Fiduciam expects to double women in senior management in 18 months

Fiduciam expects to double women in senior management in 18 months

 

The short-term lender said its overall current team was a near 50-50 male-female split, however it acknowledged that women formed only 16 per cent of its senior management team, although it expected this to double in the next 18 months.

Fiduciam said its equality strategy had proved successful in business brought in and noted that its team in Spain was entirely female.

“There is a still larger gender gap in the finance industry in Spain than there is in the UK, and this has enabled Fiduciam to attract top calibre Spanish employees while providing them with a platform to grow and flourish, both professionally and personally,” it said.

Fiduciam added that when interviewing candidates, men and women and employees of several backgrounds and nationalities are involved.

“This intentionally helps to break any subconscious bias that may influence its recruiting so that they always employ the best person for the job, regardless of gender,” it added.

 

Held publicly accountable

Signing up to the charter was originally proposed by head of case management Marieke Eskens (pictured).

“All of our colleagues were very supportive when we introduced the idea of signing up to the charter as all welcomed the idea to publicly affirm how seriously Fiduciam takes gender equality,” she said.

“The charter really does put a mark in the sand as to where a firm stands on this subject and more organisations should not be afraid of being held publicly liable for their gender equality goals.”

CEO Johan Groothaert added that the company had signed the charter to be held publicly accountable for its equality and gender diversity practices.

“We believe that diversity and inclusiveness in our workplace are conducive to a successful and dynamic business environment,” he said.

“As a growing international business with employees from 15 different countries speaking twenty different languages, diversity and gender equality are integral parts of our culture.

“We also believe that the Women in Finance Charter is a fundamentally important initiative to broaden the diversity of financial services companies across the UK.

“The more companies sign up to initiatives such as these, the more it influences other firms to do the same thing, providing better career opportunities for women but also a better outcome for society as a whole.”

 

Mortgage Solutions joins 66 more firms signing-up to Women in Finance Charter

Mortgage Solutions joins 66 more firms signing-up to Women in Finance Charter

 

The charter now covers more than 760,000 financial services employees in the UK, after a further 67 firms signed up.

JP Morgan, Bupa, Equifax, Admiral Group, Investec Asset Management, Yorkshire Building Society and AE3 Media, parent company of Mortgage Solutions and Specialist Lending Solutions, are among the companies to have recently joined.

The charter asks firms to commit to four industry actions to prepare their female talent for leadership positions:

 

Good for business

John Glen, economic secretary to the Treasury said: “From banking to asset management, too few women get to the top in financial services.

That’s why it’s so important that firms sign our charter and commit publicly to take action.

It’s not just the morally right thing to do – a balanced workforce is good for business, for customers, and for profitability too.

I commend our new signatories for taking a step in the right direction. I urge firms who’ve not already signed our charter to join us in building a more representative and inclusive industry.”  

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive of Virgin Money and the government’s Women in Finance Champion added: I am delighted we have more than 270 companies committed to HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter.

 Gender equality and diversity is integral to creating a fairer, more prosperous society. But there’s still more to do and we will keep going until every organisation is signed up.”

Prime minister backs Women in Finance as charter tops 200 firms

Prime minister backs Women in Finance as charter tops 200 firms

 

A further 45 companies have signed up including Goldman Sachs, UBS and Sesame Bankhall Group.

It means the charter now covers more than 650,000 financial services employees in the UK at 205 companies.

It coincides with the Women in Finance Charter annual review, which shows progress being made to improve gender balance.

More than a quarter of signatories have already met their targets for female representation in senior management.

Prime minister Theresa May said: “More than 200 major financial institutions have now committed to improve the gender balance at the top of their organisation.

“This is an important step forward, not just because this is about fairness, or simply about giving women an equal opportunity to get on, but because our workplaces are greatly enriched by different approaches.

“Time and again, I have seen first-hand how women can bring fresh thinking and new perspectives. And I know the commitment that women put into their jobs on a daily basis.

