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Finance firms should focus on females, or face bleak future

Finance firms should focus on females, or face bleak future

Address gender diversity in the finance sector now or face even worse talent shortages in the future says the world’s leading global finance careers website eFinancialCareers.

The warning came during a roundtable discussion with Human Resource managers in Melbourne last week, organised by eFinancialCareers, to discuss the issue of gender balance in the finance industry.

While the financial services industry has witnessed a significant shift towards attracting more female candidates in recent years, George McFerran, Head of Asia Pacific for eFinancialCareers said that more needs to be done in order to avoid a worsening of the talent crisis in financial services.

“Instead of saying that we need to employ more females, the key to addressing gender diversity in financial services is going to be to design jobs that suit women,” said Mr McFerran.

While setting quotas and targets are still an important element in rectifying gender imbalance in the workplace, Mr McFerran said that providing long term, fulfilling, flexible roles that suit women’s lives will be crucial to maintaining a strong, stable workforce.

For women who have young children, this means creating more flexible working opportunities like job sharing and part time positions. But Mr McFerran says that financial services need to ensure that these options are also offered for high level and sales focused roles - which have tended to lag behind in terms of flexible offerings.

Strong HR support is also a key element in providing successful, adaptable employment opportunities.

“All over Australia firms are feeling the pinch of the current talent crisis in the finance industry,” says Mr McFerran. “A failure or a slowing down of efforts in the short term to improve gender diversity, while firms scramble for the best talent, may result in increased difficulty sourcing candidates in the long term. Those firms that address the gender imbalance now, and implement a range of solutions, will be best placed for the future.”

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