U.K. Lawmaker Says 33 Firms Yet to Sign Women in Finance Charter

  • UBS among banks that haven’t signed gender-balance commitment
  • More than 160 firms have already agreed to the charter

U.K. lawmaker Nicky Morgan wrote to 33 financial-services firms including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and UBS Group AG asking why they haven’t signed on to a government-backed charter committing them to filling more senior management positions with women.

Morgan, chairman of the treasury select committee, is pressuring the firms about their commitment to a more gender-balanced financial-services industry. More than 160 companies have already signed on to the Women in Finance Charter, which recommends companies strive to have 30 percent of senior roles filled by women by 2021. 

Nicky Morgan

Photographer: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images

“The progress of the Women in Finance Charter is to be welcomed," Morgan said in a statement. “The aim, however, must be to see all firms in the financial sector sign up to the Charter and make a concerted effort to improve their gender diversity, particularly in senior roles.”

Virgin Money Chief Executive Officer Jayne-Anne Gadhia led a government-backed review that found women made up only 14 percent of financial-services firms’ executive committees. The review, published in 2016, recommended creating the voluntary charter, which asks firms to publish annual progress reports on their efforts.

A JPMorgan spokeswoman said the bank was committed to the goals set out in the charter and was in discussions about signing up. A UBS spokesman said they also supported the principles underpinning the charter and were considering joining. Goldman Sachs plans to join, a person familiar with the situation said last month.

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