“But, of course, there is still more to do be done and I look forward to seeing these companies really delivering on their targets over the next few years.”

 

New signatories

Other new signatories to the charter include the City of London Corporation, Sainsbury’s Bank, and the British Business Bank.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive of Virgin Money and the government’s Women in Finance champion said: “Estimates suggest that increased female participation in the labour market and women moving into higher-paid and skilled jobs could increase UK GDP by around 10% and the financial services sector needs to play its part.

“Achieving a balanced workforce at all levels and offering fairness and equality of opportunity for both men and women will not only close the gender pay gap over time, it is an economic necessity if we are to drive innovation, power productivity and continue to compete on a global stage.”

More than half of the charter’s signatories are on track to meet their future targets and more than three-quarters have either increased or maintained the proportion of women in senior management in the reporting period, the annual review found.

Lisa Winnard, HR and business services director at recent signatory Sesame Bankhall Group, said: “Equality and diversity are at the heart of our organisation’s culture, so signing the Women in Finance Charter was a natural step for our group.

“We believe that a more diverse and inclusive workplace creates a better environment for people to thrive and achieve their full potential.

“It helps to improve innovation, decision making and customer service. This not only benefits businesses, but it also has a positive wider impact on society and the economy.

“Greater transparency is an important step in enabling this important industry issue to be discussed and addressed, so that progress can be made, particularly with regard to the greater representation of women in senior management roles.”

Clare Jupp director of people development at Brightstar Financial, yesterday said the Women in Finance Charter drives happiness in business.

Women In Finance Charter drives ‘happiness in business’, says Jupp

Women In Finance Charter drives ‘happiness in business’, says Jupp

At a lunch briefing in London, involving Virgin Money and HM Treasury, Jupp said the greatest benefit has been the change in thinking, which has led to a more open minded, happier and productive team.

“We want everyone to thrive and we want rules in place so everyone can reach their full potential and know that no role, no opportunity is gender specific,” said Jupp.

“It’s not about working mothers, it’s about parental responsibility,” she added. “Equality for women does not mean inequality for men.”

Fear of not meeting targets is one of the perceived hurdles for signatories to the charter, she said, but these things take time and focus businesses’ thinking, especially when each firm can set its own targets in line with capacity.

 

No punishment, naming or shaming

Firms are asked to publicly publish targets on gender diversity in senior management, but only need to report the results of those targets to HM Treasury, so firms are not ‘named and shamed.’

Businesses also do not have to publish how those targets are linked to the pay of the senior executive team but must detail targets to HM Treasury.

During the debate, it was suggested that the link to remuneration gave the Charter ‘teeth’ and is a language people in financial services understood.
One attendee said: “Given the fact it’s going to take 180 years to get to equality at current rate, targets are a really good idea.”

The lunch included a drive to get more mortgage and specialist lending firms to sign up to the Charter ahead of the next published list of signatories at the end of June.

Over the last 18 months, 162 firms have signed up to the four aims of the Women In Finance Charter, with many of the biggest high street banks in the first tranche.

The four pledges enshrined in the charter to promote gender diversity include:

• Having one member of our senior executive team who is responsible and accountable for gender diversity and inclusion;
• Setting internal targets for gender diversity in our senior management;
• Publishing progress annually against these targets in reports on our website;
• Having an intention to ensure the pay of the senior executive team is linked to delivery against these internal targets on gender diversity.

Since the charter launched, over 85% of signatories have committed to have at least 30% women in senior roles by 2021. Over 25% have committed to a 50/50 gender split in senior roles by 2021.

Calling all future Women In Finance charter signatories – invitation

Calling all future Women In Finance charter signatories – invitation

 

Brightstar is keen to hear from any senior executives interested in pledging a commitment to achieving a greater gender balance across the financial services industry and ready to sign their company up to the charter.

