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Elaine Dunn

Responding to the UK government’s “Women in Finance Charter” (2016) which commits signatory financial services firms to gender balance at all levels, this chapter investigates the desirability and feasibility of achieving these aims. It begins with a brief review of the UK financial services industry and the case which has been made for more women in management within this sector. This is followed by a review of literature offering explanations (theories) for the underrepresentation of women in senior management roles. Adopting a multi-disciplinary perspective, this review is organized into three groups: career preference perspective, the work–family perspective, and the gender bias and stereotype perspective. Focusing on the relative proportions of men and women who progress from graduate intake into senior roles, the chapter concludes by rehearsing some future (controversial?) scenarios for achieving “fair gender balance” within UK financial services.