Morgan Stanley

UK Women in Finance Charter

Annual Update 2021


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 value Commit to Diversity and Inclusion.


Clare Woodman

CEO of Morgan Stanley International and Head of EMEA

“Proactively increasing the representation of women in senior management roles and nurturing the future pipeline is a key strategic priority for our global leadership team, as well as for me personally. I am proud that in 2016, Morgan Stanley was the first major US investment bank to sign the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter and in 2018, the first investment bank to sign the UK Race at Work Charter. Our early adoption has enabled us to embed actions throughout our organization.

We continue to have a heightened focus on strengthening the pipeline of promotion candidates, with proactive succession planning, gender-balanced shortlists and robust leadership development initiatives. 

In addition to the creation of the Institute for Inclusion in 2020, we annually publish a firmwide Diversity and Inclusion report, reflecting our commitment to increase transparency and accountability.”

Charter Targets Progress

We aim to increase UK female representation in senior roles to be at least 30% by end of January 2023. We define senior management as EMEA Operating Committee members and two layers of direct/co-direct reports below them, including UK officers only. As of September 2021, our figure stood at 31.73%.

2021 Progress Highlights

  • Female membership on our main Morgan Stanley International Board has increased from 38% (2020) to 42.9% (2021).
  • Female representation on our EMEA Operating Committee increased from 17.6% (2018) to 42.1% (2021).
  • Female representation across our overall workforce increased from 35% (2018) to 38.6% (2021).
  • Reduced our UK Gender Pay Gap median for the Morgan Stanley UK Group from 34.3 % (2018) to 30.4% (2020).
  • Included in the Times UK Top 50 Employers for Women 2021, in association with Business in the Community.
  • Joined the 30% Club, which aims to raise gender representation at senior management levels.
  • Joined the 25x25 initiative, which aims to increase the number of women CEOs in UK business, as a lead ambassador.
  • Seventh year of our Global Return to Work programme, giving women the opportunity to re-enter the workforce after a career break.
  • Launched the Morgan Stanley Experience Professionals Program in London, which is designed to further attract diverse professionals from outside of the finance industry.
  • Our percentage of women on the EMEA Summer Analyst programme was 50%.
  • Sponsorship of the four-year ‘Accelerating Change Together’ programme (ACT), instituted by Women in Banking and Finance (WIBF). This research will look to further identify why women continue to be under-represented at senior levels.

EMEA Diversity and Inclusion Governance and Strategy

Our EMEA Diversity Action Council provides thought leadership and acts as a catalyst to drive forward the overall EMEA diversity strategy in partnership with Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion and the Talent teams. It meets monthly and is co-chaired by Simon Smith, Managing Director, EMEA Head of the Investment Banking Division and Noreen Whyte, CEO of Morgan Stanley Bank International and Co-Head of the Loan Solutions Group in Global Capital Markets.

Additionally, each Managing Director member is held accountable by their Division/Region Head for ensuring that rigor and creative thinking are incorporated into their respective divisional diversity practices and for delivering on their annual diversity and inclusion plan.

Regular meetings are held with Division/Region Heads, their Chief Operating Officers and Diversity Action Council members to review divisional progress on metrics, the diverse talent pipeline and specific diversity initiatives. Accountability is underscored by monthly strategic dialogue with the EMEA Operating Committee.