The event with speakers, including Brightstar’s director, people development, Clare Jupp, lunch and networking takes place at the Virgin Money offices at Eagle Place, London from 11.30am -1.30pm.

CEO of Virgin Money, Jayne Ann Gadhia led a review into women in the finance industry on behalf of HM Treasury. Her report found that:

• The pay gap between men and women is worse in financial services than in any other sector, with a woman earning 60p for every £1 that a man earns
• Women made up 23% of boards at City firms and only 14% of executive committees.
• Just 6% of CEOs in the financial services sector are women

Subsequently, HM Treasury launched the ‘Women in Finance’ Charter and there are currently 162 signatories covering 600,000 UK Financial services employees.

Jupp said our sector is positively represented, but my personal aim is to encourage more organisations to get on board so that we can fast track change.

“Brightstar is an extremely proud signatory of the charter but needs you to join us in making this vital pledge, she added.

“I am determined to encourage and secure further signatories to the Women in Finance Charter as a direct result of this event and to subsequently see a greater representation of women in senior positions within the sector.”

She added: “Invitations have been sent to non-signatories of the Women in Finance Charter and I look forward to seeing industry colleagues to gain their pledge of support for this crucial issue.”

Contact clare@brightstarhub.co.uk for further details.

 

Why Brightstar is teaming-up with Virgin Money to promote Women in Finance

Why Brightstar is teaming-up with Virgin Money to promote Women in Finance

To achieve this, Brightstar will be working closely with Virgin Money who have been absolutely key to this whole crusade and the introduction of the charter.

Last week, I was privileged to meet Emily Cox, director of public affairs at Virgin Money. Emily was named Women in Finance Woman of The Year 2017, recognising her as an inspiring leader who has challenged, influenced and revolutionised the culture of Virgin Money and the financial services sector.

On behalf of CEO Jayne Anne Gadhia, Emily led the team responsible for the Women in Finance Review and is the co-author of the HM Treasury report Empowering Productivity: Harnessing the Talents of Women in Financial Services, which was published in March 2016. The report provided insight into the representation of women in senior managerial roles in financial services, making recommendations on how companies can improve the representation of women.

It has been this report that has fuelled the onset of signatories.

Impressed by the work undertaken thus far by Brightstar, Virgin Money will be featuring us as a case study organisation of their new app which is designed to assist organisations in taking actions to improve gender diversity and the career progression of women in financial services.

Virgin Money will also be partnering with Brightstar for an exciting event in 2018 – details to be revealed soon.

 

PM support

It was wonderful to learn that thus far the Women in Finance Charter is viewed as a huge success by HM Treasury, with it gaining further support from prime minister Theresa May and economic secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Barclay.

And Treasury is actively communicating with non-signatories to get them on side, with a current focus on global investment banks, financial technology firms and payment services. Indeed, while there are notable names among the latest signatories, sadly, there are still notable absences.

Whatever the reasons are, this issue is not simply going to fade away.

Diversity should have been tackled some 20 or 30 years ago but as that hasn’t happened, the very best time to do this is right now. Therefore, if you or your organisation hasn’t signed, please may I urge you to take the plunge today and sign the charter.

 

Earlier this week, Clare Jupp broke down the key aims and commitments of the Women in Finance Charter.

More than half of financial services industry covered by Women in Finance Charter – Jupp

More than half of financial services industry covered by Women in Finance Charter – Jupp

This means more than 560,000 people are now covered by it – equal to over half of the employees in the financial services sector and more than the total employees in the mining, energy and water sector combined.

This is an impressive statistic and the charter is clearly making an impact within the industry.

It is also noteworthy that Treasury has released research conducted by think-tank New Financial with existing signatories which found more than two-thirds of finance firms believe signing up will lead to permanent and sustainable change in gender diversity at senior levels across the industry.

According to the findings, 62% of firms have taken specific action to support female career progression since signing up. That includes Brightstar, whoI am proud to say were one of the original signatories of the charter and are making great strides with encouraging and supporting career progression for women in our business.

