The recently announced new signatories push up the total number of financial firms and organisations who have signed up to over 370. From global banks to credit unions, some of the largest insurance companies and financial technology start-ups, this year Unividual became one of those firms. The Women in Finance Charter reflects the government’s aspiration to see gender balance across financial services firms. Those signing up to the Charter commit to working together to build a balanced and fair industry and pledge to be the best businesses in the sector.
In signing up to the Charter, Lewis Baxter, London Financial Planner and Director of Unividual said: “We set ourselves the target of achieving 40 per cent female representation within management in the next three years. We are proud to have grown total female representation in our business from 16.6% to 36.8% in 4 years. Senior management female representation stands at 33.3% and 66.7% of middle management are women but we still are yet to have our first female financial adviser. This is something we have been focusing on since the launch of our in-house financial planning school, Unicademy. It can take 3 years for an employee to train up and we are confident we will have our first female financial adviser by the end of 2021.”
Marketing Director of Unividual, Cherie-Anne Baxter, 36, said: “One of the hardest obstacles our industry has is making financial advice an attractive career option to women because of the perception that a financial adviser is a role traditionally taken up by men, just like on the opposite side nursing is traditionally taken up by women.
“When Lewis and I established Unicademy it was with the objective to combat the threat the industry has of dwindling numbers of financial advisers. When we started to grow the business, we quickly found out that we needed to widen the pool of applicants. We started speaking to people about why they don’t apply for finance roles and to those already working in the industry. This feedback meant we could overhaul our recruitment process to ensure our language and imagery was inclusive to a wide cross section of society. We adapted job descriptions, adverts, the website and much more. The recruitment process was then adjusted to ensure people could shine by introducing Experience Days inside our offices. One of our Chartered Financial Planners, Simon Jones, also made a film “Financial Services At Work” showcasing why our people love working in financial services which featured a wide cross section of staff working for us. Being awarded a place on the Women in Finance Charter is not only a reward to our hard work but demonstrates our commitment to gender balance. It gives women the reassurance that at Unividual they can have a prosperous, fair career. They can push themselves and still be in a competitive environment but for reasons that aren’t gender based.”