UK Women in Finance Charter

Supporting the progression of women into senior roles is a key strategic priority for Morgan Stanley’s senior leadership worldwide. The correlation between gender-balanced teams and improved decision-making, innovation and performance aligns with our core values of leading with exceptional ideas, putting clients first, and doing the right thing.


Morgan Stanley International, the firm’s UK-headquartered subsidiary, is proud to be a signatory of the UK Government’s Women in Finance Charter and to have been the first major US Investment bank to do so.

“Each business develops a customized approach to driving increased ownership and accountability for the progression of women into senior roles, while also staying true to the firm’s meritocratic principles,” says Robert Rooney, CEO of Morgan Stanley International, Head of EMEA, Global Head of Technology & Executive Champion of the Women in Finance Charter.

“This intensity of focus, as well as regular discussion on metrics and progress with my European Operating Committee, is something I am passionately committed to and actively champion.  I am delighted that Morgan Stanley International has signed the UK Women in Finance Charter.” 

Governance & Oversight

Our EMEA Diversity Action Council provides thought leadership and acts as a catalyst to drive forward the EMEA diversity strategy in partnership with our Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion and Talent teams.

Each Managing Director member of the Council is held accountable by their Division/Region Head for ensuring that rigor, accountability and creative thinking are incorporated into our divisional diversity practices. They are supported in this effort by Divisional Diversity Campus and Experienced Hiring Champions, and Divisional Diversity Committees. The Council is chaired by Jakob Horder, Head of EMEA Fixed Income and Commodities and Becci McKinley-Rowe, Head of UK Equity Sales.

Annual meetings are held with Division/Region Heads, their Chief Operating Officers and Diversity Action Council members to review metrics, the diverse talent pipeline, and specific diversity initiatives. Accountability is underscored by quarterly meetings with the European Operating Committee and regular discussion at Divisional Operating Committees.  

Ongoing Female Recruiting, Retention & Development Initiatives


  • School Outreach Program:  Senior role models are aligned to over 45 high achieving state and independent schools to raise awareness of the industry and attract future talent.
  •  “Step-In, Step Up” initiative:  Morgan Stanley runs a two-day “insight” program for female A-level students twice yearly. A Technology specific Insight day for female A-level students is run annually.
  • “Strategize to Win” female skill building and networking events
  •  “Return to Work” Program:  Since 2014 Morgan Stanley International has offered 12-week paid internships to women professionals with experience in the Financial Services industry looking to restart their career. In 2016 the program expanded to Budapest.   

Retention and Development

Examples of our female career development programs include:

  • “Project Catalyst”: A four-month development program for high-potential women one level below Officer
  •  “Project Impact”:  A four-month development program for high potential female Vice-Presidents.
  •  “Platinum”:   A seven-month development program for female Executive Directors with Managing Director potential.
  •  “ISG Connects”:  A six-month mentoring initiative for high potential female talent in the Institutional Securities Divisions. 

Providing Additional Support

  • Women’s Business Alliance:  Providing inspiring speaker events on business development and career management and an opportunity to grow internal and external networks.
  • Family Network:  Providing support, learning and skills development opportunities to assist with family or other care-giving responsibilities.
  •  Maternity Coaching:  Providing support for women before, during and after returning from maternity leave. Additional training is provided for managers on being proactively supportive.
  • Back up child/elder care support:  Providing every employee with 120 hours of annual back up child and elder care support per dependent.

Annual Progress Update - September 2017

  • 31% of our 2016 class of newly promoted Managing Directors were women, effective 1 January 2017.
  • Morgan Stanley again made the UK Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2017 benchmarking.
  • Morgan Stanley was recognized in the global Bloomberg Financial Services Gender-Equality Index in 2017.
  • Two more women were added to Morgan Stanley’s EMEA Operating Committee - Juliet Estridge, EMEA Head of Equity Research and Fiona Kelly, EMEA Head of Operations.
  • Elizabeth Corley, Vice-Chairman of Allianz Global Investors (UK) was appointed to the global Morgan Stanley Board, effective January 1, 2018, taking female representation to 23%.
  • Three Morgan Stanley women were listed on Financial News’ 100 Most Influential Women in Finance: Juliet Estridge, Director of European Equity Research, Becci McKinley-Rowe, Head of UK Equity Sales, and Clare Woodman, Global Chief Operating Officer for Institutional Securities (now based in the US).