 

Aspirational targets

But what next? How many of our sector colleagues are still part of organisations that have not signed the Women in Finance Charter or indeed, even know what it is, what it aims to do and why they should sign up?

My guess, sadly, is too many. While I am delighted that organisations such as Atom Bank and Shawbrook are signed up and enthusiastically proactive in this front, I am disappointed by the lack of traction overall.

If you’re cautious about the commitments that have to be made or just plain disinterested in the whole thing, perhaps I can take this opportunity to provide a few key facts. Signing up to the Women in Finance Charter simply means that organisations will commit to four actions that will help to bring improvements. While organisations will be accountable, there is no punishment for failing to meet every target that is set. The targets are aspirational (but practical) ideals; they serve to get organisations thinking seriously about what they can and will do to improve their gender diversity. What’s not to like?

 

The four actions outlined by the charter are:

What must also be said however, is that signing up is not just about being politically correct or ticking a box for the organisation.

Businesses are waking up to the fact that promoting more women into senior roles is not only the right and proper thing to do, but that it will also improve their overall business performance. Diversity of thought at the top is crucial in keeping the financial sector at the cutting edge.

Women in Finance Charter gains support from Post Office and Axa as signatories grow

Women in Finance Charter gains support from Post Office and Axa as signatories grow

Recent firms committing to the charter’s pledges to drive gender diversity and equality in financial services are Post Office, Axa, Charles Stanley, KPMG and Citi.

The four pledges are: to have one member of the senior executive team responsible for gender diversity, internal targets for gender diversity in senior management, reporting on the success of progress against these targets to be found on the firm’s website and an intention to link the pay of senior management to the delivery of these targets.

Chief executive of Virgin Money Jayne-Anne Gadhia (pictured) is the government’s appointed champion of the charter and wants to see firms direct talented women toward leadership positions.

Maria Harris, director of retail mortgages at Atom Bank, won Banker of the Year at the first Women in Finance Awards held in London on 29 June. Judges praised Harris for her ‘genuinely disruptive approach to mortgage lending’ and her mentoring work.

Tracie Pearce, head of mortgages, HSBC and Clare Jupp, people development director, Brightstar Financial were both nominated for awards.

Woman of the Year was won by Emily Cox, Virgin Money and employer of the year went to Columbia Threadneedle with Lloyds Banking Group picking up highly commended.

Raft of well-known industry stars to be celebrated at Women In Finance awards

Raft of well-known industry stars to be celebrated at Women In Finance awards

Other companies which made the shortlist either for individuals or at a group level include Legal and General, Virgin Money, Santander, Lloyds Banking Group, RBS, TSB, Metro and Triodos Banks.

The inaugural awards recognise the high-achievers and excellence of early-to mid-career female executive role models in a male dominated finance sector and other supportive companies and individuals.

The awards scheme, which includes men and women in some categories, largely celebrates female role models in middle and senior management, nominated by themselves or their peers, to encourage a new tranche of women in the early phase of their careers to break through barriers and grow within the sector.

The awards create a forum to to tackle the main obstacles standing in the way of senior women in finance; mid-career stagnation, the lack of role models and mentors in the sector, and countering the gender pay gap and hiring and promotion biases.

Clare Jupp, director of people development at Brightstar, nominated for the advocate of the year award, said: “I am totally committed to the advancement of women in the financial service sector and I have worked very hard to champion and nurture women within our business and to support and develop them in their roles, aspirations and career paths.

She added: “I am incredibly proud of the achievements of these women and how their commitment to self-improvement and professional development has led to great success.”

Maria Harris, director of retail mortgages at Atom Bank, nominated for banker of the year, said: “I’m truly honoured that our partners, suppliers, peers and colleagues believe what we have delivered is worthy of an award recommendation. I am only a small piece to this jigsaw – the whole team at Digital Mortgages by Atom helped take my vision and have turned it into a reality.”

