It has become a global initiative for banks to try to increase diversity and inclusion within the workplace, ensuring people of all genders and backgrounds have an equal chance of being both employed and promoted through their organisations.
Whilst there is clear evidence that the industry is taking such issues more seriously than it did a decade ago, few, if any, have achieved what they set out to do.
As headhunters, we are expected to deliver 50/50 shortlists and focus very specifically on identifying female candidates, but does this meaningfully address the issue or is it simply a box-ticking exercise?
In 2016, we conducted a mapping exercise across the European investment banking divisions of 12 banks with a specific focus on women at Director and Managing Director level. We refreshed this data in January 2020 and found that the number of women has increased by less than 0.5% – a finding which shows the industry is failing to move the needle.