Figures published by the Office for National Statistics this month show the number of women employed in the finance and insurance sectors is now at 42.7%, down by 1.6% compared to the same period in 2022. Some firms in the sector are however bucking the trend and accountants Mercer & Hole employs 47% female staff, 45% of whom are at manager level or above.
The ONS figures also compared to a high in 1997 when women made up 53.5% of the finance and insurance sector. This historic drop since has been blamed on a fall in administrative jobs and growth of IT in the sector. Changes more recently suggest women could be turning their backs on the sector.
Paul Maberly, Managing Partner at Mercer & Hole comments: “It is important for all firms to act to encourage women to consider a career in the sector and to stay in the sector. At Mercer & Hole we are proud to have 45% of female staff in the firm who are at manager level or above and we are working to increase this number by talking to our staff and offering them the type of career, flexibility, and the support they need at the different stages of their career, to encourage them to flourish and to also stay within the business. We have also created an open and fair culture in relation to pay and gender pay gap reporting.”
“Whilst technology has certainly changed the roles across the sector in the last few years it is important to recognise that these changes can only be considered to have had a positive impact if both men and women thrive equally in the workplace both now and in the future.”
Some of the measures introduced at Mercer & Hole to support employees include:
- Holistic career development, a ‘People Passport’ which considers an individual’s technical and career development, business skill set and an encouragement to contribute to the wider Mercer & Hole community with wherever their passions lie.
- Agile Working as well as Flexi-time.
- Flexible Working.
- Good female role models throughout the firm.
- Access to Menopause Support.
- Enhanced Maternity Pay.
- Office closure over the festive season.
- Active Wellbeing, Charity, Sustainability and diversity, equality and inclusion champions.
- Buying and Selling of Holiday.
- Health cash plan with many wellbeing applications and family cover.