Aniela Unguresan Founder of the EDGE Certified Foundation believes that while the numbers are not the best we could have hoped for, a shift has begun which now needs acceleration towards further progress: “We are heading in the right direction, but we are not moving fast enough,” she said.
“Moreover, this movement in the right direction might give us the false sense that things will naturally evolve in and of themselves and in some decades from now we will have substantially improved scores. We simply cannot wait that long.”
At the same time, Aniela is encouraged by the increasing transparency given in order to rank organizations: “We do see increased transparency when it comes to the number. So we have more data, and better data on those indicators that matter.”
The importance of having and analysing data was further stressed by Elizabeth McCaul, Member of European Central Bank’s Supervisory Board (which is certified at EDGE Move level), who said: “I’m coming as a first American to the European Central Bank and I’m observing a very intentional approach to gathering information, putting policies in place, establishing targets for gender balance.”
The European Central Bank was ranked 25 (out of 159 central banks) in the GBI 2022 (an improvement of 66 places) and scored 71 points (compared to 41 in 2021).
Sharmila Hardi, Global Head of Banking for IFC (a member of the World Bank Group), shared that IFC has made significant strides toward gender equity this year and became EDGE Move certified: “It is a wonderful milestone to have reached the second level of Certification. We are also very focused right now on ensuring equity for all our colleagues, which is an important part of the internal dialogue.”
Similarly, Irene Espinosa, Deputy Governor Banco de México and the first female on the Board of Governors shared: “We are certified with EDGE Move, which has been very close to us in the work we are doing. I believe that such commitments necessitate ongoing effort and force us to establish concrete goals and objectives. I think we are on the right track.”
And the GBI 2022 results show that Banco de Mexico is indeed on the fast track as it jumped 84 places to rank 32 in the central bank ranking.
Looking forward, we need to be more ambitious in what is expected from ourselves and from our organizations if these numbers are to increase over time. “What would it take for all the institutions included in the GBI to set targets for general composition throughout the pipeline in order to achieve balance over the next three years? What would it take to commit to close the gender pay gap over the same time horizon? The answer is rather straightforward: objective measurement, transparency on current status and accountability for results.”, says Aniela.
The takeout from this year’s Gender Balance Index is that speed, focus on bold actions and significant outcomes in terms of workplace diversity, equity and inclusion should be high on the agenda of every leader in the financial services industry. The sustainability of industry’s business success will depend on it.