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Women and the financial services industry

August 9, 2023

How are women faring in ascending to the highest levels of leadership? How was this tracking with the share of women on financial services institutions (FSIs) boards? And are organizations focusing enough on nurturing talent in the pipeline, talented women who could move into these leadership roles in the next few years?

These are the questions made by Deloitte researchers in the latest uptade a global study that now includes more than 68,000 FSIs across sectors in nearly 200 countries and territories. The main finding is that while the number of women leaders in financial services has risen steadily in recent years, more progress is needed to achieve gender equity.

According to Alison Rogish, Neda Shemluck, Samia Hazuria and Patty Danielecki, if organizations continue to devote the current level of effort toward achieving gender equity among their leadership team, progress may likely slow or stagnate by 2031. “Many organizations may need to take steps now to attract, develop, and retain women for top roles—and focus on their pipeline of senior leadership and next-generation leaders (manager or equivalent titles below senior leadership) to create tangible advancement paths within their organizations,” they highlight.

Alarming numbers

  • Over the past decade, more women have been added to FSI C-suites than men. Women now account for 18% of C-suite positions globally.
  • Without a more concerted effort, global growth in the share of women financial leaders may not even reach 25% by 2031.

Acting now

The authors suggest a framework of actions FSI organizations may consider to accelerate gender equity:

Collect more data

“Many FSIs are only scratching the surface of what they could know. Comprehensive data collection is an important step in achieving gender equity.”

Assess the data

“Step up efforts to analyze and benchmark diversity data. This can help leaders set measurable goals and create accountability.”

Report the progress

“Reporting diversity information — internally and externally — boosts transparency and enhances trust. Focus on progress, metrics, and outcomes.”

Engage with stakeholders

“FSI leaders should demonstrate commitment to gender diversity inside and outside the organization. They should focus on concrete actions that can create opportunities for women, such as allyship and sponsorships programs.”

Source: Deloitte Center for Financial Services