International Women’s Day (IWD) is a day to celebrate the achievements of women in all fields, but private banking and wealth should not be neglected in 2023. Annika Siddiqa and Patrick Bruznahan Talk to industry leaders on this day
Emma Wheeler, Head of Women’s Wealth, UBS Global Wealth Management
- What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
In this role, I feel empowered every day because of the work we do in the area of women’s wealth, but International Women’s Day is a great way to help the world recognize women’s achievements. According to UBS’s 2022 U.S. Own Your Worth report, 92% of the women surveyed said that being involved in long-term financial planning would make them more successful in the world. I believe we can make a big impact. These are encouraging stats, and we hope to encourage more women to be at the financial table and empowered by it.
- What advice would you give to young women looking to build a career in financial services and technology?
Network like crazy! Make meaningful connections with female role models that you admire, both professionally and personally. Believing in yourself and saying “yes” to every opportunity can also help lead you to new and unique situations that will contribute to your career success.
- To what extent do you think the financial services sector demonstrates equity in the area of diversity?
Women’s wealth is accelerating, women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses are on the rise, there is an unprecedented wealth transfer between generations of women, and the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting women’s resilience and highlighted power. In the financial services industry, companies need to reflect the changing demographics of their workforce if they want to remain relevant and be the advisor of choice for women, regardless of where they are in their financial journey. I have. Diverse decision-making leads to better outcomes for all, including better financial outcomes. The industry is changing and we cannot be complacent about the status quo.
- What inspires you in your daily work?
I am fortunate to work with some amazing people in this role, but especially the female founders we work with are inspiring, their energy and determination is profound You can read more about how we work with them here). Unfortunately, female founders are very underfunded, but their strength and determination is reflected in a recent UK Rose Review report that puts her at 4.5 for creating women-led businesses in 2022. % increased. Surprisingly, the biggest leap was between her 16th and her 25th, an increase of almost 25%. As parents of young daughters, this gives us great hope for the future of the women we are raising and the future of female entrepreneurs.
Melissa Henderson, Paraplanner, BRI Wealth Management
This year’s International Women’s Day theme reminds me of my own experience as a woman working in financial services.
I was pregnant late in the pandemic. When the lockdown lifted and people started returning to the office, my direct manager was very supportive and understanding. Not only has it allowed me to continue working from home, but it has let me take the day off whenever I need to attend an appointment or feel unwell. .
During my maternity leave, I was in regular contact with my colleagues and manager and found the contact days very helpful and made it easier to return to work after being away for a year.
When I returned to work and my son started daycare, I felt supported again. Flexibility in working days was not an issue and adjustments could be made.He plans to return to full-time next year or sometime in the next two years, but has never felt pressured by his employer to do so. is not. Going back to work when you have a baby or toddler can be tough days, for example if you’re sick or teething and sleep deprived… Experience so far.
I have ambitions to progress within the business and have been encouraged by my boss in this regard. We are having a discussion.
Despite efforts to ensure a more diverse workforce, the financial services industry is still significantly more male than female. However, the support and encouragement I received from my manager and colleagues during and after pregnancy suggests that the challenges women face are increasingly recognized, and that the industry as a whole seems to be striving to create a more equitable working environment. It clearly shows that
Sue Wakefeld, Director, Head of New Business, ZEDRA Manchester, UK
Working in the financial industry in the 80’s was very different than it is today. Looking back on my early days when the industry was traditionally male-dominated, I believe my confidence, resilience and ambition were the key drivers that helped me advance my career. became the first part-time manager appointed by the Barclays Trust Company of It’s rewarding to see my success pave the way for other women in the industry to become an impetus to reshape the financial services landscape.
Fostering an environment where everyone is respected, empowered and given a voice is in ZEDRA’s DNA. When I look at the colleagues I work with around the world, I see that individual competence is essential and is championed every day, regardless of gender, diversity of nationalities, educational background, culture or age. reassuring.
Silvia Mensdorff-Pouilly, Head of EMEA Corporate and International Banking, FIS Global
Nowhere does this year’s IWD theme, ‘Employing Equity’, feel more relevant than in the upper-level financial and fintech industries. By 2021, only one-third of her senior management positions in the financial industry will be held by women. By 2022, companies have pledged to increase that number to 40% of her, and the vast majority of companies are on track to meet that goal. But while progress has been made, more work is needed to increase the representation of women and other diverse groups in all financial roles.
The need for better representation is not only fair, but directly related to business success. Industries like finance and fintech need to represent, understand and deliver it all to stay at the center of the changing world and best serve their customers. It’s hard to serve your customers if you don’t understand them. It is also difficult for a diverse group of businesses to drive innovation if their talent is not properly supported.
The European Women Payments Network (EWPN) is an example of an organization that truly respects equity and helps hone the talent of women to enter and navigate this imbalanced industry. But support groups and networking can only go so far. Major financial institutions are at the center of this change, and in 2023, more must back up their good words with their fearless actions. I hope that IWD 2024 will see further progress in achieving equity in an industry that must innovate for society.