Ireland’s first Women in Finance Charter is launched

Signatories to the Women in Finance Charter will report current levels of female participation in their workforce.

A new Charter open to all financial services firms will see signatories commit to improving the number of women in management and board positions.

Launched at Euronext by Minister of State at the Department of Finance Sean Fleming, TD.

“By launching the Women in Finance Charter, Ireland is taking a leadership position on gender balance”

Firms can learn more about the initiative, why it is an important element for growing financial services firms and can register their interest in signing the Charter at:

Commitment to diversity

The Women in Finance Charter has been developed by industry over the last two years. The lead organisations are: Financial Services Ireland (part of Ibec), Banking and Payments Federation Ireland, Insurance Ireland, and Irish Funds, with support from the Department of Finance, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Balance for Better Business, and experts in the area including the 30% Club, 100 Women in Finance and 100 Women in Finance Early Career. 

An independent data partner, the Economic Social and Research Institute, (ESRI) has been funded by industry to collect and report on data to ensure independent, credible analysis on an annual basis.

The Charter is open to all financial services firms operating in Ireland. Signatories of the Charter commit their organisations to improving the number of women in management and board level positions to achieve better gender balance and a more inclusive working environment. The senior management teams of signatory firms will be accountable for progressing the yearly targets.

Over the course of this year, signatories will report current levels of female participation in their workforce. This will be broken down by seniority, in order to establish a baseline against which future progress will be measured. Each signatory will then provide targets to increase the number of women working throughout its business and publish progress it makes against these targets.

Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar welcomed the launch of the Charter. “This Charter will encourage companies in the financial sector to take meaningful action to increase female representation on their senior leadership teams. This is the right thing to do but it also makes good business sense. More diverse teams lead to better decision-making and better economic outcomes. I launched Balance for Better Business in 2018 with this objective in mind and we have seen some good progress to date, but it’s not enough. By ignoring women, we are excluding half the population, half the expertise and half the market. We can do better and I welcome this Charter’s contribution.”

Speaking at the launch of the Women in Finance Charter, Minister Fleming said: “By launching the Women in Finance Charter, Ireland is taking a leadership position on gender balance. Firms with greater diversity of gender, thought and background deliver better outcomes for the economy, society and their businesses. Increasing the number of financial services firms that are committed to improving gender balance is an important goal under the Ireland for Finance strategy. The signatories of this Charter are taking an important step towards the future development of the financial services ecosystem.”

FSI Chairperson, Cecilia Ronan said the Charter important for the financial sector and the economy.

“Greater gender balance leads to a wider talent pool and diversity of thought, innovation and creativity and better decisions. We have made substantial progress over the last few years but there is still a long way to go. This charter, supported by the Government and the ESRI, will strengthen our collective efforts to move forward and make our industry reflective of our customer base and wider society.”

Insurance Ireland, CEO, Moyagh Murdock said the Charter will empower the next generation of women to pursue and advance careers in finance.

“There is a ground swell of support for this important initiative from the members of Insurance Ireland and as a woman new to the Insurance sector this is great to see. Women remain dramatically underrepresented in senior leadership positions across the financial services industry but the Charter being launched today is an important tool in rectifying that situation.”

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.