During National Business Women's Week, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the formation of the state's first-ever women's committee to address the representation and advancement of women in the financial services industry and to identify the hurdles and obstacles to increasing the number of women in leadership roles, including promoting diverse women. The committee will serve as a sub-committee of Governor Cuomo's Council on Women and Girls, and will be co-chaired by Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa and Financial Services Superintendent Linda A. Lacewell.
"This committee will help increase the representation and advancement of women in the financial services industry by finding new and innovative ways to break down barriers to success for women," Governor Cuomo said. "New York is proud to be the first state to establish a committee solely dedicated to boosting representation of women in financial leadership positions, and we will continue to create an environment that champions and supports women now and in the future."
While women are nearly equally represented among banking regulators, just 12 U.S. state insurance regulators in the United States are women. In the financial services industry, women hold just 19% of C-suite positions, despite representing roughly half of entry-level positions, according to a 2018 study. With each level higher, there are disproportionately fewer women in leadership roles. The gap among women of color is even larger.
Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, the Department of Financial Services and Governor's Council on Women and Girls has already worked to develop initiatives and policies that support the advancement of women and ensure their access to critical services.
DFS and the Governor's Council on Women and Girls worked to pass and enact New York's Paid Family Leave program, the strongest in the nation. Employees may take up to 10 weeks of paid leave to bond with a new child, care for a loved one with a serious health condition or help relieve family pressures when a loved one is called to active military service abroad. When the policy is fully phased-in in 2021, the number will go up from 10 to 12 weeks of paid time off.