Not good enough: why Standard Chartered is taking on gender equality in finance

Standard Chartered commits to gender equality message

Standard Chartered’s latest installment of its campaign ‘here for good commitment’, which takes action against things in the world that’s ‘not good enough’, this time takes on gender inequality in finance.

Standard Chartered refreshed its ‘Here For Good’ commitment in 2018, pledging to take action against the things it believes are still not good enough. The launch campaign saw the business use its technology and resources to stop illegal animal poaching by helping authorities track the money.

The latest ad, by TBWA\Singapore, follows Standard Chartered’s commitment to increase the number of senior roles filled by women to 30% by 2020, against the industry average of 15%.

Michele Bouquet, strategy director, TBWA\ Singapore, said: “It’s the 21st Century and gender still remains a barrier to progress. This is not a problem that is unique to the financial sector – we see it everywhere. We came up with a simple mechanism to demonstrate the gender gap - as the story progresses, you realise how few women are at the top. Our message is one of empowerment and commitment to make things better. It’s about time we make a change and look beyond gender, basing merit on capabilities, as our client Standard Chartered is so actively doing.”

Emma Sheller, global head, brand and marketing, Standard Chartered, said the film demonstrates how, despite different markets being at different stages, the business is committed to showing real progress.

“Since signing the Women in Finance Charter in 2016, we have seen a positive trend in female representation in our senior leadership roles. While we have started to make initial progress, we acknowledge that there is still much to be done to continue sustainable growth in this area.

We have a number of initiatives in place to support us in meeting this target, e.g. a global flexible working policy, diverse candidate slates and interview panels, and supporting over 20 gender Employee Resource Groups. Our markets are in different stages of their diversity and inclusion journey, due to varying cultural, legal and historical contexts. What we are looking for is to have every market collectively demonstrate progress, and that means a holistic and tailored solution to meet the requirements of the local environment,” she said.

For Sheller, a key sign of success will be seeing women in roles that are traditionally held by men within the finance industry. In terms of what is holding the finance sector back, she said a lack of business ownership and accountability, weak talent pipelines of female talent and insufficient visibility of metrics to track and monitor progress were key factors.

In terms of what Standard Chartered has done, she said it has “built requirements into our policies and processes to ensure that managers are making objective and fair decisions, including gender balance candidate list for hiring. We review promotion lists and succession plans to ensure we have adequate representation of women and have not overlooked any female talent. We have also introduced training for all ‘People Leaders’ with the objective to mitigate unconscious bias.”

The film will be supported by content across social networks.

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