Despite widespread calls to improve the participation of women in financial services, only 35% of workers in the sector believe their firm has a gender diversity program in place.
An eFinancialCareers Diversity Survey which polled 309 employed finance professionals living in Australia found that the demand for gender diversity programs is as strong as ever, with nearly two thirds (64%) of financial services workers believing gender discrimination exists within the industry.
Women were even more definite, with 84% saying gender discrimination does occur, and nearly 39% claiming they have experienced it personally in the past. Nine per cent say they currently feel discriminated against.
eFinanceCareers managing director Asia Pacific, George McFerran, says gender discrimination is still a very real issue for financial services.
“If firms want to attract women in greater numbers, they can’t continue in this way. Women are clearly saying they want to see gender diversity programs in place, and those programs are seen as very attractive in an employer.”
Male-female income disparity still appears to be rife in Australia’s financial services, with 56% agreeing there is a gender gap in income in the industry.
McFerran says that, considering the contribution women make to financial services, these results show too many Australian firms are "missing a trick" communicating clear gender diversity policies to their workers and potential employees.
“Financial services have traditionally been a bastion of male dominance, so it’s essential for firms to have clear, established gender diversity policies in place for the entire industry to move forward and become a more attractive proposition for women to work in.”