Photo by Robert Tudor on Unsplash

A survey shows that 54% of MPs support a call by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) to expand the coverage of the Women in Finance Charter to all businesses in the UK.

The government-backed Women in Finance Charter was launched March 2016 to improve gender diversity in senior management positions. The majority of companies that committed to implementing the charter said they were looking at 30% of senior positions for women by 2021. Other commitments include publishing annual progress reports, closing the executive gender pay gap (GPG) and assigning a senior executive to be accountable for gender diversity and inclusion.

Last year’s research commissioned by the Financial Reporting Council found that commitment to the Women in Finance Charter resulted in a positive effect on the diversity report of the companies that make up the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE). The same report also showed that only 15% of FTSE 100-listed companies fully complied with the requirements that diversity reports should include succession planning.

According to Susannah Donaldson of Pinsent Masons law firm, the requirement for businesses to commit to action plans was only recommended and not mandatory. She added that “extending this charter to all businesses would help to plug this gap in the GPG reporting requirements.”

All companies with over 250 employees have been required to publish their gender pay gap data since 2017. Last year, the government noted a significant impact of the charter.