UK motor finance industry still faces gender diversity gap
Gender diversity in the UK motor finance industry is lagging behind compared to the global automotive industry and other financial services. Despite the increased number of women in parts of the industry, there is still some distance to cover, shows a recent survey of key industry leaders by Motor Finance, a UK car finance magazine and a Timetric briefing service.
The industry professionals surveyed identify a supply issue as the main reason behind this trend, with few job applications coming from women. Targeting female graduates via university partnerships and open days is one of the strategies that companies employ to boost gender diversity.
According to Amanda Hardcastle, HR and learning business partner at Close Brothers Motor Finance: “This could break down barriers for women to see that actually the industry is no different than any other. In addition, they could see that they can play a really important part in driving the change and adding value.”
“Companies benefit from fresh perspectives, new ideas and broader experience. A diverse team gives a more balanced view that reflects the one of customers, allowing companies to be more responsive to the market as a large proportion of customers are female.”
Moreover, Graham Hill, vehicle finance director at the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB), tells Motor Finance that the lack of women representatives is more evident among UK brokerages than dealerships, even though only around 25% of dealers are women – a figure which is even lower for brokers.
Graham said: “Due to a historical lack of females entering the industry since its inception, brokers are overwhelmingly male. This is creating a vicious circle, which limits the scope of a more diverse workforce.
“Young individuals entering the industry are not solely important for a better gender mix, but also for the sustainability of the sector. There are fears that the supply of new brokers will not be enough to replace those who are retiring.”