Ireland’s Women in Finance Charter

Wednesday, 29 March 2023

Ireland’s Women in Finance Charter

Launched in April of 2022, Ireland’s Women in Finance Charter underpins the industry’s ambition to see increased participation of women at all levels. This includes junior, middle and senior management, leadership and board roles within financial services organisations based in Ireland.

The Charter is a collaboration between industry and Government under the Ireland for Finance strategy and was developed in partnership with Insurance Ireland, Financial Services Ireland, Banking & Payments Federation Ireland and Irish Funds. The Steering Group is made up of public officials and industry professionals and is currently chaired by Financial Services Ireland director, Patricia Callan.

While female representation in the general population of financial services firms tends to be equally balanced, significant differences emerge in the progression to more senior levels. Recent statistics released by the Balance for Better Business Review Group reveal that Irish businesses are continuing to make progress in achieving gender balance at Board level, but more work needs to be done to increase female representation in key decision-making roles. The research shows that three in 36 CEOs across listed Irish companies are women, having fallen from 11.1% to 8.3% in March this year. Meanwhile, women make up only 14.8% of Chief Financial Officers among the same cohort of Irish business.1

Fostering and harnessing the talent and experience of all women in financial services is crucial in developing a strong pipeline of talent. This will lead to greater diversity of thought, experience and leadership styles in decision making processes, for the economic benefit of the business and the wider community as a whole.

Ireland’s Women in Finance Charter is open to all financial services firms operating in Ireland. Signatories of the Charter commit their organisations to improving the number of women in management and board level positions by setting a minimum of one positive target to be publicly disclosed and reported on. The senior management teams of signatory firms will be accountable for progressing the yearly targets. Whether a company is at the start of their gender equality journey or has pre-existing set of targets, there is space for all companies to sign up.

Crucially, signatory data is being collected and reported on by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) to ensure independent, credible analysis on an annual basis. This year will see publication of the first annual report on the Charter, detailing the number of companies who have signed up, and the number of employees they represent. Currently the Charter has 56 signatories, representing over 44,000 employees across the industry.

Speaking about the benefits of signing up to the Charter, the chair of the Steering Group Financial Services Ireland Director Patricia Callan said:

“We have been pleased with the feedback we have received from firms that have already signed the Charter where staff have responded well to the commitment to develop the talent pipeline that women represent in their organisations.”

Firms that wish to sign up to the Charter can contact one for the four trade associations (Banking & Payments Federation (BPFI), Financial Services Ireland (FSI), Irish Funds and Insurance Ireland) who are the main points of contact for the initiative. More details on the Charter, including contact details, can be found on their website:


Balance for Better Business. [Online]. Available: .[Accessed 22 03 2023].

Contributor Image

Contributor Profile

Aisling McCaffrey

Aisling McCaffrey is a Director in the Financial Services Consulting department of Grant Thornton specialising in Sustainability. She has over 10 years’ experience in the Financial Services sector working with key clients across Europe on a range of projects covering business strategy, risk management and sustainability advisory. Aisling is currently co-chair of 100 Women in Finance Early Career Committee and a Steering Committee member of Ireland’s Women in Finance Charter.