Progress against our diversity targets

The progress we’ve made towards our ethnicity and gender targets to improve senior representation, including on our Board and executive management.

In 2016, we were in the first group of organisations to sign up to the Women in Finance Charter. The Charter looks to increase the representation of women in the financial services sector, particularly at senior levels.

In line with the Charter, we set targets for our senior leadership team (SLT) for gender parity (50%) by 2025. At the same time, we set targets to improve senior representation for minority ethnic individuals, initially targeting 13% representation in our SLT by 2025.

SLT includes Heads of Department, Directors, Executive Directors, the Chief Executive and the Chair.

Our new targets

After reviewing progress against our targets in 2021, we expanded our gender and ethnicity targets beyond our SLT and introduced targets at Manager, Technical Specialist, Lead and Senior Associate levels.

Improving diversity at these levels is vital, not least because individuals in these roles are the pipeline for our future senior leadership.

Our targets for women remained at 50% and we’ve extended these to all relevant grades. We increased our 2025 SLT ethnicity target from 13% to 20% and introduced a 25% target for minority ethnic representation across all pipeline grades.

We acknowledge that lived experience and career progression is not the same across all minority ethnic groups. We’re particularly aware of a lack of Black leaders in senior roles in financial services.

Our own data shows slower career progression for Black individuals at the FCA. We’ve committed to increasing Black representation at SLT level, targeting 4% SLT Black representation within our target for 2025.

We use headcount as the basis of our reporting on diversity data and progress against targets. But we’ve also included our full-time equivalent (FTE) figures for comparison.

Our progress

Female representation

When we signed the Women in Finance Charter in 2016, our female SLT representation was 39%. At the time of reporting for our 2021/22 Annual Diversity Report, our SLT female representation had risen to 45.2%. 

In the last year (April 2022 to March 2023), we’ve seen further progress towards our 2025 target.

  • 48.0% of our SLT identified as female on 31 March 2023. 
  • The figure excluding the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) is 47.3%.

We’re making some progress towards our pipeline grade targets. On 31 March 2023: 

  • 43.6% of the Manager population is female
  • 31.6% of the Technical Specialist population is female
  • 48.1% of the Lead/Senior Associate population is female
  • the figures excluding the PSR are 43.0%, 32.0% and 48.1% respectively 

This represents an increase of 2.8 percentage points for SLT, a small increase of 0.2 percentage points at Manager level, an increase of 1.3 percentage points for Technical Specialists, and a decrease of 0.7 percentage points for Senior Associates.

Minority ethnic representation

Our minority ethnic SLT representation has decreased over the last year. 

  • 13.8% of SLT is from a minority ethnic background as of 31 March 2023, down from 15.1% in 2022. The figure as of 31 March 2023 excluding the PSR is 14.0%.
  • Our Black SLT representation has also decreased, with 1.3% of the population identifying as Black as of 31 March 2023, down from 2.4% in 2022.

We’ve seen a mix of changes to our pipeline grades, including:

  • 14.6% to 14.7% at Manager level
  • 17.6% to 16.9% at Technical Specialist level 
  • 26.8% to 30.0% at Lead/Senior Associate level 
  • the figures excluding the PSR are 15.0%, 17.5% and 30.3% respectively

Minority ethnic SLT representation can fluctuate given the size of the population.

Reporting on our targets

We need to do even more to meet our targets, and our DEI programme supports these ambitions.

In the 2021/22 reporting period, we used FTE to report on progress against targets. For 2022/23 and going forward, we’ll be using headcount. We’ve also used the headcount figures from 2021/22 for year-on-year comparison.

For transparency we’ve also included a table showing FTE figures for 2022/23.

Female representation (headcount)

  March 2018 March 2019 March 2020 March 2021 March 2022* March 2023 Target for 2025
SLT 39% 40% 40% 43% 45.2% 48.0% 50%
Manager** 40% 40% 39% 43% 43.4% 43.6% 50%
Technical specialist** 40% 40% 39% 31% 30.3% 31.6% 50%
Lead/Senior Associate No data No data No data No data 48.8% 48.1% 50%

Minority ethnic representation (headcount) 

  March 2018 March 2019 March 2020 March 2021 March 2022* March 2023 Target for 2025
SLT 4% 7% 10% 13% 15.1% (2.4% Black) 13.8%(1.3% Black) 20% (4% Black)
Manager** 11% 12% 13% 13% 14.6% 14.7% 25%
Technical specialist** 11% 12% 13% 15% 17.6% 16.9% 25%
Lead/Senior Associate No data No data No data No data 26.8% 30.0% 25%

* From 2022, we started to report our progress against our targets to one decimal place to provide an additional level of granularity and insight.
** Manager and Technical Specialist were grouped together in reporting for 2018 to 2020. 

Diversity of our Board and executive management

Our Board

We’ve published final rules promoting transparency on the diversity of listed companies’ boards and executive management. Alongside this, companies must disclose the breakdown of diversity by sex or gender and ethnicity for their boards and executive management level.

In line with these requirements, we’re also reporting on the diversity of our Board. As of 31 March 2023:

  • 37.5% of our Board are women (3 out of 8 directors are female)
  • 12.5% of our Board is from a minority ethnic background (1 out of 8 directors are from a minority ethnic background)
  • none of our senior Board positions (Chair, CEO, or Senior Independent Director) are held by women*

* The Senior Management Function 'Chief Finance Function' is allocated to the Chief Operating Officer (COO). The COO is not a Board director position but is a member of our Executive Committee. This position is held by a woman.

All members of the Board are appointed by the Treasury, except 2 who are appointed jointly by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Treasury. We continue to encourage the Treasury and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to consider diversity in future appointments.

Our Executive Committee (ExCo)

Sustaining meaningful progress in the diversity of our ExCo is part of our wider objective to improve representation of women and ethnic minorities in our SLT.

Our ExCo diversity representation figures as of 31 March 2023 were:

  • 62.5% of our ExCo are women (5 out of 8 of our ExCo members are female)
  • 37.5% of our ExCo are from a minority ethnic background (3 out of 8 of our ExCo members are from a minority ethnic background), of whom 12.5% are Black (1 out of 8 of our ExCo members is Black)
  • 12.5% of our ExCo identify as gay/lesbian (1 out of 8 ExCo members)
  • 12.5% of our ExCo have a disability (1 out of 8 ExCo members)

We ask a question on the occupation of the main household earner when employees were aged about 14. The Social Mobility Commission recommends this as the best measure to assess someone’s socio-economic background. 

  • 50.0% of our ExCo are from a professional background or higher socio-economic background (4 out of 8 ExCo members).
  • 37.5% of our ExCo are from a working class or lower socio-economic background (3 out of 8 ExCo members).
  • 12.5% of our ExCo responded other such as: retired, this question does not apply to me, I don’t know (1 out of 8 ExCo members).

Page updates

: Information changed Information updated alongside our Annual Report 2022/23
: Information added Update on 2025 SLT target for representation of women
: Editorial amendment 4% added to SLT target table for 2025
: Information changed Updated in line with Diversity Annual Report 2021/22
: Information changed Updates following our Annual Report 2020/21.