Support grows among MPs for new charter for women in business

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SUPPORT is growing among MPs for a new charter that would link executive pay to a company’s ability to deliver gender equality.

The AAT - Association of Accounting Technicians - said that most MPs have backed a recommendation to extend the “Women in Finance Charter” to cover all businesses in the UK.

The charter, which officially launched in 2016, calls on financial services firms to take a number of steps to promote gender equality. The charter urges firms to have a named senior executive responsible and accountable for gender diversity and inclusion. It also calls on firms to set internal targets for gender diversity in senior management positions and publish its progress annually.

The charter calls on firms to ensure the pay of the senior executive team is linked to delivery against these internal targets on gender diversity. Signed by more than 300 financial services firms, including AAT, its impact remains limited to the finance sector

AAT would like to see the charter widened in scope and renamed the “Women in Business Charter”.

A spokesman said: “This would open it up to cover all sectors, from Government departments, local authorities and charities, to all listed companies and the five million SMEs that are driving the British economy. Members of Parliament agree, with a recent AAT survey indicating that most MPs (54 per cent) would support a change to incorporate all sectors of the economy.”

Phil Hall, of AAT, said: “AAT was the first, and for a long time the only, professional accountancy body to sign the Women in Finance Charter, because it knows closing the gap leads to a more diverse and creative workforce,.”

In Yorkshire, organisations like Forward Ladies are highlighting the vital economic role played by women in business.