Insurance Ireland was delighted to host a meeting with Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Jennifer Carroll MacNeill TD today (Wednesday 8 March) and the Steering Committee of Ireland’s first Women in Finance Charter to mark International Women’s Day.
The Women in Finance Charter is a collaboration between industry and Government under the Ireland for Finance strategy. Ireland for Finance, is the Government’s blueprint for the development of the international financial services sector. Diversity is a key theme of the Strategy. The Charter was developed in partnership with Insurance Ireland, Financial Services Ireland, Banking & Payments Federation Ireland and Irish Funds.
Insurance Ireland CEO, Moyagh Murdock, said: “Insurance Ireland are delighted to host this important meeting of the Minister and Ireland’s Women in Finance Charter Steering Committee to discuss how we progress the Charter now that it is in its second year. Ireland’s Women in Finance Charter aims to promote greater gender diversity, inspire and empower the next generation of women to pursue and advance careers in finance. As we celebrate International Women’s Day, it is important to remind ourselves that women remain dramatically underrepresented in senior leadership positions across the financial services industry, but this Charter, which aims to promote greater gender diversity,inspire and empower the next generation of women to pursue and advance careers in finance, is changing that.”
The Charter is open to all financial services firms operating in Ireland. Signatories of the Charter commit their organisations to improving the number of women in management and board level positions to achieve better gender balance and a more inclusive working environment. The senior management teams of signatory firms will be accountable for progressing the yearly targets.
Crucially, signatory data is being collected and reported on by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) to ensure independent, credible analysis on an annual basis. The first annual report is due in the first half of this year and more than 56 firms, representing over 44,000 employees have already signed up to the Charter, and the Steering Group, made up of public officials and industry professionals. Firms who sign the Charter between now and the launch will receive an invite to be there on the day the first annual report is launched.
Speaking at the meeting this morning, Minister Carroll MacNeill said:
“We have a great opportunity to progress this initiative before the publication of the first report and together we have a job of work to do to share the range of benefits that the Charter gives to firms that sign up and encouraging those firms who are considering signing up. Collective action is at the heart of International Women’s Day and what better way to demonstrate commitment to the diversity agenda and solidarity with industry peers than by signing the Charter.”
The chair of the Steering Group Financial Services Ireland Director Patricia Callan said:
“This International Women’s Day gives us the opportunity to celebrate the role of women in financial services, and to progress our efforts to increase the number of women with senior roles in the industry in Ireland. So far, 56 companies representing about 44,000 employees have committed themselves to the Women in Finance Charter, which demonstrates a real commitment from the industry to this important initiative. Though our industry has made progress, more work remains to be done and we would continue to encourage all firms to sign up to the Charter.”
Firms that wish to sign up to the Charter can contact one for the four trade associations (Banking & Payments Federation (BPFI), Financial Services Ireland (FSI), Irish Funds and Insurance Ireland) who are the main points of contact for the initiative. More details on the Charter, including contact details, can be found on the Better Balance website.