’If improvements are to be made, financial institutions should pay heed to wider societal trends,’ says employment partner

The percentage of female staffers in the financial and insurance activities sector has dropped year-on-year, according to a new analysis by Kingsley Napley LLP.

The law firm, which looked at Office for National Statistics (ONS) data detailing gender balance amongst employees, highlighted that overall employment in the sector increased by 5.7% to 1.53m in Q2 2023 from the first quarter of the year.

However, it said that women made up 42.7% of staff in the sector in Q2 2023, a reduction of 1.6 percentage points compared to Q2 2022’s result.

It was a 0.4% uplift, however, from Q1 2023, which saw the lowest level since the nadir of the pandemic in Q1 2021.

Nikola Southern, employment partner at law firm Kingsley Napley LLP, said that “today’s financial services gender balance figures are surprisingly positive for an industry which still suffers reputationally as far as employment of women is concerned”.

20th century comparison

Compared to when records began in Q1 1997, women made up 53.3% of the sector – that equates to 10.8% more than today’s figures.

Kingsley Napley stated that a decline in traditional administrative jobs and the growth of information technology use could have impacted the number of women working in the sector.

However, women in Q2 2023 accounted for 47.5% of employees across all sectors, which is 2.1% above 1997 levels and roughly in line with averages over the years.


ONS data, women in insurance, staff

Considering what can be done to further improve gender equity, Southern said that “if improvements are to be made, financial institutions should pay heed to wider societal trends and ask whey they are still outliers in 2023”.

“In particular, they should be looking to ensure their culture is not a deterrence for female employees, that discrimination in all its guises is eliminated and that modern family and menopause policies are adopted to support their female staff,” she added.