The data-driven lending platform sets new targets for itself, and introduces new flexible working policies

 Funding Options, the marketplace for business finance, has signed up for the HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter to demonstrate its commitment to increasing gender diversity both within its business, and across the industry.

Alongside the Charter, Funding Options is introducing a number of new targets and parental leave policies, including:

  • An aim to have at least 40% of executive team and board positions filled by females by December 2020
  • Six months at 75% pay for all new parents regardless of gender, family structure or circumstance
  • Two weeks of secondary caregiver leave at 100% pay

The company is also introducing a number of other initiatives and training, including:

  • Emerging leader training to ensure equal progression for everyone within the business no matter their gender, age, or ethnicity
  • Training on diversity, inclusion and belonging at Funding Options
  • Unconscious bias training for everyone in the business
  • Increased flexibility in contract hours for every employee, and return to work transitioning plans after parental leave

The company currently has a gender split of 33.3% female and 66.6% male, but is actively focused on improving this figure. Signing the Women in Finance Charter is just one step on this journey. The senior team is evaluating industry frameworks which will give the business parameters within which it works to ensure diversity across all business processes.

Funding Options is also exploring how it can help support the gender diversity of the wider entrepreneurial and business ecosystem in the UK, and how the finance industry can be more transparent in how it measures and supports diversity.

David Keene, Funding Options’ CMO and the executive responsible for gender diversity and inclusion, says: “Financial Services has a diversity and inclusion challenge. It is important that we all work hard to address and improve this. We’re proud to start this initiative with a commitment to the Women in Finance Charter.” 

“We know we can do better, both as a business and as part of the wider industry. We believe that with diversity comes new ideas and ways of working, something that can only bring benefits for us and our customers. It is something we look at on a monthly basis within the business, and we are exploring what else we can do.”

Jacquie Williamson, People Director at Funding Options, says: “Funding Options’ commitments resonate greatly with me, both in my role as People Director, and as a woman working within the finance industry. There’s a lot of positive work going on within the sector to encourage more gender diversity, and I’m pleased to be part of that movement.”

 “I look forward to working with the Funding Options leadership team to drive through our exciting new policies, reach for our targets, and ultimately deliver on our commitments set out within the Women in Finance Charter, and beyond.”

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