Minister Fleming launches Ireland’s first Women in Finance Charter

Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Sean Fleming TD today launch's Ireland’s first Women in Finance Charter at Euronext Dublin.

The Women in Finance Charter is a collaboration between industry and Government under the Ireland for Finance strategy. Ireland for Finance, is the Government’s blueprint for the development of the international financial services sector. Diversity is a key theme of the Strategy.

The Charter was developed in partnership with Financial Services Ireland, Insurance Ireland, Banking & Payments Federation Ireland and Irish Funds.

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.

Crucially, this data will be collected and reported on by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) to ensure independent, credible analysis on an annual basis. A Steering Group has been established for ongoing governance of the Charter with representation from the public sector and industry.

Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar, who is currently on a trade visit to the US, welcomed the announcement:

“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

“Today’s announcement is vitally important for our 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:

“I am delighted to be supporting the Women in Finance Charter which aims to promote greater gender diversity, inspire and 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”

BPFI, CEO, Brian Hayes said:

“Ireland’s Women in Finance Charter is an important collaborative initiative for the financial Services sector which sees firms publicly demonstrating their commitment to greater gender balance by becoming Charter signatories. Setting targets, measuring and publicly communicating on progress will bring focus and visibility to this agenda, providing the stimulus needed to embed gender balance as a strategic imperative for financial services firms.”

Irish Funds, Chair, Maria Ging said:

“The funds and asset management industry in Ireland recognises the importance and need to increase female participation across financial services. As the third consecutive female Chair of Irish Funds, I’m thrilled that we were able to contribute our expertise to the development of the Women in Finance Charter. This Charter will expand and enhance opportunities for women across financial services in Ireland, enabling better collective outcomes for clients and for society.”

Article Published: 27/04/2022