Can The UK Green Finance be the Thought Leader for Gender Diversity?
The UK green finance sector has the potential to become a thought leader for the rest of the finance industry by championing gender diversity. While progress has been made, there is still work to be done to increase female representation in the industry. Fortunately, there are successful initiatives that the sector can build on to improve gender diversity and become a role model for other industries.
The Current State of Female Representation in the UK Green Finance Sector
The UK green finance sector has made progress in increasing female representation in recent years. According to a report by the Green Finance Institute, the proportion of women in senior roles in the sector has increased from 21% in 2015 to 30% in 2019. However, women still make up a minority of senior roles in the sector, and there is a lack of representation in technical roles. COVID-19 represented a setback, according to a report by PwC, women in the renewable energy sector are more likely to have been furloughed or experienced reduced working hours than men reinforcing wider economic trends evidenced by the International Labour Organisation.
The green finance sector itself outperforms the rest of the finance sector. According to the Hampton-Alexander Review, women make up 32.4% of board members in the financial services sector, compared to 36.2% across all FTSE 350 companies. The report also found that women are more likely to be in non-executive director roles than executive roles.
In addition, a report by the CFA Institute found that women make up only 18% of CFA charter holders globally. The report also found that women are less likely to hold senior positions in the industry, with only 11% of C-level positions held by women.
So how can the UK Green Finance sector blaze a trail for the rest of finance? The answer lies using currently successful initiatives and continuing to progress and make future improvements.
Successful Initiatives to Increase Gender Diversity in the UK Green Finance Sector
There are several successful initiatives that the UK green finance sector can build on to increase gender diversity. One such initiative is the Women in Green Finance Network, which was launched by the Green Finance Institute in 2019 to support the career development of women in the sector. The network provides mentorship, training, and networking opportunities for women, and has been instrumental in increasing female representation in the sector.
Another successful initiative is the Gender Diversity Pledge, which was launched by the Women in Finance Charter in 2016 to encourage financial services firms to improve gender diversity in their organizations. Several green finance organizations have signed the pledge, including BlackRock, Legal & General, and Aviva.
Suggestions for Future Improvements in Gender Diversity in the UK Green Finance Sector
While progress has been made, there is still work to be done to increase gender diversity in the UK green finance sector. Here are some suggestions for future improvements:
Provide mentorship and sponsorship opportunities: Providing mentorship and sponsorship opportunities for women in the sector can help to build supportive networks and provide women with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in leadership roles.
Promote gender diversity at all levels: Gender diversity should be promoted at all levels of the green finance sector, including in leadership positions, technical roles, and support staff. This can be achieved through setting diversity targets, tracking progress towards these targets, and holding organizations accountable for increasing female representation.
Encourage women to pursue STEM subjects: Encouraging girls and young women to pursue STEM subjects and providing them with opportunities to learn about green finance can help to break down the barriers to female participation in technical roles.
Provide opportunities for visibility and recognition: Providing opportunities for visibility and recognition, such as speaking opportunities at conferences, awards, and media interviews, can help to promote female leadership in the green finance sector and inspire others to follow in their footsteps.
The UK green finance sector has the potential to become a thought leader for the rest of the finance industry by championing gender diversity. While progress has been made, there is still work to be done to increase female representation in the sector. By providing mentorship and sponsorship opportunities, promoting gender diversity at all levels, encouraging women to pursue STEM subjects, and providing opportunities for visibility and recognition, the sector can continue to build on its success and become a role model for other industries.