Many females perceive a lack of career progression in the financial sector which is causing them to leave their jobs or deterring them from entering the profession altogether according to PwC.

Limited opportunities for career progression is the number one reason female millennials (born between 1980-1995) are leaving their positions in the financial sector a PwC report ‘Female millennials in financial services: strategies for a new era of talent’ reveals. Two-thirds of women in the financial sector believe they won’t be able to reach a senior level in their organisation compared to just three in ten male millennials in the same industry.

The report reveals that the financial services industry faces a number of hurdles in attracting and retaining this generation of women. Female millennials are entering the workplace in larger numbers than ever before and are bringing their own set of expectations and ambitions for their careers.

Jon Terry, PwC’s financial services HR consulting leader, says:

“At a time when financial services firms are finding it difficult to root out aspects of their culture which could lead to excessive risk-taking or regulatory breaches, attracting more women at all levels of the organisation could provide the catalyst needed for a real shift in attitudes and behaviours.”

One in five women said they would work in the financial sector solely due to its image. Insurance is the least popular sector but asset management fares better due to the higher number of positive female role models. Women also said they feel more positive about the coaching they would receive in the asset management sector.

When considering whether to work for an organisation the research found that an employer’s policy on diversity and equality is high on female millennials’ lists. Many financial services firms appear to falling short on this, with six in ten females saying financial services firms are not doing enough to encourage diversity. Seven in ten also said their employer talks about diversity, but opportunities are not equal for all.

Jon Terry adds:

“It is clear that financial services firms have a way to go to attract and keep hold of this new era of female talent. These women are ambitious and looking to progress and if these expectations aren’t met women will simply be put off joining or will vote with their feet and leave. Within this highly networked generation, poor perceptions of current staff can quickly spread and discourage potential recruits.

“This should be a wake-up call for those in the financial services sector to bring their diversity policies to life, redefine their definition of what makes a leader, re-evaluate how they develop their people and create a structure where women can thrive and not be stifled. Having visible female role models at all levels of an organisation will be an important step to show employees and potential employees that leadership positions are achievable for all.”