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New Chair of Steering Group for Ireland’s Women in Finance Charter


The Minister of State in the Department of Finance with special responsibility for Financial Services, Credit Unions and Insurance, Seán Fleming, announces the appointment of Financial Services Ireland director Patricia Callan, as chairperson of the steering group for Ireland’s Women in Finance Charter.


Ireland’s Women in Finance Charter 

The Charter, is an industry-led, government-supported measure to encourage gender diversity in the financial services industry in Ireland. It is part of the Government’s Ireland for Finance Strategy and was officially launched in April of this year. Signatories commit their organisations to take action by advancing women in management and board level positions to achieve better gender balance and a more inclusive working environment. The Charter is open to all financial services firms operating in Ireland and the senior management teams of signatory firms will be accountable for progressing the targets they set.


Speaking about the appointment, Minister Fleming stated:

“I am delighted that Patricia Callan has taken up the chair of the Steering Group for this important initiative which has the potential to create greater opportunities for women in financial services firms in Ireland. There is a strong base of support for the Charter since our launch, I welcome the support that the Government has given to this initiative and I want to wish all of the members of the Steering Group well in their endeavours as they look to build momentum on increasing female representation at all levels within the sector.”


Under the terms of reference for the Steering Group for the Charter, the Minister of State appoints a chairperson, drawn from industry representatives on the Group, for a two-year term. The Group, which meets twice annually, will report to the Minister of State as part of the Ireland for Finance Action Plans. The Department of Finance is playing an active part on the Group and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment provides the Secretariat for the Steering Group as part of the whole-of-government approach to the Ireland for Finance Strategy.


Speaking upon her appointment, Patricia Callan said;

“I want to thank Minister Fleming for my appointment. I firmly believe greater gender balance leads to a wider talent pool and a greater diversity of perspectives, leadership styles, innovation and creativity in our industry. This means greater productivity and an even more significant contribution by financial services to the wider economy. The support of the Government and the involvement of the ESRI means this Charter brings new weight to our collective efforts to make our industry reflective of our customer base and wider society”.


Charter signatories are not just making a public declaration to make their businesses more gender balanced, they are committed to setting targets and timelines to which they will be held accountable. Progress on the targets will be monitored and reported by the ESRI.

Signatories to the Charter highlight the importance of the initiative to their firms as a key element of their talent development strategies.


Managing Director of An Post Retail Debbie Byrne said:

“As a signatory of the Charter, our drive to encourage more women to pursue careers in Finance works in tandem with An Post’s wider action plan to drive gender equality and diversity across our Retail and Mails & Parcels businesses and corporate centre. 

 By the end of this year more than 50 women will have come through our customised Aspire Female Talent Acceleration programme, 55 women will have attended our IMI Strategic Leadership programme and 15 women will have completed our eight month Advance Mentoring programme. All of who are now empowered and supported to move ahead in their careers and seek out opportunities in areas such as Finance where they can add value and continue to build learning and skills.  In recent feedback from Aspire graduates, 37% of participants applied for internal vacancies since they completed the programme.” 


CEO of Bank of America Europe DAC and Country Executive for Ireland, Fernando Vicario stated:

“We recognise that a diverse slate of talent is key to creating a successful, sustainable business. The Women in Finance Charter Ireland works to help drive accountability and encourage the industry to tackle systemic gender bias, ensuring that we are truly hiring, promoting and supporting women at every level, building a strong pipeline of female talent.”


Firms that wish to learn more about the initiative and how they can participate can find more information on the website.



Ireland for Finance Strategy

Ireland for Finance is the whole-of-government strategy for the further development of Ireland’s international financial services sector for the period to 2025 involving public-private collaboration. It was launched in 2019 and Government recently approved an updated re-focused strategy which will be launch shortly. The overall vision in the strategy is for Ireland to be a top-tier location of choice for specialist international financial services and to enhance and protect our future competitiveness. The Ireland for Finance Strategy is implemented through annual action plans that are prepared by the Department of Finance on foot of proposals for action measures from stakeholders in the public and private sectors. The Action Plan for 2022 includes a commitment to launch the Women in Finance Charter.  

The Charter

Ireland’s Women in Finance Charter is an industry-led, government-supported measure to encourage gender diversity in the financial services industry in Ireland. The Charter will allow financial services firms to devise commitments to progress gender diversity in their firms. Industry representatives, supported by Ministers, Department of Finance  and Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment officials and ‘Balance for Better Business’ (an independent business-led review group established by Government to improve gender balance in senior leadership in Ireland), launched the ‘Ireland’s Women in Finance Charter’ in Ireland in April 2022. Industry has now engaged the ESRI to gather data from the firms that sign up and write the annual report on progress by the signatory firms for the next three years.


Financial Services Ireland are the Ibec group representing the interests of the financial services sector in Ireland.