AT A GLANCE: Study shows opportunities for women to progress in finance field very slim

There are still too many cases of women's professional needs being unmet by their organisations
There are still too many cases of women's professional needs being unmet by their organisations

PwC has issued a press release of a study conducted around the support that women all over the world receive from their respective organisations in the financial services sector.

The report – ‘Seeing is believing: clearing the barriers to women’s progress in financial services’ – surveyed 290 professional women aged 28 to 40 who are working in the financial services sector globally. The financial services sample forms part of a survey of 3627 women from all sectors worldwide.

The report has found that women in the financial services sector around the globe are not offered enough support and opportunities for progress within their fields. 

Pieter Crafford, financial services advisory leader for PwC South Africa, says that “the focus on equality in the workplace has never been more critical. There are tremendous opportunities for financial services companies to boost diversity and inclusion within their organisations and reap the benefits. In this report we look at how leaders and employers can make this possible.”

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“While more women are moving into senior leadership positions within financial services, many still struggle to progress during the pivotal middle years of their careers," says Rene Richter, the partner at PwC research services.

"Career advancement for women in financial services presents something of a paradox– the progress at the very top isn’t yet reflected in mid-tier management and executive committees, where moving up the ladder remains very difficult," she adds. "More representation of women in senior roles is an important step, but it is not enough.” 

The report also lists five actions women believe employers should take to improve career opportunities: 

  • Create fair and transparent promotion and appraisal processes
  • Invest in training and continuing education programmes for employees
  • Provide a clear definition of organisational roles, levels and promotion criteria to help employees understand what is expected at the next level for promotion.
  • Provide skills assessments to help employees understand strengths and development areas.
  • Change workplace culture to support equal opportunity for progression (e.g. track key metrics aligned to diversity objectives). 

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