Gender balance still an issue

Firms ‘must look overseas’ for top females

Betsy WilliamsonAttracting more women from overseas will be crucial for the Scottish financial services industry to tackle a “dearth of suitable female talent”, according to research commissioned by a recruitment company.

Betsy Williamson (pictured), managing director of Core-Asset Consulting, said a lot has been said about retaining and developing females at senior level, but not so much about recruitment.

Commenting on the research, she said: “There have been several initiatives recently to increase gender diversity across the UK’s financial sector.

“These have focused on retaining and developing female talent, factors crucial to achieving sustainable gender diversity. But little has been said about recruitment.

“When recruiting for senior roles within the Scottish financial sector, the harsh reality is that there is a dearth of suitable female talent.

“Faced with this, hiring organisations can either attempt to level the playing field by introducing quotas – an approach not without its critics – or widen the playing field and recruit internationally.

However, not all companies have the appetite, mindset or processes in place to hire successfully from overseas. The expertise required and the logistics involved can be daunting to even the most international of businesses.           

“Securing executive buy-in, competing for talent on a global stage, coping with the administrative burden of visas and permits – not made easier by Brexit – choosing whether to manage this in-house or with the aid of an external partner, and developing and managing an international recruitment process all require careful consideration.

“There is no doubt international recruitment can be daunting. But the benefits far outweigh the challenges – benefits not limited to gender diversity.

“Not only does it help rebalance the ratio of male to female workers through access to larger and more internationally-based applicant pools, it also provides Scottish companies with the requisite skills and experience to be successful on the global stage.

“I hope this white paper helps the Scottish financial sector move closer to achieving its objectives in this pivotal area.”

Gender diversity, international recruitment and the Scottish financial sector: the benefits and challenges of building a diversified workforce in the 21st century’


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