Women in Finance Charter

(Naji Esiri) #1

(Alex Sherwood) #2

It’s great to see that Monzo have signed this charter!

Hopefully Monzo can do one better than this -

Publishing our progress annually against these targets in reports on our website.

& also publish their progress on their ethics page & / or transparency dashboard, where it’ll be more visible :slight_smile: in fact, isn’t this similar to the Living Wage commitment that’s on the ethics page - so could it be added to that page now?

(Jolin) #3

Great to see Monzo taking steps to turn your ambition on diversity into practice. :thumbsup:

(Maria) #4

Yup, we’ll include this as one of the reporting areas of our diversity & inclusion reviews.
The blog’s linked through from the diversity section of /transparency too.


If a woman is not able to get a position or offered the opportunity to apply for position purely due to their gender, I think everyone that is sexual discrimination and “is bad”.

So, what if we reverse that.

How will you prevent a better qualified man from being discriminated against by your policy?
Or a man that may have had the same exposure to this position as women may have benefitted from.

I’m of course presuming you don’t just think it’s ok to discriminate against people based upon their sex providing it’s only one specific sex - however a lot that claim to be about equality do exactly this of course.

Finance is a sector which of course has significantly more men than women.

Work from home and main-care-giver parenting is the opposite for the most part.

If you do intend to be discriminatory in a sexist fashion, perhaps you could offer incentives for men specifically to work from home, or to allow men to be purely the primary care giver for children?


I’m pretty sure Monzo is in no way trying to discriminate against anyone and would give both men and women equal opportunities. Yes they may well be trying to get more women into finance and there is nothing wrong with that, plus I doubt when it came down to it that they’d turn away a man with “x numbers of years experience” for a women who had no relatable experience or skills just because they want more women.

However diversity can go the wrong way when companies only try to fill positions with men/women/specific ethnicity etc, especially when companies introduce quotas which has happened in the past. Monzo however haven’t done this and I don’t see any way they would be discriminating

(Alex Sherwood) #7

@mcampbell (Monzo’s Head of People) might want to add to this but this was her response when a question along those lines was asked on Twitter -

(Maria) #8

Our policy is still to hire the right person for the job. Setting a target about gender balance doesn’t change that at all.

We run a fair, robust interview process to determine whether people are right for our roles. Gender doesn’t weigh into that. By publicly setting a target, we’re committing to finding the right person for the role. The right person is just as likely to be a woman or a man (if we assume that talent is equally distributed across the population, which I absolutely do). If our team doesn’t reflect the gender balance of the population, we’re very likely to be missing out on the right person a lot of the time - there’s an equal chance that the best person for the job is male or female and if our team is entirely female or entirely male then probabilistically we’ve missed the best person about half of the time. It’s about balance.

I’m afraid I don’t really understand your last point - we already offer flexible working and family-friendly benefits to all staff regardless of gender.

Feedback from Monzo Job Applicants
(Eve) #9

As a female, I would be more assured/ motivated to apply to a company who has publicly said they would like to encourage more women to join a male-dominated sector, since I can be sure my application will be taken seriously and considered alongside other male peers instead of being dismissed because the stereotype is “women aren’t good at finance/ engineering/ digital skills etc”

I remember awhile back when I first signed up for the Monzo card and we saw a blog post/ call for sponsorships etc I looked at the staff and it was all male (maybe it was just a specific group shot, who knows?) so it put me off a little given how openly they speak about the importance of diversity.

There are a lot of sectors that have previously been closed off to women and as such have only a small percentage of females in it. My friends do engineering at university and during their year in industry they have spoken about how sometimes they struggle to be taken seriously/ onsite people have made remarks about their gender/ implied they shouldn’t be there/ it was odd they were out in the field. These sort of things discourage women from pursuing things in a male-dominated field so some reassurance from the company that they take these things seriously is a great idea.

I don’t think this is being sexist- they have recognised a problem, and have set a target for it. No worthy men are going to be turned out if they are qualified. A lot of people kicked up a fuss about the BBC minority recruitment but it was only a small selection and did not detract from hiring other talented journalists. Surely we can afford a bit of positive discrimination to counter decades of discrimination?

In any case, if a male staff member would like to stay home to parent/ take some burden off mums etc I’m sure that would be something Monzo would gladly allow.

(Alex Sherwood) #10

To me it seems like Monzo have been open about the proportion of men working for them & the fact that there is room for improvement by sharing proportion of men in key roles & throughout the team, in the blog post that these comments are feeding from & this blog post, from earlier in the year. So it does sound like that photo was misleading but not that far from reality.

  • Our Board is 38% female, above the sector average of 23%.
  • Our Executive Committee is 11% female, below the sector average of 13%.

