According to Ana Botin, the Executive Chair of Santander, the finance industry is not doing enough to promote women into management positions. In an interview with CNBC’s Charlotte Reed last week, Botin stated that while progress is being made, it is not happening fast enough.
Botin believes that financial institutions can take specific steps to ensure that women are able to obtain top positions within the sector. One such step is to establish career plans for women in both support and business functions, and to rotate roles more frequently, which are typically occupied by men.
By implementing a faster role rotation process, women can gain the necessary experience and flexibility to advance to leadership roles. Botin suggested that having rules or incentives in place to move people around more quickly could enable women to gain the experience required to reach the top.
Santander has established equality targets in an effort to address the gender imbalance present in the finance industry, including a goal to place 30% of women in leadership roles. Ana Botin, Santander’s Executive Chair, stated in an interview with CNBC that the company is making a significant effort to achieve these targets, but that it is critical to do so in the correct manner. She added that Santander is implementing plans to accelerate the process.
Ana Botin was unanimously appointed as Santander’s executive chair in 2014 and is widely regarded as one of the most influential women in European banking.
A 2021 survey conducted by the London School of Economics revealed that women in financial services in London have difficulty if they do not consistently perform well, while a significant number of mediocre men are still able to survive in high positions.
According to a 2022 global study by auditing firm Deloitte, women hold 21% of board seats, 19% of C-suite positions, and only 5% of CEO positions within financial institutions.