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Diversity is good for financial services firms

Posted on 8th April 2015

Recruiters in any industry want to attract the top talent to their business, but it is unfortunate that some groups in society aren't always represented as much as they should be. It's a strange quirk of life, since it has been demonstrated time and time again that a diverse workforce can offer many, many advantages to businesses.

A new report from consulting firm Oliver Wyman has shone a spotlight on female representation in the financial services industry, but the case it makes is by no means limited just to this particular issue.

Michelle Daisley, a partner at Oliver Wyman, commented: "The financial services industry is losing out on retaining talent.

"The lack of diversity - both gender and otherwise - in our industry is bad for business."

At a time when competition in the financial services industry is intense, both in terms of attracting customers and the best job candidates, it is an odd oversight for firms to be making as they seek to steal a march on their rivals.

Ms Daisley outlined a number of reasons why having a diverse workforce can be a great idea for financial services firms. For instance, she said diversity can improve decision-making and performance, as well as service, sustainability and profits in the long-run.

In addition, she pointed out that in light of recent scandals being attributed to "unchallenged leadership and groupthink", it makes sense for companies in the sector to be able to "see issues from many angles".

Oliver Wyman went on to highlight many of the steps recruiters could be taking to make their firm more appealing to the best female candidates.

Offering flexible working opportunities, for instance, was flagged up as one possible approach, but the firm stressed that family-friendly practices need to be open to everybody and not just women.

This is perhaps a key point to make. Token gestures aimed at particular demographics won't always go down well - and talented individuals want to feel they are there on merit, rather than as part of a box-ticking exercise. So making openness and inclusivity a part of the culture at your firm could help it stand out in the financial services sector for all the right reasons.

We all know it is the people who make a business, no matter what demographic. Keeping all of your people happy in the workplace is paramount. At The Maine Group we believe that culture and the alignment of your team is most important. Our Consultancy team can offer services to help with this should you need it!