Together for gender equality
In Denmark, we have a 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.
We are still talking about the subject of women and men. The pay gap between men and women in the same job function is noticeable. Parental leave is unevenly distributed. And in the boardrooms and top management roles, the gender balance is skewed. In this way, we are actually lagging behind countries we usually compare ourselves with on a great number of parameters.
Therefore, in Finansforbundet we want to actively work for a better balance between the genders and increase diversity at all levels in Danish companies. Because increased diversity and inclusive working communities are some of the things we need for us to create a satisfactory working life, thriving companies and a fairer society.
But the will to change the imbalance 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 by 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 specific example of where we want to take such responsibility is in relation to the recommendations for new competence and experience requirements for board members and key persons in financial companies. The Fit & Proper rules, which a committee established by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority came out with in the summer.
Here, one of the recommendations for senior management in the systemically important financial institutions is that in the future one must have ten years of practical experience with the business model and that a major part of the experience must be gained as a manager. For the other banks, the recommendation is five years.
But as women are currently underrepresented in senior management and executive boards in the sector, it is difficult to find female candidates who meet those criteria. Likewise, it also becomes difficult to recruit qualified candidates who could conceivably have valuable experience from other industries.
Therefore, we are working politically to ensure that the upcoming recommendations for competence and experience requirements for members of executive boards and key persons in the financial companies will instead promote diversity in the sector’s management.
For Finansforbundet, gender equality is precisely about what kind of society we want. In Denmark, we pride ourselves on being a society where we as people have the same opportunities to realise our potential. We must take this seriously and act on it.