All employees.

(Maria) #11

Yeah, the original team was very male - we’ve become more balanced over time but still far from evenly balanced. Companies in both finance and tech tend to skew heavily male, so we have our work cut out for us!

We’re going to take some photos that better represent our team for the next version of our careers page.

(Eve) #12

I couldn’t find the specific photo/post I was talking about, but a cursory look at their About page (https://monzo.com/about/) does show it is pretty skewed. As I mentioned previously the fact Monzo has recognised this and has set a goal makes me more assured that they won’t be biased against hiring women because of gender stereotypes/ are committed to such issues.

More pictures would be a great idea! I’m sure there are more women in Monzo’s staff that haven’t appeared in photographs/ sort of stand in the back and blend into the group so I’ve probably missed them!

Maybe it’s a bit posey but working a couple of women into pictures would make their presence/role more visible, since we don’t all keep up to date with every post and in terms of updates/developments they seem to be coming from men :sweat_smile: I don’t actually know any developments the female staff have helped with, and I feel bad! I guess they’re mostly dealing with operations/ customer relations?

(Maria) #13

There are women across the company - working in lending, product, engineering, and ops :slight_smile:

Blog posts announcing new features tend to be written by marketing rather than the people building them - I’d never really thought about the optics of that!

(Laila Dib) #17

I’m currently writing my Masters thesis in corporate gender equality, particularly on how focusing on placing women at the board level is a disservice to women. As it has been mentioned, even at a 50% participation rate, the women at the highest positions at Monzo will only be a handful. The key to advancing women’s equality at the workplace is to ensure that at every level of the ladder women are participating on an equal basis with men. Specially in tech, finding some female board members that are already serving in several other boards because all of them desperately want to say they have women on board does nothing to help solve the underlying issue that tech is overwhelmingly male. The main focus cannot be on the very few at the top, it has to be on the very many that work (or don’t) below the boards.

(Alex Sherwood) #18

I’m not suggesting that the below means that this isn’t an area that Monzo needs to focus on but hopefully, monitoring & being open about stats like this, is the sort of thing that you’re looking for here?

over the lifetime of our company 57% of people promoted and 67% of leavers have been male.

Quote from this blog -

(Maria) #19

I agree that having four women on an eight-person board doesn’t make a huge impact on equality in the business if those are your only women! I do think it’s important to strive for balance across the company, and we’ve signed the pledge as a commitment to have a more balance board & executive committee.
Generally, gender balance at entry level is better than at board-level. A lot of the big consultancies have around 50:50 intakes into their grad schemes, yet at partner level this swings dramatically towards men. This is what prompted the creation of the Women in Finance Charter. In the blog post at the top, there’s a link to the original report, which is well worth reading.

(Laila Dib) #20

Right, that’s precisely my point. The problem isn’t necessarily in your entry-level hiring, and even though there is a leaking pipeline, the most pressing issue is unlikely to be the board. The key measure is in between those points, what is the percentage of women and how high is your turnover. So I’ll be impressed if the commitment is to have 50/50 at every level of a company (interns, entry, analyst, associate, senior, manager, director levels, etc). A commitment to hire a handful of women cannot be seen as some sort of big statement, the same way that your commitment to equal pay on your website has to be seen as the bare minimum. What would be going the extra mile, for example, would be working with female children or teenagers, teaching them to code, or working with any organisations that already do that, to tackle the gender imbalance in software development, computer science, etc. If we set the bar very low, treating what is right and decent as an achievement, we slow down progress.

(Fin) #21

Would you mind expanding on this a little?

(Maria) #22

We talked a little more extensively about what we’re doing here: https://monzo.com/blog/2017/03/09/diversity-and-inclusion/ - as well as sharing stats about the gender breakdown in our team, including in those promoted and those who left.

The Women in Finance Charter is set up by the Treasury, and signing the pledge means setting targets in senior management. I don’t think it is a ‘big statement’ - it’s one of many, many small actions we’re taking. There is no quick fix to gender balance when tech and finance as industries both underindex women. The mere fact of signing the Charter doesn’t solve gender balance, but I disagree with the stance you’re taking - I don’t think it does any harm.

(Laila Dib) #23

Sorry, a one-year Master’s programme really cuts your time for yourself. But now I’ve graduated so I can answer your question! How is paying the same thing for the same work regardless of gender not the bare minimum of employer decency? If we somehow decide that’s worthy of praise, we’re creating a situation in which companies can see that as optional - you do that if you want to go the extra mile in corporate citizenship - rather than seeing that as an obligation by law (which it is, the UK and most other developed countries have had equal pay acts in place for decades now).