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The first Power of Diversity breakfast of 2018 kicked off this year’s series of talks with a bang on Thursday 3rd May at Allianz Global Investors - with over 90 senior people from City businesses in attendance. We heard from leading figures in the sector talking about strategies to address gender balance, in the wake of recent published results which show that City firms have an average pay gap of 22%.

Some of our highlights:

  • James taylor, Sodexo, said:  “Over 5 years our study found that gender balanced teams are better teams. Their operating profits are higher, client retention is better and their accident rates are lower. There is a strong business case for getting gender balance right.”
  • Emily Cox explained how Virgin Money have set themselves targets to have a 50/50 gender balance by 2020 - “If you want to solve an issue you get the people who are accountable for the business to own it”. 
  • Sally Boyle talked us through Goldman Sachs’ game changing sponsorship programme that involves the individual’s line manager and a senior sponsor who can advocate for them.
  • Peter Harrison shared how Schroders published their gender pay gap 1 year earlier than required and in the intervening year had closed the gap by about 9% and increased the number of senior women by 23%.

The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor, Alderman Charles Bowman and the Lady Mayoress attended the breakfast session. He observed that “the case is clear, we are better off economically and personally when women make up an equal part of the workforce at every level, women are under-represented in top jobs in 1 in 5 companies.”

It was the combination of leadership on the issue of gender balance and strategies being employed by these organisations to deliver change, which caught the imagination of the invited audience.

 “The morning provided great insights into driving diversity from the top as well as relevant practical insights” Sophie Stead, Catalyst

It was a really useful session, packed with action oriented discussion” Lucinda Wakefield, BNY Mellon

If you would like to join the next Power of Diversity Breakfast “Social Mobility: finding untapped talent“ on May 28th , email diversity@thelordmayorsappeal.org

If you would like to see the full year’s Power of Diversity series click here