She added: “It is great to recognise the contribution women are making across financial services, and to provide inspiration to both men and women across the industry is fantastic. As a member of Atom’s senior team, it is so encouraging to see a start-up, fintech, challenger business being recognised so early in our journey.”

An independent panel of judges will meet on June 15 to decide the winners, which will be announced at the black-tie gala ceremony on June 29 at the Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel, Park Lane, London.

The shortlist

Nominations for the Women in Finance Awards closed in March 2017, raking in 432 submissions across 14 categories. Rigorous vetting produced the list of 119 finalists below, from which the industry leader of the year will also be chosen.

Rising Star of the Year

This award recognises the best and the brightest talent in the early phase of their career. Judges will be looking for nominees who have a unique and inspiring story to tell, demonstrating personal development and deeper contribution to their company and the industry.

• Anoushka Babbar, Head of Regulatory Policy and Government Relations, London Stock Exchange
• Lucy Emptagee, FX Trader, Natwest Markets
• Srijana Gautam, Consolidation Accountant, M&G Investments
• Rupal Kantaria, Social Impact Advisor, Oliver Wyman
• Tori Knight, RSA
• Gaia Mazzucchelli, ESG Analyst, MSCI
• Androulla Soteri, Tax Development Manager, MHA MacIntyre Hudson
• Joanne Vowles, Head of Communications, Charles Stanley & Co Ltd

Advocate of the Year

This award is open to a company or person that has gone out of its/her/his way to support the cause of getting more women promoted fairly in the last 18 months. Judges will assess the nominees’ role in establishing and developing initiatives and training schemes and its impact on, and integration with, the business.

• Anthony Baldwin, AIG Europe
• Andrew Bester, CEO – Commercial Banking, Lloyds Banking Group
• Emma Flaherty, Founder, MoneyGirl
• Carolin Gabor, Managing Director, FinLeap & Fintech Ladies Europe
• Peter Harrison, Group CEO, Schroders
• Alison Hepburn, Columbia Threadneedle Investments
• Clare Jupp, People Development Director, Brightstar Financial
• Barbara Pozdovovkina, Head of Corporate Development & Marketing, LMAX Exchange
• Nikki Short, Associate Director, RBS
• Rafael Campos Valdez, Manager – Diversity & Inclusion, TSB (at the time of nomination)

CFO of the Year

This award is open to chief financial officers who have proven to be strategic visionaries for the business. The winner of this category will have contributed to delivering financial growth during the past year, demonstrated success in overcoming significant business challenges or barriers, and shown examples of team leadership and superior management.

• Alison Brownhill, Balderton
• Maria Ferraro, Siemens UK
• Lucy Greggains, Unruly
• Penny Ladkin-Brand, Future Plc
• Melba Mwanje, Luanda International School and founder of SE1 United
• Amelie Redon-Hoang, S4M
• Carolyn Sims, Cazenove Capital Management
• Fiona Tee, Currency Cloud

Specialist Investor of the Year

This category recognises an investor in a sector of the market other than bonds or equities, such as private equity, venture capital, investing institution, who is making stable long-term returns on their major capital investments over the past year. The winner of this award will be a role model for women in a wide range of disciplines.

• Angelica Anton, SILK Ventures
• Jeannie Boyle, Executive Director & Chartered Financial Planner, EQ Investors
• Ophelia Brown, Founder, LocalGlobe (at the time of nomination)
• Camilla Dolan, Director, MMC Ventures (at the time of nomination)
• Tracy Doree, ‎Founding Partner, Kindred Spirit
• Priyanka Karunanithi, Investor, BGF Ventures
• Seonaid Mackenzie, Sturgeon Ventures LLP
• Sonali de Rycker, Partner, Accel Partners

Fund Manager of the Year

Independent research reveals that only about 3% of fund managers in the UK are female. This award recognises the a manager who has blazed a trail for diversity in the profession. The judges are looking for a fund manager who has out-performed their peers and benchmarks over a prolonged period of time.

