Women in Finance Charter and progress against targets

Our progress towards our ethnicity and gender targets to improve senior representation, including our updated targets for 2025.

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

In line with the charter, we set stretching targets for our Senior Leadership Team (SLT) for gender parity (50%) to be met by 2025. At the same time, we set targets to improve senior representation for minority ethnic individuals, targeting 13% representation in our SLT by 2025. 

Our new targets

After reviewing progress against our targets in Q2 2021, we  expanded our gender and ethnicity targets beyond our SLT, introducing targets at Manager, Technical Specialist and Senior Associate (inclusive of Lead and Senior Associate) levels in July 2021. 

Improving diversity at these levels is vital, not least because individuals in these roles are the pipeline for our future senior leadership. Setting these targets will ensure we drive positive change and are held accountable for our progress across the organisation.   

Our targets for women remain at 50% and we have 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 ethnic minority groups and are particularly aware of a lack of Black individuals in senior roles in financial services. Our own data shows slower career progression for Black individuals at the FCA. We have committed to increasing Black representation at SLT level, targeting 4% SLT Black representation within our target for 2025.  

We have seen better progress within our minority ethnic SLT representation data than we have for those who identify as Black. Therefore, in complementing our latest aspirations to increase ethnic diversity at our SLT level to 20%, we also commit to increasing Black representation at SLT level, targeting 4% SLT Black representation, within that target, by 2025. We will continue to seek opportunities to use more granular data for targeted action, moving forwards.

Progress against our targets

At the time of reporting for our 2020/21 Annual Diversity Report, our Senior Leadership Team (SLT) female representation figure was 43.5%. In the last year, we have seen good progress towards our 2025 target:  

  • 46.5% of our SLT identified as female on 31 March 2022. The figure excluding the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) is 44.5%.  

Progress towards our pipeline grade targets has been slower. On 31 March 2022:  

  • 42.1% of the manager population is female 
  • 29.4% of the technical specialist population is female 
  • 48.1% of the senior associate population is female 
  • The figures excluding the PSR are 41.5%, 29.7% and 48.2% respectively  

This represents an increase of 3 percentage points for SLT, no change at management level, a decrease of 1 percentage point for technical specialists and an increase of 1.6 percentage points for senior associates. 

Our minority ethnic SLT representation has shown growth over the last year: 

  • 14.7% of SLT is from a minority ethnic background as of 31 March 2022, up from 12.9% in 2021. The figure for March 2022 excluding the PSR is 15.4% 
  • Our Black SLT representation has also shown growth, with 2.3% of the population identifying as Black as of 31 March 2022, up from 1.6% in 2021 

Our pipeline grades have shown modest minority ethnic growth. These have increased from: 

  • 12.9% to 14.2% at manager level 
  • 14.7% to 17.4% at technical specialist level  
  • 25.1% to 27.2% at senior associate level  
  • The figures excluding the PSR are 14.1%, 17.8% and 27.3% respectively 

While this shows improvement, the pace of change is slow, and we acknowledge that we need to do more to meet our stretching objectives.  

The tables below indicate our revised ethnicity and gender targets, and our position against these targets on 31 March 2022. Historically, we have used headcount when reporting on our progress against targets.

This year we have updated our reporting approach to use FTE (full time equivalent), to ensure we are aligned with our internal progress reporting. We also believe using FTE gives a more accurate view on the representation of our workforce. We are now also reporting our progress against our targets to one decimal place to provide an additional level of granularity and insight. 

Representation of women      
  Progress at March 2021 Progress at March 2022 Target for 2025
Senior Leadership Team (SLT) 43.5% 46.5% 50%
Manager 42.1% 42.1% 50%
Technical Specialist  30.4% 29.4% 50%
Senior Associate  46.5% 48.1% 50%
Minority ethnic representation      
  Progress at March 2021 Progress at March 2022 Target for 2025
Senior Leadership Team (SLT) 12.9% (1.6% Black) 14.7% (2.3% Black) 20% (4% Black)
Manager 12.9% 14.2% 25%
Technical Specialist  14.7% 17.4% 25%
Senior Associate  25.1% 27.2% 25%

Page updates

02/08/2022: Editorial amendment 4% added to SLT target table for 2025
19/07/2022: Information changed Updated in line with Diversity Annual Report 2021/22
15/07/2021: Information changed Updates following our Annual Report 2020/21.