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There are ways to increase the chances of women on the way Results of the IV edition of the "Women in Finance" Report.

Nearly 80% of the surveyed men indicate that vacanciesin the company are assigned to the best possible candidates regardless ofgender, while only half of the women feel the same - according to this year'sedition of the "Women in Finance" study. For managerial positions,52% of respondents indicate that men predominate in their organizations, andjust over a third state that the number of women and men is equal or similar.As many as 84% of respondents indicated that wage inequalities affect thesituation of women in the sector.

Greater employment diversity primarily bringstangible benefits to companies.

According to data from the 30% Club Poland, the shareof women on the boards of the largest listed companies at the end of 2022 was12.2%, and on supervisory boards – 20.4%. The financial sector remained theleader in gender diversity, which is increasingly understanding that knowledgeand competence are crucial for success, not gender. In companies classified assuch, women made up 24.7% of authorities compared to 23.5% at the end of 2021.Increased diversity in an organization translates into its financial performanceand improved innovation, as confirmed by data from the Peterson Institute forInternational Economics, which surveyed 22,000 companies in 91 countries. Itturns out that if the share of women in governing bodies is at least 30%, suchcompanies achieve 6% better financial results. Meanwhile, McKinsey &Company calculations show that better use of women's professional potentialcould contribute to a 9% increase in Poland's GDP.

What influences career satisfaction among womenand what forms of professional support do they expect?

The results of the IV edition of the "Women inFinance" study show that 65% of women raising children find it difficultto reconcile work with private life, and the more hours a woman spends onhousehold chores, the more difficulty she has in building her business path.70% of women having difficulties in career development spend 4 or more hours onunpaid work at home.

Implementing equal opportunities policy is currently abusiness challenge, not just an HR one. In Poland, a very similar number ofwomen and men enter the labor market. However, as they move through the careerladder, inequalities become more and more visible. Many women resign fromprofessional development, focusing on the family. Solutions promoting flexibleforms of employment and various employee amenities related to childcare mayprove helpful. However, to effectively implement an equal opportunities policy,it is first necessary to understand the most important attitudes towards womenand men performing professional functions and determining their careers. Thenit is necessary to take actions that will allow to maximize their potential andmeet their expectations - says Artur Skiba, President of Antal.

When asked what helps women's careers, 89% ofrespondents answered that flexible working hours, 87% - increasing householdincome, allowing for the employment of a nanny for example. The next twofactors are the growing representation of women in strategic positions (86% ofindications), and decreasing wage inequalities between women and men – 84%.

On the other hand, job satisfaction is primarilyinfluenced by the atmosphere at work (74%) and high earnings (70%). The biggestdifference between women and men is visible in the aspect of the importance offlexible forms of employment (influences the satisfaction of 51% of women and38% of men) and recognition at work (influences the satisfaction of 66% ofwomen and 54% of men).

What actions should employers take to make theimpact of women on the financial sector more noticeable?

This year's edition of the "Women inFinance" study was expanded to include additional research areas relatedto EU regulations and diversity management. The survey showed thatinclusiveness in the organization and striving for social cohesion are aspectswhose importance and role is constantly growing. It turns out that half of therespondents are guided by the choice of work by the consistency between theviews manifested by the company regarding diversity management and their ownbeliefs. At the same time, 24% of respondents, both women and men, do not knowif formal diversity rules operate in their organizations. Only 32% ofrespondents claim that they are strictly adhered to in their organizations.About 1/5 among both women and men states that such strategies do not exist intheir organizations. Respondents' unawareness of the processes and policiesused in organizations also indicates a specific directionactions - it is important not only to implement newsolutions, but above all to promote already implemented actions and existingpolicies.

Women participating in the study see an even greaterneed for professional support than in previous editions - they expectdevelopmental programs, training and courses, and mentoring. Therefore, it isso important to intensively promote the financial market as a workplacefriendly to both men and women, to support women's professional developmentthrough a range of diverse initiatives, and to strengthen self-confidence inprofessionals - comments Professor Krzysztof Jajuga, President of the Boardof CFA Society Poland.

Diversity has become a fact. Women must entercompany boards.

Although the majority of those studying in financialfields are women, there are still financial institutions on the market that donot have a single woman on the board, and their representation in managerialpositions is still far from balance, that is 50/50. This shows that we arelosing the potential of women because they do not advance as high incorporations as their skills would indicate. This highlights the need tointroduce additional mechanisms to ensure gender balance in company bodies.Regardless of opinions, the current law - including the directive promotinggender balance passed by the European Union in 2022 - guarantees women 40% ofseats on supervisory boards or at least 33% of seats in the management oflisted companies. What's more, as early as 2024, the EU CSRD directive onsustainable development reporting, which covers all listed companies and largeprivate companies, is to come into force. This requires non-financial reportingthat covers ESG issues, including diversity and equality in business. This mayprompt companies from "male" sectors to support women's professionalambitions.

