As the President and CEO of Women in Banking and Finance (WIBF), Anna has not only modernised and scaled the industry’s first-ever gender network, but also turned it into a social enterprise. WIBF’s Thought Leadership, Mentoring and Awards programs have seen record attendance and received over 7 million impressions in press and social media. reflecting the impact and influence of her team’s work. Anna’s vision is to encourage and support women and girls from diverse socio-economic backgrounds to consider a career in finance. Her strategy has made WIBF one of the UK’s fastest-growing social enterprises, doubling in size in 2022, and her work has created opportunities for women to thrive and succeed in the finance industry. Her passion for gender equality extends beyond WIBF and into the company she founded, The Wisdom Council, a purpose-led organization focused on ensuring financial services are fair and accessible to all. Anna’s behavioural research and change program, Yes She Can, launched in 2019, has helped understand the barriers women face in saving and investing, and her social campaigns have reached millions of women across the country. Anna is also an active member of the financial services industry, is a judge for the Private Asset Management (PAM) and the Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE) Awards. Her experience working in the city for over 20 years, along with her work on the MAPs UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing demonstrate her commitment to social impact, promoting gender equality and financial inclusion in the both industry and society in general.
To truly drive gender equity in financial services, we need bold and decisive action from both organizations and the government. But one action that I believe would make a significant impact is for the government to invest in initiatives that promote and support the image of financial services as a whole, while cutting the negative rhetoric and blame that has been associated with the industry. Currently, it wouldn’t even occur to over 90% of girls to consider finance as a career. This is a dire situation that demands action.
For finance to be truly sustainable it’s time to turbo-charge the female pipeline, and that starts with education and training programs that specifically target educators (80% of whom are women) AND girls. We need to break down stereotypes and demonstrate the breadth and positive impact that finance can have on society, such as funding innovation to tackle critical issues like climate change.
The government must work with the industry to invest in initiatives that help make finance more attractive to women. For me that means a rebrand!