Women in Finance Charter

At OSB Group we believe strongly in diversity and equality in our workforce. As such, in January 2017, we became a proud signatory of HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter; a voluntary commitment to work with the Government to build towards gender equality at all levels of our organisation.

By becoming a signatory of the Charter, we have pledged to be one of the best businesses in the sector in terms of gender equality.

Why was the Charter introduced?

Women in Finance Charter

The Women in Finance Charter was introduced as part of the Government’s aspiration to improve gender equality in the UK economy. As both the highest paid sector in the country and the sector in which the pay gap is the most stark, the financial services industry received its own review into the representation of women in senior management roles.

What does the Charter require?

The Charter:

  • Commits firms to supporting the progression of women into senior roles in the financial services sector by focusing on the executive pipeline and the mid-tier level.
  • Recognises the diversity of the sector and that firms will have different start points – each firm should therefore set its own targets and implement the right strategy for their organisation.
  • Requires firms to publicly report on progress to deliver against these internal targets, supporting the transparency and accountability needed to drive change.

What has OSB Group pledged to achieve?

We're committed to increasing the representation of women undertaking senior positions within our organisation as we firmly believe that greater diversity strengthens the capabilities of our managers and positively impacts our employees.

As such, our target is that 40% of all senior management positions within OSB Group in the UK will be undertaken by female employees by the end of 2026.

Alongside this target:

  • Jason Elphick, Group Counsel and Company Secretary, has been nominated as the senior executive with responsibility and accountability for gender diversity.
  • We'll publish progress annually against our target here on our website.
  • We'll ensure the pay of our senior executive team is linked to delivery against our gender diversity target.

2023 Update

When OSB first signed up to the Women in Finance Charter (WIFC) in January 2017, there were 16 female employees undertaking senior management positions out of a population of 67 (23.9%).

Following the combination with CCFS, and the associated doubling of our employee base, the Group’s initial WIFC target of ensuring that by the end of 2020, 30% of UK Senior Management positions were undertaken by women, became a single, group-wide target.

At the end of 2020, the Group published an increased target that by the end of 2023, 33% of UK Senior Management positions would be undertaken by female employees.

We entered the final year of our current three-year commitment period at 31.4% and as at the end of July 2023, we currently sit at 31.9%.

We were however pleased to have achieved our end of 2023 target earlier than anticipated when we reached 33.2% in March and saw this increase further to 33.5% in April.

Recent months have seen our percentage fall slightly, primarily as a result of us recruiting male employees into senior vacancies which related to specialist/technical roles for which the potential candidate bases were overwhelmingly male dominant.

Whilst the Group has and will continue to always make promotion or recruitment decisions based on performance, competence and expertise, we retain an ongoing requirement within our Recruitment and Selection Policy that for all senior management vacancies, at least one suitably qualified female candidate must be subject to face to face interview.

Our Policy also details that before an offer of employment can be progressed, any exceptions to this requirement require Executive approval, with an expectation that exception requests won’t be submitted until a vacancy has been live for at least 90 days in order to ensure that there has been an appropriate period of time for female candidates to be sourced.

Additionally, an existing senior female employee is required to be part of the selection process for all senior recruitment processes, to minimise the risk of potential unconscious bias and also to reflect a positive gender focussed culture to candidates being interviewed.

In recent months we are proud to have recruited our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Specialist, whose responsibilities will include the identification and implementation of activities to raise awareness of gender diversity, in turn supporting our ongoing commitment to the WIFC.

In addition, we’re supporting our longer term WIFC progress having launched our Women in Leadership programme in conjunction with an external provider (WDI Consulting) and two cohorts totalling over 30 employees will have commenced their programme by the end of Q3 2023.

Whilst it’s positive that we achieved our 33% end of 2023 target earlier than anticipated, our attention is already turning towards our next 3 year commitment. We anticipate that this will detail that by the end of 2026, 40% of UK Senior Management positions will be undertaken by female employees.

Separately, we’re proud to have strong female representation at senior committee level, whereby half of the 8 members of the OSB Group Board are female, as are 27.3% of our Group Executive Committee.