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Oct 31, 2017

UK financial regulator reprimands itself for lack of diversity

FCA sees decline in number of women in senior leadership team

The UK financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), yesterday found itself in the unusual position of having to issue itself a reprimand after the most recent data shows the watchdog has moved further away from its own targets on improving diversity.

The numbers demonstrate that the FCA’s senior leadership team was 36 percent female on 31 March, 2017 – a decline from the 39 percent ratio at the same point in 2016. The regulator has set a target of 45 percent of its top leaders identifying as female by 2020, and 50 percent by 2025 as part of its commitment to the Women in Finance charter.

The regulator has also revealed that on average, women working at the FCA are paid 19 percent less than men, because of the relative lack of women in higher-paying senior roles.

The FCA took a further step in the wrong direction with regards to its ethnic diversity targets: as of March 31, 2017 only 2 percent of the body’s senior leadership team identified as black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME), down from 3 percent in 2016.

The regulator aims to have 8 percent of its leaders identifying as BAME by 2020 and 13 percent by 2025.

Christopher Woolard, chair of the FCA’s executive diversity committee, says in a statement: ‘We are obviously disappointed that the number of people identifying as female and BAME in senior leadership roles fell slightly in the year ending 31 March 2017. But we are taking positive steps to ensure we achieve a better balance across the organization.’