• Claudia Calich, Fund Manager – Head of Emerging Markets Debt, M&G Investments
• Johanna Kyklund, Global Head of Multi-asset Investments, Schroders
• Lucy Macdonald, CIO Global Equities, Allianz Global Investors
• Judith MacKenzie, Downing
• Joanne Warner, Head of Global Resources, First State Investments
• Sarah Whitley, Partner, Baillie Gifford

Wealth Management Professional of the Year

This awards recognises the person in the wealth management industry who has done the most, proactively, to promote diversity in the industry and to find tailored, inclusive solutions to both men and women looking for help with their personal finance.

• Kirsten Boldarin, Partner – Investment Management, Stonehage Fleming
• Mary-Anne Daly, Deputy CEO, Cazenove Capital Management
• Stacey Parrinder-Johnson, Investec Wealth & Investment
• Meena Lakshmanan, Partner and Head of Alternatives, LGT Vestra
• Kitty McCormick‎, Director, Lending and Capital Management, Coutts
• Sarah Soar, Head of Investment Management, JM Finn & Co.
• Louise Stanway, Partner, Compliance Officer & MLRO, Ruffer LLP
• Helen Watson, CEO UK Wealth Management, Rothschild

Financial Adviser of the Year

This award recognises excellence within the financial adviser community in the area of diversity, and in tailoring their solutions and products to the needs of female clients. The judges are looking for an Independent Financial Adviser who can demonstrate a track record of delivering for clients that truly add value, particularly in tough economic times.

• Saika Arain, Boutique Finance
• Kay Ingram, LEBC Group
• Helen Jenkins, Inspiration Wealth Management
• Louise Pepper, Bespoke Financial Planning
• Ellen Roome, The Finance Roome
• Madeleine Sunley, Blueberry Financial
• Mary Waring, Wealth for Women Limited

Banker of the Year

This award recognises influential and inspirational women in banking. The winner will have overseen strong financial performance for her organisation over the past year and will have successfully guided the bank in the form of new best business practices, expansion into new markets, or innovation in terms of new products or services.

• Julie Barnsley, Head of Private Banking, Metro Bank
• Angela Chau, Relationship Director, Santander Corporate & Commercial
• Sophie Guibaud, VP, European Expansion, Fidor Bank
• Maria Harris, Director of Retail Mortgages, Atom Bank
• Sonya Iovieno, Head of Accelerator & Growth, Silicon Valley Bank
• Clare Nicholls, Senior Partner, Invenio Corporate Finance
• Tracie Pearce, Head of Mortgages, HSBC Bank plc
• Rebecca Pritchard, Head of Business Banking, Triodos Bank

Accountancy Leader of the Year

This award is open to accountants who have consistently met or exceeded challenging objectives to ensure the highest quality of provision of accountancy and related services. Judges will be looking for examples of how the nominee has contributed to delivering financial growth during the past year, and of team leadership and superior management.

• Stella Amiss, International Tax Partner, PwC
• Radhika Chadwick, Partner for Digital Government, EY
• Faye Hall, Director, Forensic Services, Smith & Williamson
• Abigail Jones, Principal, HW Fisher
• Heather Miller, Head of Private Client Tax, Price Bailey
• Myfanwy Neville, Audit, Tax and Business Advisory Partner, BKL

Insurance Leader of the Year

This award is open to the strongest senior-level contender in the insurance sector who has an outstanding track record in attracting and managing clients and bringing in successful deals. It is also open to women in senior diversity-specific roles. Judges will be looking for nominees who have demonstrated exceptional leadership.

