‘Dearth of female talent’ for Scots finance jobs

Betsy Williamson of Core-Asset Consulting

One of Scotland’s leading headhunters said there is a dearth of suitable female candidates for senior roles in Scotland’s financial sector and that recruiting more female executives from overseas is crucial “if the Scottish financial services industry is to create a truly diversified workforce.”

white paper published by recruitment company Core-Asset Consulting is called “Gender diversity, international recruitment and the Scottish financial sector: the benefits and challenges of building a diversified workforce in the 21st century.”

Betsy Williamson, managing director of Core-Asset Consulting, said: “There have been several initiatives recently to increase gender diversity across the UK’s financial sector.

“These have focused on retaining and developing female talent, factors crucial to achieving sustainable gender diversity. But little has been said about recruitment.

“When recruiting for senior roles within the Scottish financial sector, the harsh reality is that there is a dearth of suitable female talent.

“Faced with this, hiring organisations can either attempt to level the playing field by introducing quotas – an approach not without its critics – or widen the playing field and recruit internationally.

“However, not all companies have the appetite, mindset or processes in place to hire successfully from overseas.

“The expertise required and the logistics involved can be daunting to even the most international of businesses.

“Securing executive buy-in, competing for talent on a global stage, coping with the administrative burden of visas and permits – not made easier by Brexit – choosing whether to manage this in-house or with the aid of an external partner, and developing and managing an international recruitment process all require careful consideration.

“There is no doubt international recruitment can be daunting. But the benefits far outweigh the challenges – benefits not limited to gender diversity.

“Not only does it help rebalance the ratio of male to female workers through access to larger and more internationally-based applicant pools, it also provides Scottish companies with the requisite skills and experience to be successful on the global stage.

“Diversity is and will remain a key theme of this century. I hope this white paper helps the Scottish financial sector move closer to achieving its objectives in this pivotal area.”

The white paper outlines:

  • the disparity that exists globally between the number of women entering the financial services industry and those representing it at a senior level
  • the benefits increased female representation can bring to the Scottish financial sector and viable means of achieving this
  • the challenge of attracting women internationally and the potential benefits and obstacles of implementing and managing an overseas recruitment strategy
  • a six-point road map companies can follow to help them compete for global talent – and in doing so help build a diversified workforce suitable for the 21st century