reporting on gender

Women in Finance Charter

We’re signatories to HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter – an initiative aimed at achieving equal gender representation in financial services. At the point the Charter was established, just 14% of financial services executives were women.

We’d initially set a target to have women fill 45-55% of our senior roles, reflecting the fact we were doing better in some areas than others. But we recognise it’s difficult to report on a range, and we’ve now set a target of 50% across our senior roles – something we’ll also look to achieve or maintain in other roles that aren’t specifically covered by the Charter. The timeframe for this is in line with our broader equality, diversity and inclusion action plan.

As the financial services sector’s independent ombudsman, we want to set the standard for fairness and equality. And we’re pleased to be in a position where we’re able to realistically aim for total gender balance – to mirror the gender spit among the population as a whole. Currently, 55% of our employees identity as female – including 50% of our ombudsmen, and 53% of our board and executive team.

However, for the level of senior management below our executive, we’re not so balanced – with 43% of women in these roles. A few senior women have left our service this year – which, due to the relatively small number of people involved, has shifted our gender balance slightly towards men.

Since signing the charter, we’ve appointed Annette Lovell, our director of engagement, as our senior executive responsible for gender diversity and inclusion. And we’ve begun to put in place plans to link part of our executive team’s pay to our progress toward our target.

To help us improve, we’ll be working on embedding equality, diversity and inclusion in all our policies and practices, so we continue to recruit, select and promote talented women. We’ll be drawing on the experience of our women’s network and recently-established parents’ network to help identify and address challenges relating specifically to gender – including how we can offer even better support to women who return to work for us after having a child. We’ll also be reviewing our flexible working practices.

our gender pay gap

Under legislation introduced in April 2017, all employers of 250 or more employees need to publish information about their gender pay gap. This means the difference in average pay between all men and women employed (rather than the difference in pay between men and women doing the same job). As we’re not a public body under the Equality Act 2010, we fall under the private and voluntary sector regulations for gender pay gap reporting.

Overall, our pay gap is smaller than the most recent average for all businesses reported by the Office for National Statistics (median 18.4%), as well as the civil service average (median 9.7%). However, we’re focused on doing everything we can to address it. In the coming year, we’ll be looking in particular at gender balance in less senior roles, and ensuring the equivalent salaries of people who are part-time or on unpaid leave don’t fall behind those of full-time employees.

7.2% our mean gender pay gap

6.0% our median gender pay gap

7.2% our mean gender pay gap

6.0% our median gender pay gap

Financial Ombudsman Service staff members sat at a table talking

what we’re proud of

We’re proud of how we’re doing – and we’re focused on making things better. Read about just some of the things we’ve achieved this year and why they matter.

Three Financial Ombudsman Service staff members talking

what we need to work on

We’ve made good progress – but we know there are things we need to work on. Read about our challenges and how we’re addressing them.

Three Financial Ombudsman Service staff members walking through building

what’s next

Find out what we’ll be working on in the coming months.