Accelerating Change Together
The Accelerating Change Together (ACT) research programme is the UK’s first cross-sector initiative designed to bring a gender lens to the UK financial services industry. The four-year programme, now in its second year, harnesses the collective input from banking, asset management, professional services, fintech and insurance to address pressing gender and inclusion challenges.
Our aim is to provide actionable recommendations and effect policy change to better retain and promote women in the financial services workforce. Our partners on this programme are the Inclusion Initiative at the London School of Economics and Political Science and The Wisdom Council.
ACT's three pillars
- WIBF uses its unmatched network and membership base across the UK financial services industry.
- We give a voice to individual employees, who often have different priorities to employers.
- The four-year programme has distinct phases so we can address industry hot topics.
The Good Finance 'How To' Manual
April 2023 saw the publication of the 'How to' manual following on from the GOOD FINANCE framework. To enable our partners and the financial services sector to apply the GOOD FINANCE framework, this manual has two main aims. The first is to provide clear instructions on how firms and their individual leaders can operationalise the GOOD FINANCE framework. The second is to provide clear instructions on how firms and their individual leaders can measure progress for each element of the GOOD FINANCE framework.
The GOOD FINANCE framework
By June 2021, the programme had developed, as we continued to work closely with Dr Grace Lordan and her team at the London School of Economic's The Inclusion Initiative, and we launched our second report.
The GOOD FINANCE Framework is a unique, action-focused approach to create a better work environment for all employees, but particularly for women in middle management women. It's a framework that brings together the ideas of women from interviews, roundtables and 1,700 survey respondents. Recognising there is no silver bullet for creating inclusive organisations, the framework identifies 10 themes and proposes concrete actions for organisations wanting to retain and develop their most talented employees, including women.
10 key actions are set out in the GOOD FINANCE framework
100 Diverse Voices: The Future of Work
November 2022 saw WIBF publish its most recent research findings in a report entitled 100 Diverse Voices: The Future of Work, having again commissioned the LSE's Inclusion Initiative to undertake the work on our behalf.
It promotes a second framework – pulled together by the acronym UTOPIA – that allows firms to maximise productivity and support diversity and inclusion. Based on 100 in-depth interviews across financial and professional services, we flag there’s no ideal one size fits all approach for the organisation of work and time. Building on the GOOD FINANCE framework, UTOPIA goes one step further and puts an emphasis on employee autonomy and on ill-being, e.g. burnout, isolation, etc.
Changing the narrative
In November 2020, WIBF published its first ACT report, Changing the Narrative. Offering new insights and actionable recommendations based on cross-sector research, it also benefited from the expertise and experience of the London School of Economics and The Wisdom Council. The findings provide a foundation for the programme, and a baseline for the GOOD FINANCE framework and the broader ACT research programme.
The report determined that women do not lack ambition. In fact, women are more ambitious than men about their career aspirations and believe work is an import source of life satisfaction. This was particularly the case among mothers with young children. The research also determined that women want to progress their careers, but are significantly more likely to see barriers here than men.