Gender equality within the financial services industry is continuing to improve, according to new data from Bloomberg.
The company’s Financial Services Gender Equality Index (BFGEI), which is based off survey data from participating banks and financial services firms, found that women comprise 24.2 per cent of board roles.
Additionally, the percentage of female executives within financial services firms increased by 25.2 per cent during the 2014/2015 fiscal year, the company said.
Bloomberg head of strategy and corporate development Angela Sun said investors were increasingly interested in gender equality data.
“Companies are increasingly focused on managing operational risks, including the attraction and retention of employees,” she said.
“As investors look for new drivers of risk-aware alpha, the demand for data around gender equality and other social and governance metrics continues to grow.”
Women in Banking and Finance chief executive Amanda Dobbie said that while the results were positive, Australian financial services firms need to do more.
“In Australia, we have seen good progress over the last 12 months with appointments into board roles, however progress of women appointed into executive leadership roles remains very slow,” she said.
Ms Dobbie said much was being done in the way of development programs, evidenced by BFGEI data that showed 73 per cent of surveyed companies require a gender diverse set of candidates for management roles and that 83 per cent offer or sponsor education programs, however she added that this was not addressing the main problem.
“The biggest issue is a cultural one and changing behaviours and deciding that Australia wants equality and female representation in senior leadership roles,” she said.