In Denmark, we have a widespread perception that the hard work of generations has made us a free society with equal opportunity for all. But when it comes to gender equality, we are not on target.
It is 2023 as of the time of this writing, and we are still talking about the subject of women and men. There is no equal pay for equal work. The pay gap between men and women is noticeable. Parental leave is unevenly distributed. And in the boardrooms and top management roles, the gender balance is skewed. We are actually lagging behind countries we usually compare ourselves with on a number of parameters.
For Finansforbundet, gender equality is basically about what kind of society we want. In Denmark, we pride ourselves on being a society where, as a child, young person or adult, you have the same opportunity to fulfil your potential regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation or disability. We must take this seriously and act on it.
In Finansforbundet, we do not accept discrimination, no matter where it occurs. We recognise the strength of diversity and respect and value diversity. We want to give everyone the same opportunities. And we want to do our part to ensure that we increase gender equality together.
Increased diversity in management
The challenge of a skewed gender balance, particularly in top management, is not only a societal problem, it also applies to the financial sector. And although there are roughly equal numbers of women and men employed in the financial sector, there are only 26 per cent women in management, and only 8 out of 90 board members are women.
In 2019, we studied what it takes to get more female managers at the top of the financial sector. And in March 2020, we launched our survey “Women in management – how do we break the trend in the financial sector”.
The survey revealed that several myths and barriers causes an imbalance in terms of gender in the executive corridors and especially in the senior management in the sector. We need to get rid of these myths and barriers because they help perpetuate stereotypical perceptions of what people can and cannot do – solely because of gender. Therefore, we have formulated a number of specific recommendations to correct this imbalance.
Together on gender equality
The will to change the imbalance between the sexes must not become a battle between the sexes. Because then we do not move at all. We need each other. It is only together that we do better than each other. It is never the individual’s responsibility to change structures and cultures to pave the way for real equality. It is a collective responsibility. A social responsibility. Therefore, Finansforbundet wants to work actively with these challenges on several levels. Both at the member and company levels as well as at the district, sector and societal levels.