Gender Diversity Targets and Annual Updates

  • Target: Increase overall EMEA women officers representation (Vice-Presidents, Executive Directors, and Managing Directors) by 2.5% by end January 2019.
    Update: Morgan Stanley is on track to meet the women officers representation target.   With regard to experienced hiring, we have increased the tracking of diverse CV shortlists and interview slates with more robust monitoring of our Preferred Supplier List.
  • Target:  Set aspirational EMEA divisional women Executive Director and Vice-President representation targets.
    Update: Aspirational representation targets for women at the Executive Director and Vice-President levels have been agreed with every Division Head. Progress is examined quarterly with divisional diversity metrics reports, by Morgan Stanley’s EMEA CEO and Executive Charter Champion. Progress is discussed at the European Operating Committee level.
  • Target: Establish regular dialogue with the manager of women Executive Directors in the Managing Director promotion pipeline.
    Update: EMEA Division Heads recently presented their three year pipeline for diverse MD potential candidates at a European Operating Committee meeting. There is ongoing work to ensure focus on the ‘4 P Talent Track’ initiative (Performance, Profile, Platform, Potential).  Dialogue has been established with managers and Divisional Operating Committees; and there is robust follow-up as to their candidacy progress.
  • Target: In addition to the existing Project Impact, Platinum and ISG Connects initiatives, launch a new program for high potential women one level below Officer.
    Update: “Project Catalyst” was launched  In 2017 for 90 high performing women one level below Officer and  1-2 years from potential Vice President promotion. Three half-day sessions focused on high impact communication; stakeholder management and accelerating your career. The sessions were supplemented with peer group coaching, using divisionally-aligned women Executive Director and Vice President Mentors.
  • Target: Reinvigorate Senior Mentorship Program and sponsorship focus to increase connectivity of Senior Management with high potential women.
    Update: Morgan Stanley’s  global ISG Connects mentoring initiative is now in its fourth year. Mentors and mentees are carefully selected for each six month cohort. Professional development and networking opportunities are offered throughout the program and mentors have access to mentee performance feedback, to target further coaching around development needs. 
  • Target: Increase exposure of high potential women  Executive Directors to women Managing Director role models, with the launch of a new Speaker Series.
    Update: Morgan Stanley has organized a number of Senior Insight sessions for our women Executive Director community, giving them access to both internal and external role models and Board members. 
  • Target: Appoint Diversity Champions in all smaller regional offices to execute a focused plan of action and organize cross-regional meeting to share best practice.  Each Country Head to give annual progress update to the EMEA CEO.
    Update: These are all appointed and plans of action are being implemented by each office. An exchange of best practice will follow later in  2018.
  • Target: Continue focused line manager development program on giving effective feedback, inclusive leadership and nurturing employee career development.  
    Update: This is an integral part of our three module management development framework. Bespoke inclusive leadership/unconscious bias training has also been undertaken by five divisions.
  • Target: Make formal and informal flexible working more accessible, visible and removing the stigma. 
    Update: A taskforce has been formed, focus groups have been held, policies simplified and training materials prepared.  A new approach will be piloted in several divisions in the second quarter of 2018.
    Acute Focus on Female Recruiting
  • Target: Increase overall EMEA women full-time and summer analyst hiring percentage by 5% by 2019.
    Update: Morgan Stanley has already hit its summer analyst target and is on track to hit the full time analyst hiring target.
  • Target: EMEA CEO has set an aspirational target for most divisions, including revenue, for their women full-time and summer analyst hiring to be at 50%. 
    Update: Five revenue divisions have completed their 2018 full-time hiring and three have exceeded this target.
  • Target: Introduce Division Head season kick off meetings to drive increased ownership, accountability and creativity in our diversity hiring efforts. 
    Update: This was actioned and these meetings are now a regular event in the recruiting calendar.
  • Target: Increase the impact of Divisional Diversity Campus and Experienced Hiring Champions.
    Update: Morgan Stanley has increased the impact of its Divisional Diversity Campus Hiring Champions and will soon be restructuring its Experienced Hiring Champion model.
  • Target: Increase intensity of focus on increasing women representation on experienced hire candidate shortlists. 
    Update: Morgan Stanley has introduced CV shortlist/interview slate reporting, and will be doing more on increasing transparency of this data to key stakeholders.
  • Target: Enhance Return to Work Workshop to target experienced returners for current vacancies. 
    Update: Morgan Stanley’s London Return to Work program is in its fifth year and its third year in Budapest. The twelve week program aligns Interns to a specific Business Unit and team. Morgan Stanley will continue to divert a number of participants in the Return to Work program into live vacancies, where there is a match of skill-sets and requirements.