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Financial sector 'needs global outlook'

‘Look overseas for gender balance’

Betsy WilliamsonScottish financial services employers need to recruit more women from overseas if they hope to achieve greater gender diversity, according to new analysis.

In its benchmarking Salary Guide 2016, Core Asset Consulting argues that all stakeholders in the financial sector have to develop a more international outlook when it comes to recruitment.

This will not only provide companies with the requisite skills and experience to be successful on the global stage, it will also help balance the ratio of male to female workers.

Betsy Williamson (pictured), managing director at Core Asset, said a major theme this year will be the drive for globalisation – or internationalisation – on the part of many companies in Scotland’s financial sector.

“But perhaps the most important challenge for the industry, and the recruitment partners which support it, will be more societal than economic – namely a commitment to increasing gender diversity,” she said.

“Although, at first glance, quite separate challenges, international expansion and gender diversity are inextricably linked. A more progressive workplace culture and regulatory framework will attract high-calibre female candidates to Scotland, while access to an enlarged talent pool of female professionals will support gender diversity targets.”

Ms Williamson added: “There is little doubt that more has to be done domestically if we are to achieve true gender diversity in the Scottish financial sector. This includes increasing shared paternity benefits, introducing greater flexibility working and offering more integrated childcare provision to working mothers and fathers. However, it is unlikely these measures alone will be enough.

“The industry will continue to expand globally in 2016 and, just as we touched on in last year’s Salary Guide, the demand for high-calibre candidates with international experience and expertise will intensify.”

Ms Williamson said Scotland’s small and relatively static population of five million  has meant for some time that the financial sector has been supported by a limited pool of suitable candidates.

“An intensified campaign on the part of organisations – employers, recruiters, universities, government and local authorities – to attract talent to Scotland has to be a priority, as it forms part of the solution to increasing gender diversity within our industry,” she said.

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