The results of a new diversity survey have revealed that for men and women working in financial services, there are clear opportunities for progression, according to 70% of respondents.

Hilary Cooper, senior associate, the Finance Foundation, who analysed the survey’s findings said: “Continued action to promote greater diversity and to address issues such as unconscious bias will be crucial for progress in opening up opportunities. More than half of women and people from an ethnic minority background who responded to our survey were in favour of their organisation setting diversity targets.

“People were clear on the benefits that they thought greater diversity would bring, not just to career progression but also to well-being and inclusion, employee satisfaction and staff retention. They were keen to see leadership action to improve ethnic diversity by promoting an inclusive image of the sector and by proactively recruiting from under-represented groups.”

“With 51% female institute members and around 30% of our members identifying themselves as being an ethnic minority, these issues remain at the top of our agenda.”

Chloe Moran, chartered financial planner (CFP) at Rose & North, said in a recent interview with Adviser Points of View that there needs to be a more diverse workforce when it comes to financial advisers.

Moran says: “Diversity brings fresh ideas, and I think that is something the industry really needs. The industry definitely needs more young people and more women. I think recently it was announced that women made up 30% of the latest PFS graduate cohort, so it is getting better.”

Simon Thompson, chief executive of the Chartered Banker Institute, added: “These responses provide invaluable insight as we seek develop our latest professional development programmes aimed at enabling all banking professionals to reach their full potential, through initiatives such as our mentoring programme and 2025 Foundation.

“Issues of diversity and progression, gender pay, and representation at senior levels in banking and financial services continue to be widely debated. With 51% female institute members and around 30% of our members identifying themselves as being an ethnic minority, these issues remain at the top of our agenda. For those joining the banking profession, we must continue to promote diversity and inclusion in all areas, so the sector is genuinely meritocratic and reflective of society.

“This matters to us as an institute and should matter to all those who wish to see responsible banking reconnecting with society through building a more inclusive workforce.”