent Club campaigns for a similar global target for company boards.

"The industry is far from where it should be on gender balance. The low representation of women on executive committees in particular is a problem," said Ted Moynihan, managing partner of Financial Services, Oliver Wyman.

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"An organisation's key business and strategic decisions are made by its Executive Committee and they are also highly visible, both internally and externally, making them effective as role models and sponsors - and driving business success."

The global financial services industry has long been seen as male-dominated.

Female executives in financial services are 20 to 30 per cent more likely to leave their employers than their peers in other industries, citing inflexible working hours, inequalities in promotion and pay, and unconscious bias, the report found.

There are also marked differences in the executive jobs awarded to women, who take largely HR, marketing and compliance roles.

Only 8 per cent of CEOs are women while 50 per cent of HR heads are women, according to the report.

In banking and insurance, women make up only 14 per cent of executive committees compared to 22 per cent and 18 per cent in the public sector and asset management sectors respectively.

The report analysed 381 financial services organisations in 32 countries and surveyed 850 financial services professionals.

REUTERS

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