I am so excited to be creating the first ground-breaking conference for women in banking and financial services. The conference has been designed to help propel the sector towards a responsible and inclusive future by addressing the barriers to women’s careers and enabling personal and professional development.
Why are we holding this event?
It was stated in March 2016 that in 2015, ‘just 25% of people entering the world of banking in London were women’. (efinancialcareers, 2016) Looking at the present day and to the future, the business case for fairness, equality and inclusion is more obvious than ever. It is clear to me that banks and financial institutions must support diversity within their organisation in order to reap the benefits.
Too few women get to the top – why? There is a frosty glass ceiling in the mid-tier, which women are unable to break through, consequently not progressing or simply leaving the sector. This is not a question of wanting a family and a career. Studies show that women are leaving because the culture isn’t right.
This needs to change. We all have to play an active role in the progression of the finance industry and take responsibility. This event will provide insight and expertise on how we can make a positive and significant impact.
Individuals need to be empowered and the industry reshaped in terms of diversity, but it is also important to consider where the banking and finance industry is heading as a whole. Is algorithmic trading going to take over? How do we make and consequently maintain risk culture for both men and women? How will Brexit affect the future of banking?
What to expect
We want all attendees to be inspired by industry leaders and by attending this event, you will help contribute in making a step to ensure that gender diversity is achieved within your organisation and consequently the banking sector. You will hear from successful women in finance about the importance of female role models, getting into the boardroom, digital disruption and the millennial impact and the future of the symbiotic relationship between banks and Fintechs to name a few.
You will leave this event feeling empowered to encourage all other women within the industry to stand firm and make young women not think twice about joining the industry whilst meeting like-minded individuals in a lonely male dominated sector.
I am thrilled to have Dame Helena Morrissey give the opening address and set the tone for the day. She will be sharing her thoughts on what’s already changed over her thirty years in the City and why she’s so confident that the current global upheavals create an unprecedented opportunity to (finally) create an environment where more women can thrive.
Other highlights will include CEO of Starling Bank Anne Boden talking about her journey from graduate to working her way up to her senior roles and the realisation of setting up a bank from scratch. We will also hear from Isabelle Toledano-Koutsouris, Managing Director at UBS Investment Bank, and Cécile Kossoff, Director at McKinsey and Company, in a joint presentation. They will look at providing us with the tools to make the 'boys clubs' and corporate culture more inclusive.
This conference is not just about diversity and inclusion, we will also provide content on what is really driving the industry at the moment and the future of banking and finance. Whether it’s the impact of the Millennial as banks look to satisfy the appetite of young consumers for simple digital banking solutions that suit their fast-paced lifestyle, or the importance of body language and how it can influence your power, there will be something to whet your appetite.
Women of The Square Mile returns for 2019. Click here to register.
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