‘Women on boards of banks ensures they’re more financially stable’, says IMF

Labour Party

The IMF has found that including women on the boards of banks ensures they are more financially stable. Its report, which you can read here, provides further compelling evidence why having women in senior positions and on company boards is good for business.

I find I defend my position regarding women on boards too frequently. The IMF- an institution which obviously musters high regard and respect- found in its report that: “the higher proportion of senior positions occupied by women, the greater the institutions ‘distance to distress’.” It went on to explain that a larger distance means the bank is more protected against shocks to earnings.

The report also found that the vast majority of banks (across the world) don’t have any senior women or women on their boards at all. It revealed less than 20% of directors on the boards of banks are women.

The lack of women in senior positions is not exclusive to the banking sector, indeed last month the Chartered Management Institute revealed respondents to its survey told of a 22% pay gap at management level. It equated the gap to women working an extra 57 days for free compared to their male counterparts.

Plans to force the top FTSE companies to be more transparent about their pay does help because it forces employers to consider how they remunerate staff and if they do so fairly.

Furthermore, an environment must be created so that capable women feel empowered enough to recognise the skills and expertise they bring to the table and feel able to robustly negotiate their pay.

Women remain an asset to business. Not least for the reasons identified in the IMF report. Yet some business leaders remain concerned that any period of time taken away from employment, for childrearing for example, in some way de-skills women. Yet the majority of women who take maternity leave are only away for a few months, during which period most organisations won’t go through a significant transformation. And even where they do, women are able to stay in touch with Keep in Touch days.

So I repeat the wise findings of the IMF report which indicate women are an asset to business: “Including women in senior positions ensures banks are more financially stable.”