Women in Finance

Our Partner, Gillian McBride, shares her observations on the representation of women in top finance roles.

Feb 25, 2021
Feb 4, 2021
CFO News Article

I have worked in financial recruitment for over 15 years with the main focus being recruiting at Financial Controller level.  Over the last 5 years I have enjoyed working more closely with advisors and investors which has resulted in a shift towards also recruiting for Finance Directors and CFO’s.  It is this that has given me a real insight into female representation in the top financial management roles.

What I have seen is that women are well represented in middle management level shortlists for finance roles, but their representation drops significantly for board level positions. The contrast is alarming.  Here are some facts and figures that demonstrate the issues taken from campaigns that I have recently worked on:

  • A Finance Director recruitment campaign with a long list of 16 that was 100% male with us having received no female applicants at all.  
  • Another long list of 12 where 11 were male candidates.
  • In contrast, a Financial Controller campaign where the candidate pool was over 70% female dominated.
  • Six separate SME Finance Director campaigns, where the client asked us to positively target female candidates to ensure a diverse shortlist, demonstrating that our clients consider this to be a real problem too.
  • Some outstanding women finance leaders are securing more than one top job offer due to the shortage of women candidates for these roles.

What I have seen has led me to believe that this has either become an issue in recent years or that there is an issue that many women are not progressing to FD / CFO level roles.

Since establishing Pratap Partnership (a business with 75% female representation) this subject has piqued my interest more and more during my working cycle of speaking with advisers, boards and candidates. Individuals within our business are engaged with the subject in their own ways.  Our Managing Partner works with the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) who are one of the most authoritative voices on all Equality, Diversity and Inclusion employment issues in the UK.  Our Chairman is on the board of Forward Ladies  - an organisation that aims to empower women in business.

There are so many different perspectives on this subject. In the ‘Women in Finance’ area of our website we will bring you the stories and perspectives from some of the already successful women leaders in finance in our region as well as from some of those who are fast, progressing up the career ladder.

Latest articles

News from the team and our CFO Network.