Financial planning / News / Financial Planning for Women

Financial empowerment – our commitments on International Women’s Day

This year, the theme of International Women’s Day is #BreakTheBias, highlighting the ongoing need for all of us to work towards a world that is diverse, equitable and inclusive. Caroline Underhill, our Global Marketing Director and Head of CSR, explains the work we’re doing to support women’s financial empowerment across our communities.

As part of International Women’s Day, and our ongoing CSR commitments, we are keen to help create an environment where diversity is valued, and people can thrive. Our work is centered around some key areas: ensuring that women have strong career opportunities across the financial sector and giving women the opportunity to develop the skills needed to empower them to take control of their own financial futures.

Championing diversity in the financial sector

We’re keen to ensure that all women working at The Fry Group can thrive as part of a diverse, inclusive and open environment. The proportion of female leaders in the global financial services industry remains low at just 12%, despite many organisations claiming to have strong diversity initiatives. Last year we took the decision to sign up to the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter, which aims to develop gender balance at all levels across financial services firms. This includes supporting women into senior roles, and within the next year, we’re aiming to ensure that at least 30% of our Board and 30% of our Senior Leadership team are female. Our ultimate ambition is to achieve a 50/50 balance of gender diversity across the Group, so we’re focused on hiring more, promoting more and keeping more women in our organisation. A range of new policies and initiatives are supporting this cultural shift, with agile working, family-friendly and extended maternity and paternity policies being the key highlights.

Creating financial empowerment across communities

Sadly, for many women, there are a number of financial hurdles, notably the gender pension gap, which can negatively impact retirement plans, and the opportunity for financial freedom in later years. Our work here aims to educate, inform and support our female clients in prioritising good financial habits, planning career breaks and building their own savings, investments and pension pots.

We want to measure our success, not just by profits and balance sheets, but by how we can make a positive impact across society. One of our aims is to improve financial literacy for groups who may not have the opportunity of education or to develop skills in this area, and who, as a result, are at an increased risk of debt and financial exploitation. Our work with two social enterprises in Asia is helping improve financial literacy for marginalised groups, and our recent partnership with the Enrich charity in Hong Kong is helping to provide a financial education for female domestic workers so that they have the knowledge and confidence to take control of their own finances.

We’re proud of the first steps we’re taking to empower women both against the backdrop of International Women’s Day, and every day. We hope that by equipping women with strong financial skills and exciting career opportunities we can help to create an environment where all women around us can thrive.