In May 2017, we signed the Women in Finance Charter, and pledged to improve the gender balance in our senior team. We said that by 2020, we’d aim to have women make up at least 40% of both our executive committee and our board.
Here’s our yearly update on the progress we’ve made so far.
What is the Women in Finance Charter?
The Women in Finance Charter was launched by the Treasury in response to the unequal gender representation in the financial services industry, especially in senior and mid-level management. It’s a voluntary charter that companies can sign to publicly commit to improving that imbalance.
When we signed the Charter in 2017, we committed to doing the following:
Having one member of the senior executive team who is responsible and accountable for gender diversity and inclusion
Setting internal targets for gender diversity in senior management
Ensuring any variable pay for the senior executive team is linked to delivery against our gender diversity targets
Publicly reporting on our progress every year
These targets focus on our board and our executive committee. But the way we run Monzo is different to most banks and financial institutions. Traditionally, a company’s board gives the executive committee the delegated authority to make decisions.
At Monzo, we want to empower the people closest to problems to make decisions instead. That means everyone in the company has the power to make decisions as part of their day-to-day work, and decision-making and influence are distributed more evenly across the company. We use our executive committee as a forum to debate ideas and challenge our CEO.
Our progress so far
We signed the charter back in May 2017, and at the time
38% of our board identified as women
11% of our executive committee identified as women
In September 2018
29% of our board identified as women
20% of our executive committee identified as women
In September this year
22% of our board identify as women
27% of our executive committee identify as women
The percentage of women on our executive committee has increased as we've promoted and hired people into senior positions.
The percentage on our board is lower as we've had three men join in the last year: Gary Hoffman as Chair, Phillip Riese as an independent Non-Executive Director, and Alwyn Jones as CFO. And in this time, no women have joined our board. This is something the board is focusing on improving and we're currently working on a new board-level diversity policy. We'll give an update on this later in the year.
To bring new ideas and impetus to our pledge, from November we're changing our accountable executive from Paul Rippon, our Deputy CEO. Our new accountable executive will be Susan Adams, our Director of Governance and Company Secretary. Susan joined us in September 2018, and she already has some great plans for women at Monzo, including bringing in external speakers and providing training in key soft skills for leaders who identify as women.
We're working hard to meet our target. We've made more senior hires this year than in previous ones, and many of these have been people who identify as women, including Lisa Nowell our CRO and Sheree Atcheson our new Head of Diversity and Inclusion. As we continue to grow, we'd like to increase our diversity even more, but we know we still have a little way to go.
What are we doing to improve?
To meet our 2020 target, we’ll continue working hard to make sure we're a company that supports women to succeed. We're constantly looking to find out what we're doing right and what we can improve on.
As part of the initiative, we’re focusing on equipping people who identify as women at Monzo with the skills needed to make it to the top in finance and elsewhere. As a part of this, we’re holding a series of talks and discussions with women in leadership covering topics including handling difficult conversations, dealing with imposter syndrome, and asking for pay rises.
But, while gender equality is a positive step forward, gender balance is not the only metric of diversity. We'll continue to make sure we’re building a company that's intersectionally inclusive - we want to be representative of the UK’s workforce across race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class and disability as well as gender.