Gender parity is not everything

There is no doubt that the financial sector and thelabor market, on both the employer and employee side, are aware of theinevitability of changes in the acceptance of diversity and the need to manageit. Diversity becomes a standard embedded in organizational culture, but thereis still much to be done. Further efforts should be directed towards itsconsolidation, development, effective implementation within the organization,and efficient and productive management of it.

What can be done to professionally activate women?

Tools for supporting diversity - examples of good practices in financial organizations:

Małgorzata Romaniuk, Vice President, Bank BPH 

BPH Bank hasbeen carrying out actions supporting the professional development of women formany years, both independently and in cooperation with external organizations.To enable women to develop their skills and want to apply for higher,managerial positions, it is crucial to create the right environment within theorganization. Solutions at the organizational level are needed, as isunderstanding and involvement from management. It is beneficial to build teamsin such a way that allows for the exchange of experiences between women ofdifferent ages and at different levels. Women's development is also greatlyaided by mentoring programs - they help boost self-confidence and discoverstrengths. A good example of a tool supporting this process is thementoring-coaching program "Grow & Fly" created by the leaders ofGE Women's Network Poland, which involves the exchange of experiences betweenproject participants - from different companies and industries, including BPHBank, with the support of external experts. It has a real impact on buildingfaith in one's abilities and achieving new goals, and thus - better managingone's career path. Another example is the Smart Start Program, in whichexperienced experts conduct substantive training for interns starting theirprofessional career, which is also an excellent opportunity for more women tobe found in the organization, and for women starting their careers - toconsciously take care of their development path.

In addition, apart from internal activities, weproactively support initiatives and influence the financial sector in Poland,engaging in the work of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee operating atthe Polish Banks Association, in which I have the pleasure to participate, andwhere we discuss and create initiatives aimed at increasing the participationof women in key positions in the banking sector.

Beata Sax, Vice President, CFA

CFA Society Poland is a community, andtherefore the topic of women in the financial sector is extremely important tous. Female professionals with the CFA title become ambassadors of diversity forthe entire investment industry in the organizations they work in on a daily basis.For years, we have been trying to increase the representation of women in theinvestment world through scholarship programs and the global "Women inInvestment" program. The international initiative by the CFA Institute,"Young Women in Investment: empowering careers in investmentmanagement", which is carried out in the form of a bootcamp by local CFASocieties, deserves special attention. The development program has beenlaunched in countries such as India, the United Kingdom, and Qatar. The culturaldimension combined with gender equality gains a new, global dimension thanks tous. In Poland, an example is the "Fearless Together" program launchedtogether with State Street Global Advisors and the Mamo Pracuj Foundation,aimed at raising competencies in investment areas among Polish and Ukrainianprofessionals. The program reflects the structure of the educational paths ofthe CFA Institute Investment Foundations Certificate and CFA Program. Foryears, we have also been implementing our flagship project of the Women'sFinancial Market Club, a networking platform that connects over 200 women inthe market at various stages of their careers, co-organized from the beginningwith the Chamber of Fund and Asset Managers and the Warsaw Stock Exchange.Thanks to such practices, we are increasingly trying to dispel the image of theinvestment industry, which for decades has been seen as a space where men succerd.

Małgorzata Rusewicz, President, IZFiA

Women expectan open and supportive organizational culture. It is important to have the opportunityto express their views and participate in decisions, as well as to avoidnegative behaviors in the workplace. Mentoring can play a significant role here- women need such support in their professional development. Mentoring can helpbuild confidence, acquire new skills, and establish valuable industry contacts.Equally important is social support, both from female colleagues and theprofessional community, which is of great importance for career satisfaction.Networking and participating in support groups can help women in theirprofessional development.

About the Study

The fourth edition of the "Women in Finance"report is based on a survey conducted between December 14, 2022, and January22, 2023, using the CAWI method among 766 respondents representing thefinancial sector. The study was conducted by Antal in collaboration with CFASociety Poland, Bank BPH, and the Chamber of Fund and Asset Managers (IZFiA).The aim of the study is to analyze the current situation in the labor marketand to identify the factors determining women's careers. The report is available for downloadon the website.