Historically, the world of finance has always been a male-dominated industry. However, there are now signs that this is beginning to change. The past decade has seen a number of women get leading jobs in the finance industry. However, few sit at the top, and there’s still undoubtedly work to do. Let’s review how women’s role in the finance industry is changing and how it might evolve in the future.
Many people are surprised to learn that more women start out in finance than men. However, as they progress through a career in finance, the majority fall out; especially when they get to middle-management level.
In a report conducted in 32 countries, it said that there is significant progress of women joining the finance industry. The increase in number, though, are not as fast or evident as the number of men working in the industry.
It’s easy to see why, too. For example, only 50% of women (compared with 70% of men) believe that they have an equal opportunity to advance in their finance career, regardless of their personal qualities and circumstances. Empirical evidence backs this, too. Only 23% of boards of directors are women and only 14% of people on executive committees are female.
Although these figures are undoubtedly still too low, progress has been made over the course of the past decade. In many ways, the world of finance is not completely different to a number of different professions, and it simply mirrors the really that very few professions have a 50/50 gender split.
For example, there are only 20 women chief executives among the S&P 500 companies. This is down from 24 in 2015. At these companies, only 14.2% of the top five leadership positions were held by women at these companies.
What Will it Look like in the Future?
As a result, it is clear that urgent attention is required by financial leaders. If women are unable to make it as far as the higher echelons of the finance world, we’ll struggle to recruit them and have the world of finance reflect the wider population.
A number of products, such as stocks and shares ISAs, are available to sell in an entry level finance career, not enough is done at the middle to top level to convince women to stay in the finance world. It’s clear that most women believe that unless they believe they have access to higher levels of their career, that they will look elsewhere.
Although barriers are now being removed, over the next decade, companies must ensure that women stand a good chance of getting to the top jobs. Otherwise, the finance world may lose some of the best and brightest minds.
The challenge that women are facing today is not just that of high expectations from peers and family members. One of these challenges include being able to work full time in the role as a financial expert while managing family life and personal interests. Most often, these things seem easily achieved by men (from an opinionated perspective).
A Bloomberg article stated that there are fewer women in the senior positions of finance. It further explained that it may be because there are fewer women that actually apply for jobs in the financial role. Other than that, the article also reiterated that companies have observed a great deal of positive results when there are women working within.
If this was so, then expectations would be that there will be more open positions in the coming years for women in the finance industry.
Despite hearing and reading news on the decline of the number of women working in the finance industry, many companies still believe that they are valuable assets to be considered for roles in finance. As to why the progress is slow or why women are outnumbered in the industry, there is no specific culprit.
It is clear that women have cut through every industry that once were only dominated by men. Women are hitting it hard in the business world, creating self-made businesses that have grown to become empires. Let’s see what we can do! Remember, the most important thing we can do is support each other. When women support each other, incredible things happen.
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