We need to figure out why there are too few women at senior levels in financial services, and do more to boost corporate diversity, says a recent report released by business consulting firm Oliver Wyman.

The reports adds, “Many have suggested the excessive risk taking and mistreatment of customers [that occurred] in the pre-2007 boom [was] caused by the overwhelming masculinity of the industry…That isn’t the whole story, of course, [since] the crisis had many causes.

“But, regardless, it remains clear the [financial] sector is losing out in the [so-called] war for talent.”

Read: Diversity adds value: EY

To figure out why women aren’t advancing in the global financial industry, the company “analyzed the gender mix of senior staff at [more than] 150 firms internationally, and surveyed [more than] 1,000 current and potential financial services employees from five countries.”

Currently, it finds only 13% of executive committees at major financial institutions include women, and only 4% of these companies are headed by female CEOs. That’s a problem, says the report, because “a lack of senior staff diversity is bad for business, [and] bad for employee morale, customer service and shareholder returns.”

Read: Analyze a company’s board before investing

Further, fewer than half of the men (49%) and women (41%) surveyed say their firms are doing enough to attract and retain female employees. And while 51% of women in the sector say gender balance in senior management positions should be a priority, only 30% of men agree.

To learn more about how the industry can change, read the full report. It looks at the position of women at firms today, and at how things have changed over the last decade. It also offers tips on how to boost diversity.

Also read:

4 banks snag Canadian diversity award

6 women receive 2014 Return to Bay Street award

Originally published on Advisor.ca

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