Bridging lender Hope Capital has today signed the Women in Finance Charter committing to help make financial services a more balanced and fair industry to work in.
Hope Capital has done more than just set targets for what it aims to achieve – it has exceeded them already. It recently made extra female appointments to its senior management team and so has already exceeded its own targets by having reached the magic number of 50% of its board comprising females, while 75% of its staff are female.
The Charter commits companies to ensure the pay of the senior executive team is linked to deliver against gender diversity targets, but Hope Capital is going one step further and commits to equal pay for similar roles across the organisation.
This drive for gender diversity is coming from the very top, with CEO Jonathan Sealey taking responsibility for making sure the lender hits its targets.
At a gender diversity session held recently at the Finance Professionals Show, policy adviser on Women in Finance & Banking for HM Treasury, Deborah Ejim-McCubbin said “The proportion of women [at senior levels in financial service] is continuing to grow but slowly” she went on to say that, “a gender balance is not only good for firms themselves but good for their customers” as it makes firms more representative of their customer base.
Other panel representatives from Leeds Building Society and One Savings Bank said they were already starting to see wider positive effects across their businesses since they signed up to the charter.
Hope Capital has bucked what was described by the diversity panel as “the inertia in the market” to sign up to the charter now. After the initial wave of companies committing to the Charter, this has slowed down. This reluctance to sign up was believed to be because firms were worried they wouldn’t meet the targets – although all diversity targets are set by each firm itself.
Jonathan Sealey, CEO of Hope Capital says:
“We set the expectation of signing up to the Women in Finance Charter some time ago within Hope Capital. Where we have differed from other financial companies is that we wanted to have already hit our targets before we signed up, as actions speak louder than words. We have spent the last few months working towards this and, as a result, we are proud of the fact that we already have an equal split of men and women on our senior management team and 75% of our staff are female, including underwriters, case writers and BDMs. Our target now is to maintain the level that we have achieved already.”
Laura Carr, Head of Underwriting, who is now part of the senior management team says:
“Hope Capital has been committed to gender diversity since well before the Women in Finance Charter came into being. The fact that we have 50% women in senior management and over 75% women overall is testament to that. This latest commitment to the Charter is the next logical step to what is a long-term commitment.”