• Occupy 16% of firms’ executive committees: Oliver Wyman
  • Representation at that level won’t hit 30% until 2048

Progress in boosting the representation of women in senior financial-industry roles has been slow, according to management consultancy Oliver Wyman.

Women globally occupied 20 percent of board-level positions in financial firms at the beginning of 2016, up from 18 percent in 2013, according to a report released Monday, which was based on an analysis of 381 financial services organizations in 32 countries. Some 16 percent of the companies’ executive-committee members were women, up from 14 percent in 2013, the study showed.

Some firms haven’t found the “right recipe” for advancing women, Oliver Wyman said in the report. “Diversity is too often seen as part of corporate social responsibility or fairness in the workplace, rather than as a commercial imperative,” it said.

Companies are under increasing pressure to create more diverse boardrooms, particularly by adding women, to reflect the makeup of the workforce. Morgan Stanley has added to research supporting the thesis that diversity is good for profits, when it said last month that companies with more women in the ranks had better returns and lower stock volatility.

At present growth rates, female representation on executive committees won’t reach 30 percent until 2048, the Oliver Wyman report said. Currently, women have the highest representation on executive committees in Norway and Sweden, with Japan and South Korea needing the greatest improvement, according to the study.

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