13 August 2020

Securing the future of the Financial Industry through Improved Gender Diversity

Exploring developments in the industry ten years after the financial crisis of 2007-9, new research sponsored by the SWIFT Institute aims to unravel and answer two key questions facing the financial industry.


  • How can (gender) diversity become core to business in finance, or in other words, how can more women be attracted to the industry and promoted to leadership positions within it?
  • What are the mature and less mature practices for improving gender diversity in senior management in finance?

Key findings:
Culture drives diversity, rather than any single or combined set of gender equality initiatives.

  • If dominated by “male values”, the culture of an organisation is perceived as the biggest barrier to greater gender diversity.
  • Support from top management is considered to be the most important factor driving greater diversity (and the right culture). Middle management is perceived as a pivotal layer, either as an obstacle or as a central enabler, but is also the group most likely to be in need of support to implement change.
  • The success (or lack) of initiatives for diversity within financial companies has implications for the competitiveness of financial centres and the diversity of people that make-up the financial elite.
  • Financial organisations working towards a more diverse workforce have to address cultural barriers and the similarity attraction paradigm.

Download the full paper here.

Download the Executive Summary here.

by Dariusz Wójcik, Kristina Kämpfer