• Debbie Cannon, Personal Injury Claims Handler, LV= Insurance
• Carol Geldard, Personal Lines Director, Covéa Insurance
• Haley Golden, ‎UK Diversity, Inclusion & Wellbeing Manager, ‎Zurich Insurance Company
• Nicole Jones, Chief of Staff, Prudential UK & Europe
• Mandy Martin, Head of Strategy & Business Development, Unum
• Pauline Miller, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Lloyds’ of London
• Julie Page, CEO, Aon Risk Solutions
• Stephanie Smith, COO, Allianz

Legal adviser of the Year

This category celebrates the corporate lawyers that have broken barriers to advancement and carved out a niche for themselves in finance, as well as paving the way for diversity within their firms. Judges will be looking for those who have demonstrated significant positive contribution to the development, enhancement or success of their employer through innovative practice measures or pro bono work.

• Rebecca Dury, Partner, Corporate, Ashfords
• Lesley Gregory, Chair, Memery Crystal
• Karen Holden, Director, A City Law Firm
• Leigh Kirkpatrick, Legal Counsel, RBS
• Andrea McIlroy-Rose, Partner – Head of Retail Property and Chair of Female Futures, Pinsent Masons
• Nell Scott, Partner, London office Diversity & Inclusion Chair, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
• Caroline Sherrington, Senior Counsel, Ignition Law

Employer of the Year

This award recognises those companies that have proactively cultivated a diverse workforce, aiming to achieve equal gender representation at all levels. The judges will be looking for companies with the most diversity among senior employees, the best maternity/paternity benefits, a proven track record in promoting diversity, and the most extensive diversity-supportive policies in recruitment and operations.

• Bank of America Merrill Lynch
• Columbia Threadneedle
• Legal & General
• Lloyds Banking Group
• Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
• Opportunity Network
• RBS
• Virgin Money

Disruptor of the Year

This category celebrates the companies that have reinvigorated gender diversity in the financial services industry by breaking barriers, exploring new markets, creating innovative new products or services, or have established a new effective way of working.

• AinFin Ltd
• AllBright
• Essentia Analytics
• Nottx.com
• Scalable Capital
• Starling Bank
• The Clear Company
• Tribe Impact Capital LLP
• WERKIN

Recruiter of the Year

This category recognises the recruitment firm that has championed equal pay and diversity in financial recruitment. Judges will look for the firm that has added outstanding value to their business partnerships and relationships. They will also be looking for innovation, market insight and profitability.

• E2W Limited
• Equal Approach
• Hays Recruitment
• Juggle Jobs
• Rare Recruitment
• Robert Half
• Sapphire Partners

Woman of the Year

As the headline award for the evening, this category recognises an inspiring leader who has challenged, influenced or revolutionised the culture of the business and financial services sector. Judges will be looking for nominees who have demonstrated a positive impact in bridging the gender gap in the sector through mentoring, training and other initiatives.

Shortlisted nominees will be released at the end of May.

Why International Women’s Day matters to the financial services industry

Why International Women’s Day matters to the financial services industry

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

As a signatory of HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter and with our balanced workforce and Investor in People gold status, Brightstar is marking and celebrating International Women’s Day.

It is my belief that every person can play a part in helping drive better outcomes for women. Therefore, through meaningful celebration and targeted bold action, I believe that we can all be responsive and responsible leaders in creating a more gender inclusive world.

The World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won’t close entirely until 2186. This is too long to wait, so around the world International Women’s Day provides an important opportunity for ground breaking action that can truly drive greater change for women.

Everyone can flourish

At Brightstar, we are proud of our approach to recruitment and people development and our belief is that no role is gender specific and no mountain is too high for anyone to climb.

We believe in all of our people and this is why everyone can develop, flourish and achieve great things.

Therefore, on International Women’s Day, our message has been a simple one. We are about people not gender and have been celebrating the fact that our women’s achievements and advancement is set against a backdrop of achievement for all.

Today is about acknowledging the contributions and achievements of the women in our business, and it has been hugely energising to see everyone joining in with this theme. Our peer to peer recognition scheme has been used today to celebrate women’s achievements and to congratulate peers for these.

We hope that our actions, coupled with those across other organisations, the country and the world will help to progress the gender agenda, ultimately securing greater gender parity across the world.