Mercer looks to advance women's participation in financial services

15 February 2019 3 min. read

International wealth advisory firm Mercer has announced a strategic alliance with the Global Banking Alliance for Women. The collaboration will see the organisations work together to advance women’s participation in financial services leadership.

A plethora of thought-leadership pieces, analytic exercises and industrial studies have consistently told business leaders that improving Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) in the workplace can improve business results, as well as benefitting the world beyond the office. Despite this, only seven of the CEOs leading FTSE 100 companies were women, with the financial services sector in particular struggling to shrug off its reputation as being a ‘boys club’.

The Global Banking Alliance for Women (GBA) is a peer learning network of financial services providers working around the world to tap into the power of the women’s market. Led by Inez Murray, the GBA’s Chief Executive Officer, the organisation launched a Working Group on gender diversity and inclusion (D&I) in October 2017 to explore best practices in recruiting, retaining, and advancing women in the workplace, and to establish how these practices can help businesses effectively serve women customers.

Mercer looks to advance women's participation in financial services

Now, global wealth and career consultancy Mercer has announced a new campaign to support the GBA via a strategic collaboration. Mercer has been working to improve inclusivity in the professional services sector recently, and began offering Trans healthcare benefits in its employee medical schemes in late 2018.

Meanwhile, Mercer’s new collaboration with the network will help GBA build its gender D&I services to member organisations via peer learning and the development of intellectual capital on gender balance. Through access to Mercer’s When Women Thrive survey/diagnostic tool, GBA members will also be given the opportunity to have their D&I efforts benchmarked against those of their financial services peers and other sectors.

Rob Baker, Head of Mercer’s D&I Consulting practice, commented, “We are excited to work with GBA and to bring our extensive D&I knowledge to a sector that is working hard to achieve a better gender balance. Firms with mature internal D&I gender programmes are often more successful in the market for financial services for women and in attracting and retaining female talent. Being representative of your customer base is important to achieving success, but there is also evidence to show that companies with a higher proportion of female leaders perform better.”

Inez Murray, CEO of GBA, added, “Research from our membership across multiple years shows a strong correlation between internal gender D&I and performance with the Women’s Market. We are delighted to be collaborating with Mercer to continue driving our members’ gender D&I efforts forward – and are particularly excited about the launch of our joint Working Group focussed on getting more women into the C-suite.”