Olufunmilayo Elizabeth Babafemi


Despite legal and societal advancements that have increased the presence of women in the finance sector, the representation of women in finance director roles remains limited. In FTSE 100 companies, men still hold finance director positions at a rate seven times higher than women, a trend reflective of the broader industry. This qualitative inquiry delves into the factors contributing to the success factors and obstacles to leadership faced by female finance directors in the United Kingdom. By conducting interviews with accomplished female finance directors, the study aims to identify the factors that prevent and enable females to become leaders in the finance industry. Notably, this research identifies enduring social and cultural hurdles obstructing female progress, and how they can be supported as they progress their career. A significant finding emerges: many interviewed women endorse individuals who align with their assertive work values, which often align with masculine traits. Females have to conform to a working environment and practices, and this impacts negatively on their social life, job satisfaction and identity. Given the target-driven nature of finance, the prospect of a radical top-down transformation is generally seen as unlikely. Consequently, female leaders face limitations in their capacity to serve as "gatekeepers" for advancing the careers of fellow women. Recommendations include a departure from the performance-centric approach entrenched in finance.


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female leaders, leadership finance, gender equality, targets. diversity, inclusion, performance targets

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejhrms.v7i2.1685


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