The first Leadership Through Sport & Business Women in Finance event took place at Macquarie on Monday 9th May.
Women in Finance 2016 was designed to help LTSB apprentices and alumni develop personally and professionally, to increase their social capital and network, to inspire and to help them network more effectively. It was also an opportunity for senior women to mentor our young women and help raise their aspirations.
The event was chaired by Denise Wilson OBE, CEO of the Davies Review into Women on Boards. Other panel members included Jane Magill, MD of Macquarie Bank and Chair of Macquarie’s Balance Network, Emily Cox, Director of Public Affairs at Virgin Money and co-author of the HM Treasury (Virgin Money) report “Empowering Productivity: Harnessing the Talents of Women in Financial Services”, Kathy Walton, MD of Kaplan, and Meera Judge, Manager Risk Management Policy, Governance and Regulation at CME Group.
Denise and the panel talked about the work that the Davies Review team had done with Footsie 350 companies to voluntarily increase the number of women on boards. As a result women on boards of Footsie 100 companies increased from 11% in 2010 to 26% in 2016, exceeding the target set of 25%. Emily also shared the recommendations made in the Virgin Money report, which have been accepted by HM Treasury and turned into a voluntary charter.
Jane shared her experience of working in financial services and the work that Macquarie is doing to achieve a balanced workforce and to create a culture which encourages women to progress into senior roles.
Kathy told us that more women than men join the financial services industry and study for professional qualifications. She and other members of the panel confirmed that women have traditionally dropped out of financial services around 28 - 35 years of age and that this is not all to do with having families. It has also been because in many cases women have been working in cultures where they have had to 'survive' rather than 'thrive'. Denise said that it is necessary for companies to create cultures and working environments that enable everyone to thrive, including women.
Meera felt that her gender and ethnicity had not held her back. She says personality and skills are what matter and there are different requirements for different types of business environments.
"We're not arguing for the progression of women at the expense of anyone else. What we're arguing for is balanced teams, and we think that the business case, how you manage risk, how you interact with customers, it's imperative that you're always looking for a good balance of people, a good cross section from society."
"It begins and ends with Leadership."
Denise Wilson OBE
"In the early bit of your career getting your head down and working hard and becoming competent is probably the first thing you need to do because that buys you currency...the organisation will see that you are contributing, that you're worthwhile. But then you do need to use that currency...you do neeed to put your hand up...and seize the opportunities...you need to own your career."
As well as our panel, 13 other senior women in finance participated in the event as table hosts including:
Following panel discussions Clare Hawkins, Regional Head of Human Resources Europe at ANZ Bank, led the Effective Networking session, which covered research, identifying people you want to meet, how to break into a conversation / group, who to talk to first, what to say (elevator pitch), personal brand (how do you want people to remember you / talk about you) how to break away when you have accomplished your objective and follow up (email, LinkedIn, keep notes, follow on Twitter, comment on successes, keep in touch in a relevant way, ask for help at the right moment, see if there is anything you can do for them).
Denise introduced the session by referring to the findings of a survey that showed that men on average spend an hour a day networking and developing their career, whilst women spend on average an hour a month.
LTSB apprentices and alumni feedback regrarding the Effective Networking Session:
“I learned how to pitch myself to people I have never met before at networking events.”
“I learned to always follow up / keep in contact with the person you have been in contact with as they could help you in the future when you might need it.
“I found that your personal brand is important in networking.”
“I learned new techniques that I will put into practice.”
“Believe in yourself as others are just as nervous as you are.”
“I learned how to network effectively and how to join a conversation and make it flow."
"I’m so pleased you received such positive feedback and I was delighted to be a part of such a worthwhile event." Clare Hawkins, ANZ
LTSB young women valued the mentoring and support received from the senior women during the event. They were also able to put what they had learned into practice at a real networking session that followed the event with additional guests from CME, Reed Smith, ICAP, BKL, Astir Capital and Slaughter & May.
“It was incredible to have been given the opportunity to network with all these senior women. It was insightful to hear their opinions and their stories and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I feel that this event made the most impact on me and my career aspirations and it is definitely an event that I will remember.”
Ellie Kane, LTSB Apprentice
"I wanted to say thank you so much for organising the event yesterday, it was really insightful and inspiring meeting all of the women. You did a tremendous job, from the brochures to the business cards and the overall organisation of the event. I really enjoyed it. Thank you again for your hard work, you are all making a difference and I hope we have another one next year."
Bola Lawal, LTSB Apprentice
"Thank you so much for including me in the LTSB event on Monday. It was absolutely fantastic to meet so many articulate and ambitious young professionals in one room!"
Susan Allen, Santander
"It was a fantastic event – thanks for extending the invite to me."
Joanne Ritchie, KPMG
Special thanks to all the senior women who gave their time and shared their experiences and wisdom with the LTSB apprentices and alumni, to Kaplan for providing sponsorship towards the cost of conference collateral and to Macquarie, our principal corporate funder, for hosting the event.
On the back of the success of this event, we are planning a series of events covering Social Mobility, Diversity and Equality in 2016-17. We are seeking sponsors for these events. If individuals or organisations would like to be involved please contact Caroline Adair
If you are a young woman (16 - 24) interested in an accountancy apprenticeship and a career in finance please contact Pete Ward. The next LTSB 'More Than An Apprenticeship' programme starts September 2016. We welcome CVs from interested applicants now.