The Treasury announced that Deloitte, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and Bank of England were among the most recent names to sign. The charter was created last year to tackle gender inequality in financial services.
The announcement was particularly significant as today marks the point in a year when a man on an average wage will have earned what their female colleagues make in a whole year.
Businesses who sign the charter pledge to support the progression of women into senior roles in the workplace.
They are also required to publicly report on progress to deliver their targets, in a bid to support transparency and accountability. Each firm is encouraged to lay out its own targets and strategy for achieving them.
The charter has now a total of 160 signatories, including PwC, EY, the Financial Conduct Authority, the British Bankers’ Association and HSBC.
Stephen Haddrill, chief executive of the regulator, said the FRC was proud of its record on diversity, with a majority of women holding senior executive positions.
He noted that the UK corporate governance code already encouraged board diversity and reporting, as this contributed to integrity in business, the long-term success of a company and, in turn, sustainable growth in the UK economy.
Deloitte is the last of the Big Four to sign, while PwC was the first, joining in June last year.
Emma Codd, managing partner for talent at Deloitte UK, said, “Helping women to succeed at all levels within our firm is a business priority for us. We know it is critical to the long-term success of our business to have a diverse workforce and we have been working on a deliberate set of actions to achieve this.
The Bank of England’s signature followed pressure from the Treasury Committee to increase its diversity.
Last month, the BoE announced that its gender pay gap stood at 21%, higher than the UK average of 19% but lower than the financial services gender gap of 31%.
Following this announcement, chair of the Treasury Committee Nicky Morgan wrote to the chancellor warning about the composition of the BoE’s policy committees, following the appointment of deputy governor Dave Ramsden and external member of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) Silvana Tenreyro – who is the only women on the Bank’s MPC.