Women in Finance Charter
HM Treasury's Women in Finance Charter is a pledge for gender balance across financial services. This is a commitment by HM Treasury and signatory firms to work together to build a more balanced and fair industry. Firms that sign up to this Charter are pledging to be the best businesses in the sector. The Charter reflects the government’s aspiration to see gender balance at all levels across financial services firms. A balanced workforce is good for business – it is good for customers, for profitability and workplace culture, and is increasingly attractive for investors.
An interview with Darren Richards, Chief Executive at OAC, about the firm's participation.
So, Darren. Why has OAC signed up to the Women in Finance Charter?
OAC has a unique culture offering a real work-life balance choice to our employees. We have a proven track record of seeing individuals flourish and progress their careers to a senior level with us when it could be argued this would not have happened in another company. This is something we are rightly proud of and was enabled by the forward-thinking vision of the founders of the company who pioneered our working model over 20 years ago.
Recent surveys have suggested that specifically for the actuarial profession in the UK, women leave the profession on average around the age of 40 (excluding retirement) which is almost 15 years earlier than men. The Women in Finance Charter is now part of OAC's overall business strategy on diversity encompassing sexual orientation, race, religion, disability and other characteristics. The Charter provides us with such a great platform to join like-minded organisations with the shared desire to make a difference and enables the sharing of ideas, best practice and goals in a joined-up way.
Why is OAC different?
OAC offers all our employees, not just women, flexible working to raise or provide support to their families and progress their career without having to make tough decisions like throwing away all of one's training. It was one of the attractions when I joined the company - seeing more of my children growing up and progressing my career has been something I have been blessed with. It is something we should all be able to do.
Why have you chosen the targets below?
Diversity is a holistic end to end process. It is about the choices we make when bringing people into the company and how they progress through the company. It is about setting an example and encouraging similar from our clients, partners and suppliers. It is about the people in the business now, how we train and develop them to be aware of issues such as unconscious bias. Our targets genuinely endeavour to make us a better company throughout.
What are our targets?
- Have female representation in all recruitment panels.
- Aim to have and maintain 50% female representation across senior management roles within 3 years.
- Improve our approach to flexible working for all employees.
- To ensure all Senior Management and other key employees have undertaken unconscious bias training.