Women’s networks help spread awareness of the challenges facing women in the workplace Kevin Price, Managing Director and Global Head of Reserve Based Finance at Societe Generale said recently in an interview with WeAreTheCity.
Responsible for all of the bank’s reserve based financing activities worldwide Price has close to 30 years’ experience in the upstream oil and gas and finance industries, having started his career as a petroleum geologist. He spent 12 years working in the oil industry before moving into reserve based finance in 1997. Since then he has held several roles in British and European Banks as a technical advisor and as a senior banker.
He joined Societe Generale in 2006 to run the International RBF business and was made global head of the business in 2009.
Currently Price looks after a team, at Societe Generale, which is spread across the US, Asia and UK: “So far 30% of the team is female and growing,” he said.
He added: “We just hired our first female petroleum engineer in the US. It’s not as hard to find women in finance overall, but there are fewer women in this type of profession.”
Societe Generale has a women’s network which was recently rebranded as Equilibrium to ensure the network appeals to men as well as women.
Price said he attends Equilibrium meetings to learn about the challenges facing women in the workplace: “I’m happy to be supportive and involved in our women’s network. It has been rebranded as Equilibrium to overcome the perception that it’s a women’s only network. “It’s getting to the core of the issue and the core of equality. Women’s networks are a good tool in helping more people understand biasness and to become more reflective.”
He noted that some males may use certain language, which unconsciously discourages female employees: “I realised that some male managers use certain language unconsciously such as ‘fight’ and ‘round up the troops’ and this made me more self-reflective of what I say. Networks are good for making more people aware of these things.
“The utopian outcome is that we don’t have any conscious biasness or that candidates are judged on anything other than talent.”
Quotas not the answer
Price is not entirely convinced about quotas for women in companies being compulsory “Quotas by themselves are not necessarily the answer – education and making people more self-reflective I think . Any good manager or professional has to be reflective.
“Recruiters need to look long and hard and think am I treating the applicants equally without bias. I have a very successful team because it’s diverse. They look at things differently instead of looking at things through the same prism. Diversity gives a better perspective on things.”