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.
Target Update - October 2020
2020 has been an interesting year for many of us but our commitment to gender diversity continues. We are still meeting targets and ensuring continuous improvement in our recruitment and development activities. Our Board is undergoing change and we fully expect that the gender balance will be improved during these transitions.
Target Update - October 2019
We have made further progress on the targets in 2019 but there have been some backward steps – but these do not reflect any reduction in our commitment to the charter and its aims – these are purely circumstantial. Resignations and structure changes are ongoing and we anticipate being back on track for our targets by the end of 2019. Our recruitment panels remain diverse which has been the norm since 2017 when we signed up for the Charter and we will continue to monitor to ensure this remains the case for all positions we hire. Our Senior Management team is 75% female and whilst we continue to hire on merit, we will ensure we monitor this ratio but not be driven by it to the point that we apply bias in another direction. With significant recruitment in 2019 our unique working model has continued to demonstrate that we have access to talent that others may not target and we are proud that our flexible working policies have enabled one person back into actuarial work from time spent out of the profession as well as others who need to balance work-life commitments that they would otherwise not be able to do.
Target update - May 2018
We have made good progress on the targets but will now go through a period of review to ensure that these targets are challenging enough moving forward. Ensuring that recruitment panels are diverse has been the norm since 2017 and we will monitor to ensure this remains the case for all positions we hire. 80% of our Senior Manager's have undergone Unconscious Bias training and we will aim to roll this out to more employees over this next year. Our Senior Management team is 60% female and 40% male and whilst we continue to hire on merit we will ensure we monitor this ratio. Finally, it has become clear to us all this year that our working model allows us to recruit talent that others may not target and we are proud that our flexible working policies have allowed several more people back into actuarial work from time spent out of the profession.
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.
- 28 November 2017: Women in Finance Charter: Helping us to think differently
- 22 March 2017: OAC signs up to the HM Treasury 'Women in Finance Charter'