Manchester Credit Union flying the flag for women in finance on International Women’s Day.
International Women’s Day takes place on Wednesday, March 8
The industry is so dominated by men that the government launched a Women in Finance Charter last year to combat the huge gender inequality at all levels across financial services firms.
HM Treasury and signatory firms pledged to work together to build a more balanced and fair industry.
Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of board directors of UK financial services companies are women, but only one in seven (14 per cent) executive committee members are female, according to figures from think tank New Financial.
However, Manchester Credit Union, based in the spiritual home city of the suffragettes, is bucking the trend by having three-quarters of its senior management positions filled by women and its board has an even split of men and women.
Led by CEO Christine Moore, an initial signatory to the charter, Manchester Credit Union offers saving and affordable loans to anyone who lives or works in Manchester, Bury, Rochdale, Tameside, Trafford or the High Peak.
Christine said: “We want to lead by example and show there is a better way to work in the financial sector. MCU has two goals: to contribute towards the alleviation of poverty within the community and towards the economic regeneration of that community.
“We pride ourselves on providing ethical and affordable financial services to a diverse membership.
“And so it is right we demonstrate diversity from the banking culture norms.
“We want to show women belong at the top of finanical organisations and all institutions can only benefit from a stronger female presence.”
According to the Gahdia report into women in senior management commissioned by the Treasury: “More women than men start out in financial services but, as they progress, the majority fall out, especially at middle management level. This leaves almost all of the top jobs in the hands of men.
“This outcome has, arguably, contributed not only to the financial crisis, but also to an imbalance in a society in which banks and financial services firms provide the life-blood for economic progress.”
Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, said: “The business case for fairness, equality and inclusion is clearer than ever, and financial institutions must embrace diversity in their organisation in order to reap the benefits.”
MCU is a member-owned financial co-operative, owned and controlled by its members, and has been in business for 25 years.
It exists solely for the benefit of its members and any surplus generated is returned to members in the form of a dividend on savings, or used to improve services.
Find out more at the Manchester Credit Union website.