Financial sector advocates for more women in leadership positions

17 June 2019 - 5 min Reading time

The Charter is an important step towards gender balance and diversity


Febelfin, along with many other financial players, signs a charter today advocating for more gender diversity in the financial sector. The objective? To provide equal and fair opportunities for both men and women in the financial industry.


The first step is awareness. The charter aims to make financial companies realize that a healthy business needs women and men at ALL levels. Each, with their unique perspectives, contributes to better insights and therefore better decisions. But the charter goes even further.

The signatories commit to:

  • measuring gender differences at every level in their company
  • setting specific objectives for the company
  • creating a diversity and inclusion action plan
  • appointing a diversity officer

While the main focus of the charter is on gender diversity, it also encourages attention to diversity in general: different educational backgrounds, different age groups, different nationalities.

The charter is not just a theoretical exercise. It should be a strong signal to the entire financial sector. That's why Women in Finance was established: a platform of financial players. Within this platform, various working groups will establish concrete action points such as:

  • making job descriptions more inclusive
  • setting up a mentoring program
  • ensuring that women have enough inspiring role models

Together with the other financial signatories of the charter, Febelfin advocates for more women in leadership positions in the financial sector. Although 51% of employees in financial institutions are women, they face greater difficulty advancing to leadership roles: only 25% of such positions are held by women. In boardrooms, this number drops further to 1 in 5. (Source: Febelfin)

However, research shows that having more women at the table leads to more balanced decisions. This is because they perceive the world differently than men, and this difference in perspective results in better insights. Homogeneous teams make good decisions in 58% of cases. Add women, and that same team will make better decisions in 73% of cases.

The charter focuses on gender diversity but also emphasizes diversity and inclusion in general: different educational backgrounds, age groups, and cultures. Here too, a diverse approach leads to better performance. A team consisting of men and women of diverse ages and cultures will make better decisions in 87% of cases than a homogeneous team.

Those who sign the charter commit to:

  • Becoming aware of the importance of diversity and inclusion.
  • Providing equal opportunities to (potential) employees.
  • Promoting inclusive leadership.
  • Creating a credible, innovative, and respectful working environment.
  • Attracting, retaining, and training both young and older talent.

Women in Finance translates the charter into action


To ensure that the charter does not remain just words, Women in Finance was established.

What started as a private initiative by a small group of senior profiles a year ago has grown into an association that includes all major financial institutions among its members. Women in Finance is now a platform where different members come together to keep gender diversity on the agenda.

Women in Finance has established five working groups that will develop three concrete action points in the coming year:

  • Making job descriptions more inclusive (a workshop is scheduled for this in the fall for Women in Finance members).
  • Setting up a mentoring program.
  • Ensuring that women have enough inspiring role models.

Measurable objectives are associated with these action points that Women in Finance members must work towards. The platform will communicate transparently about the achieved results on a regular basis.