Forty senior leaders from the finance sector are offering advice to young women on how to advance their careers in the industry.
Senior figures will take part in a speed mentoring event at the London Stock Exchange today (12 December) to promote the next phase of the Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter.
They will offer advice and guide 40 young women at the beginning of their careers in finance. They will advise on how to advance in a sector where men currently hold 77 per cent of board level and 86 per cent of executive committee positions.
All of the mentors come from the 93 financial services firms that have signed the Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter, which aims to commit firms to increasing gender diversity at senior levels. Mentors include representatives from leading firms including MasterCard, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC UK, BP Energy Supply and Trading and Jupiter Asset Management.
The event is being run by HM Treasury and Women Ahead, a social enterprise that develops women in business and sport, as part of the Treasury’s push to see more gender parity at the top of financial services firms.
The event will be opened by Xavier Rolet, CEO of London Stock Exchange Group, followed by keynote speeches from Simon Kirby, Economic Secretary, and Jayne-Anne Gadhia, CEO of Virgin Money and the government’s new Women in Finance Champion.
The event is a result of a review commissioned by the Treasury, which found that 77 per cent of women felt that mentoring schemes would make a difference to their career progression.
Speaking about the event, Gadhia said, “It is important that the next generation of women working in finance have the opportunity to break the glass ceiling and get to the top.”
“Achieving a balanced workforce at all levels in financial services will undoubtedly improve culture, profitability and productivity and I am delighted to see so many positive role models here today to mentor and encourage women just starting out with their careers.”
Kirby continued, saying, “It is fantastic that so many senior leaders in financial services have given up their time to take part in our speed mentoring event.”
“Today proves these firms are not just paying lip service to the Women in Finance Charter but are living its values and actively working to help the next generation to climb the ranks.”
“It is really important to keep the momentum going on this agenda and recognise the strong link between greater gender diversity and improved productivity and performance in our financial services sector.”
Maggie Alphonsi MBE, England Rugby World Cup winner and Women Ahead mentoring leader, also said, “My mentors helped me believe in myself, and with that inner strength, I found I reached higher and achieved more in my career than I could have managed alone.”
“Today we’re seeing women at the start of their careers being given an extraordinary opportunity to meet senior leaders who could guide them right up to company board positions.”
“Mentoring, when done well, give you not only great connections and careers advice, but helps unleash the potential everyone has.”
“We can’t wait to see how this group of women travels up the career chain.”