Hope Capital signs Women in Finance Charter

Ryan Bembridge

November 20, 2018

Bridging lender Hope Capital has signed the Women in Finance Charter to promote a balanced and fair industry.

The charter is a commitment by HM Treasury and signatory firms to work with financial services companies to achieve gender diversity.

Half of Hope Capital’s board are female, as are 75% of its staff. The aim is for 40% of all senior management positions to be held by female employees.

Jonathan Sealey (pictured), chief executive of Hope Capital, said: “We set the expectation of signing up to the Women in Finance Charter some time ago within Hope Capital.

“Where we have differed from other financial companies is that we wanted to have already hit our targets before we signed up, as actions speak louder than words.

“We have spent the last few months working towards this and, as a result, we are proud of the fact that we already have an equal split of men and women on our senior management team and 75% of our staff are female, including underwriters, case writers and BDMs.

“Our target now is to maintain the level that we have achieved already.”

Sealey is responsible for ensuring Hope Capital retains its gender diversity commitments.

Laura Carr, head of underwriting, who is now part of the senior management team, said: “This latest commitment to the Charter is the next logical step to what is a long-term commitment.”

The Women in Finance Charter came about after the government asked Jayne Anne Gadhia, then chief executive of Virgin Money, to lead a review into the representation of women in senior leadership roles in the finance industry.

She found out that the pay gap between men and women is worse in financial services than in any other sector, with a woman earning 60p for every £1 that a man earns.

Women made up 23% of boards at City firms but only 14% of executive committees.

Meanwhile just 6% of CEOs in the financial services sector are women.

The charter requires that one member of the senior executive team is responsible and accountable for gender diversity and inclusion.

There needs to be internal targets set for gender diversity in senior management.

Progress needs to be published annually by firms on their websites.

And there needs to be an intention to ensure the pay of the senior executive team is linked to delivery against these internal targets on gender diversity.

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