Wesleyan, the specialised financial service mutual has signed the Women in Finance Charter promising to reach 33 per cent female representation in senior management by 2023.
The Women in finance Charter is a commitment to provide a diverse, inclusive and gender balanced financial services sector by signatory firms and HM Treasury.
According to its first annual report in March 2018, since its launch in March 2016, 205 firms have signed the Women in Finance Charter and collectively they employ 650,000 people across the financial services sectors.
Jess Phillips, MP for Birmingham Yardley said: “A gold medal for Wesleyan, I shall be happy when 50 per cent of power lies with women as we represent half the population, but 33 per cent is a good start. Surprisingly financial companies are leading the way when it comes to reducing gender imbalances in senior roles.”
On International Women’s Day, the 2017 winner of Life Company of the year at the MoneyAge awards, announced a five-year partnership with WISE, focussing on the recruitment, retention and advancement of women at Wesleyan.
Caroline Hill, Director of the HR and Corporate Services at Wesleyan said: “We want to have a truly diverse workforce as we believe it will make us a stronger business and more reflective of the customers we serve.”
She added: “We are also committed to progressing more women into senior position and I’m looking forward to working with WISE to develop robust plans to achieve this.”
Helen Wollaston, Chief Executive of WISE said: “We are extremely pleased to be working with Wesleyan as addressing gender balance in Fintech companies is vital.”
Helen Wollaston continued: “There is a wealth of opportunities for women to enjoy a great career in technology and financial services where their contribution will make a real difference and by announcing their commitment to a five-year membership with WISE on International Women’s Day this year, Wesleyan are making a powerful statement to their sector that we wholeheartedly endorse.”
Women into Science and Engineering (WISE) established in 1984 in a collaboration between the Engineering Council and the Equal Opportunities Commission. WISE encourages and advocates for involvement and success of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Wesleyan, which formed in Birmingham on the 23rd of April 1841 is due to celebrate its 177th anniversary this year. The company, which started off in life assurance evolved in 1997 to provide specialist financial services for select professions, such as lawyers, doctors, teachers and dentists.
The financial service mutual have also been involved with charity work for years and run an initiative in partnership with The Heart of England Community Foundation donating up-to £1 million a year to good causes.
Wesleyan also partnered with Birmingham Children’s Hospital raising over £250,000 in two-years for the Waterfall House, the Cancer and Rare Diseases Unit at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
In 2017 Magnolia House at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital was officially opened for which Wesleyan raised £750,000 in two years.
According to the Magnolia House website, “It’s a safe-haven where children and families can spend time together for as long as they need.
Magnolia House set the benchmark for palliative care across the UK being the first of its kind to receive full funding through charitable donations.”
Some of the £750,000 was raised by sales of the specially commissioned children’s book: The Unstoppable Nanny McGee, which sold over 5000 copies in the first three-months.
It was the first time a children’s book went on sale at Birmingham department store, Selfridges.