In January 2018, Nucleus signed the Women in Finance Charter and pledged to improve the gender balance in our senior leadership team by setting a target of no less than 40% female representation by the end of 2020.
We recognised that while we have a good gender balance across our team, we have work to do to grow the number of women in leadership roles. A core component of our people strategy is to ensure we're nurturing an inclusive and inspiring working environment to attract and retain the best people. However, we still have work to do and believe by starting with a specific focus on gender will be a catalyst for other under-represented groups.
By signing the charter, we commit to the following:
I will be the member of the senior executive team who is responsible and accountable for gender diversity and inclusion.
Supporting the progression of women into senior roles by setting internal targets
Publishing our progress annually against these targets in reports on our website
Ensuring a proportion of variable pay for our executive team is linked to delivery against our diversity targets.
Our gender diversity targets
When we signed up to the charter in January 2018, we had 18% female representation. In June 2019 we reported an increase to 33% and in June 2020 this has decreased slightly to 32%. This decrease is due to an executive committee restructure that resulted in one female departing the team and female representation falling from 25% to 17%. However, in the same period we were pleased to report three promotions for female senior leaders which meant an increase in our female representation beneath the executive level from 29% to 38%.
Overall this unfortunately this means that we are unlikely to meet our charter target of no less than 40% female representation in our most senior roles by 31 December 2020. However, we remain committed to this target and intend to take every opportunity to achieve this in the short to medium term. All hiring for senior positions are subject to additional scrutiny where a female is not appointed to the role and this approach will be maintained.
You can read more about our commitment to inclusion and diversity at Nucleus.
We define senior leadership roles as the board, our executive team and those individuals reporting to our executive team leading functional areas accountable for delivery of our business plan. These are our key decision-making groups, so more balanced representation here will result in meaningful change.
It’s a small group: we have eight board members, six executive committee members (two of whom also sit on the board) and an additional sixteen people who represent major areas of our business. We have no desire to make either of these groups bigger than they need to be to help us run our business well, and our people turnover is low. We achieve our ambitions by setting successive targets - so once we meet this one, we’ll set another and in the longer term, we aspire to achieve equal gender balance.
Our senior accountable executive is me. I’m (largely) healthy, white, and male. I realise the potential for irony here, however this is in-keeping with the charter’s more detailed recommendations to avoid this being seen as a siloed issue for the people function or a problem about women for women to solve.
This isn't a box-ticking exercise for us, this is about being future relevant and durable. I strongly believe that broader diversity leads to innovation and better decision making. Diverse teams have been proven to demonstrate greater retention, more commitment and better collaboration, and creating a better balance can only lead to sustainable growth for Nucleus, better service for clients and a better future for women in financial services. Too often we focus on the direct skills for the job and overlook the team angle. Even if a female is 10 per cent less directly capable and a team of six becomes 2 per cent stronger by being more diverse, the female should get the job.
I sign this charter on behalf of Nucleus with a clear personal perspective. My wife and I have an eight-year-old daughter and I want her to be viewed as capable and valuable as her male colleagues. This message is regularly stated in our domestic situation and I hope that by the time she enters the world of work, her gender won't be a consideration at all. Similarly, I'd hope our son grows up to have exactly the same view of the world.
Please judge us on our results and do let me know your feedback
David Ferguson, founder and CEOLearn more about diversity and inclusion at Nucleus from Kirsty Lynagh, Chief people officer