Insight & Analysis

Women in Treasury Global Study 2021: findings show a fresh perspective

Published: Oct 2021

Amidst the continuing disruption brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, progress is evident in the quest for gender equality in treasury – finds the ninth edition of Treasury Today’s Women in Treasury Global Study, sponsored by State Street Global Advisors.

vector image of female faces

The ninth edition of Treasury Today’s Women in Treasury Global Study once again provides an invaluable snapshot of the progress being made on the path to gender equality. There are a number of new elements, most significantly, for the first time the study was open to participants of all genders to take part. In total, 161 people took part in the study, which was conducted between March and July 2021 - 78% were female, 21% were male allies and 1% were non-binary people. It is critical that all views on gender in the workplace be heard as we seek to actively engage with allies.

Allies have an important role to play in progress in gender equality and the Treasury Today Group wanted to assess their insights and opinions alongside monitoring the lived experiences of women and non-binary people, in order to assess gender from a new vantage. Over the course of the last two years the world has changed irrevocably, powered by human rights movements and by a pandemic which has drastically altered the way in which people live and work.

Flexible working has long been a central component in discussions around female representation and inclusion in the workplace. An encouraging 85% of respondents’ organisations offer flexible working arrangements. The study explores this in further detail, given that remote working need not necessarily offer flexibility and understanding that working hours have been long and domestic responsibilities not necessarily fairly distributed.

Whilst there is much to applaud in these findings, there is also still more to do, particularly in the areas of quotas, ethnicity in the boardroom, and prejudice and discrimination. You have provided some enlightening responses to the question, “What do the terms ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ mean to you?”

Kim Hochfeld, Senior Managing Director, Global Head of Cash Business, State Street Global Advisors

Access to parental leave at equal levels for all genders is another area of ongoing significance. Although many organisations that may have been previously resistant to flexible working have evolved their attitudes through necessity, that doesn’t necessarily translate to flexibility in the number of working hours expected from staff.

We have noticed when looking at the results of the study and anecdotally from our conversations with women over the past year within our Women in Treasury platform, that mental health issues and domestic responsibilities are weighing heavily. As our personal and professional lives and spaces have blurred, this year’s results more than anything demonstrate that women and non-binary people need support that is tailored to them as individuals if we want to see them continue to advance and thrive in the workplace.

This year’s results also reflect ongoing conversations around racial equity and representation. When we closed our Women in Treasury Global Study 2020, the ripple effects of the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement were yet to be felt. In 2021, we are able to see the impact that such movements have had on our respondents’ organisations and their commitments towards diversity, equity and inclusion across the board.

We hope you will find this year’s results enlightening. We believe this new approach offers a fully rounded and comprehensive look at the state of play regarding gender equality in corporations across the world.

To receive a copy of the full 2021 Women in Treasury Study please contact memberservices@treasurytoday.com

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