Women in Public Finance returns in 2023

Tue 02 May 2023

Women in Public Finance returns in 2023

Gillian Fawcett to chair the conference that seeks to raise visibility and promote female leaders in the sector. Event takes place on 22 June in London

Public sector organisations across the country are under increasing pressure to deliver sustainable services and improve outcomes in the communities they serve. Addressing this challenge requires full use of the skills and experience of all workforce members—particularly women.

Women at the decision-making table improve business performance, an argument that has been demonstrated by industry research and academia time and time again. However, little do we hear about the contributions of female leaders in public finance, and the numbers and their representation in leadership roles are hard to come by. For this reason, the conference Women in Public Finance returns on 22 June 2023 with an in-person event in London, seeking to raise the visibility of female leaders in the sector. Speakers at the conference will provide future leaders with coaching on gaining the skills needed to manage the challenges of modern leadership. 

Gillian Fawcett, chair of the conference Women in Public Finance—and founder of Public Finance by Women (PFW), the conference partner—has witnessed how female leaders in the sector make a crucial contribution to policy decision-making. She believes that it is time they are recognised, supported, mentored and promoted to higher ranks.  

"The landscape of gender balance in public finance management is unknown territory. We don't know the extent to which women are leaders in public finance because there are no comprehensive data,” said Fawcett in conversation with Dods Diversity & Inclusion. “Much of it is anecdotal evidence or bits and pieces pulled together." 

In 2016, HM Treasury launched the Women in Finance Charter to encourage the financial services industry to improve gender balance in senior management. The Charter now has more than 400 signatories covering more than a million employees across the sector. 

However, Fawcett believes the government's expectation of achieving a higher representation of women at the decision-making table in the corporate sector is a positive sign, but it is also necessary to have the house in order. 

HM Treasury released the 2021 review of its Women in Finance Charter with a crucial finding: "While more than three-quarters of the Charter signatories in this analysis have met or are on track to meet their targets for women in senior management, the average level of female representation has remained flat – at 33% year-on-year – for the first time." 

Recruitment, retention and promotion, and embedding D&I into organisations, behaviour and culture are listed as key actions moving the needle. But what are the drivers moving female leaders forward? 

The agenda of Women in Public Finance goes beyond the basics to provide current and future leaders with hands-on advice on gaining the skills required to manage the challenge of modern leadership. 

The speaker line-up and the agenda will be announced in the coming month. Stay tuned and save the date! 

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