The London-based operation of Goldman Sachs has appointed its first female directors amid an intensifying Government-backed push to tackle the City’s stark gender imbalance.
Sky News has learnt that Goldman Sachs International (GSI) has recruited Susan Kilsby, a former investment banker who chairs the FTSE-100 pharmaceuticals group Shire, as a non-executive director.
Isabelle Ealet, global-co-head of the Wall Street bank’s securities division, has been named an executive director of the GSI board, alongside the co-chief executives, Richard Gnodde and Michael Sherwood.
Mrs Kilsby, a US citizen, is one of the City’s most senior women, having had a long career at Credit Suisse and a string of other international banks, while Ms Ealet is a recipient of France’s Legion d’Honneur, one of the country’s highest civilian honours.
The appointment of the two women to GSI’s board, announced internally on Friday, comes just weeks after the publication of a review which recommended that executive pay targets at financial services firms should be linked to the number of women holding senior roles.
The review, led by Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive of Virgin Money, concluded that too many women were leaving the City for reasons related to the culture of the financial services sector.
“We need targets, and people and organisations need to be as accountable for delivering them as they are for their financial goals,” she said in March.
Her review did not recommend the imposition of formal gender quotas, but has led to the creation of a charter which is designed to deliver more rapid progress towards gender equality in the banking and finance industries.
The new code “commits firms to supporting the progression of women into senior roles in the financial services sector by focusing on the executive pipeline and the mid-tier level”, and will require them to publicly report on progress to deliver against internal targets “to support the transparency and accountability needed to drive change”.
To date, a handful of banks have signed the charter, but Treasury sources say they are confident that a broader array of financial services companies will add their names in the near future.
Speaking to Sky News, Mrs Gadhia said of GSI’s appointments: “I’ve been absolutely delighted by the support of GS for the Women in Finance Review and this news is clear evidence of their commitment to the gender agenda. I very much welcome it.”
In its memo on Friday, Goldman also announced the appointment of Mark Winkelman, who is already a director of the New York-listed Goldman Sachs Group, as a director of GSI.
It added that Robin Vince, the firm’s global treasurer, had decided to retire from the GSI board.
Goldman declined to comment on the contents of the memo.
Source: News Sky