Women in Banking and Finance had it’s most successful awards in its 21 year history with a record number of nominations and over 500 people attending the Awards luncheon. The Awards for Achievement luncheon and award ceremony was held on on Friday 15th June 2018 at the London Hilton on Park Lane. These prestigious annual awards highlight the inspirational work taking place every day in pursuit of diversity and excellence in the banking and finance sector.

WIBF are delighted that the WIBF Awards were sponsored by corporate member, Citi. Citi have been a hugely supportive and engaged member of WIBF for many years, and shares WIBF’s belief that the Awards are a flagship event and opportunity to recognise the talent and achievements of women (and their male champions) in the sector, as well as WIBF’s confidence in the power of exceptional role models.

“Having people from a variety of backgrounds and experiences in our teams brings different perspectives to the table, enhances decision-making, and improves overall business performance. Citi’s continued relationship with WIBF allows us to honour our diversity goals, in-relation to supporting women both at Citi and in the wider financial services industry to ensure female representation continues to grow and is appropriately recognised.” – Jim Cowles, EMEA CEO, Citi,

This year, WIBF were delighted to introduce a new award, The WIBF Rising Star Award, celebrating those women who have been in the finance industry for five years or less but have absolutely left their mark on their organisation and on their colleagues. The WIBF Rising Star Award sits alongside our WIBF Award for Achievement, WIBF Champion for Women, WIBF Young Professional and WIBF Team Diversity awards.

Thank you to all those who have supported us this year and congratulations to all the shortlisted nominees and of course our amazing winners.

You can see the full selection of photographs from the Luncheon on our Flickr account

Video highlights

The Categories

Award for Achievement

Celebrates a woman who has achieved success within a senior role and who displays qualities of dynamism and daring in her working life. Candidates have also used their skills beyond their own career by either serving on boards of other organisations and/or by their involvement with furthering the interests of women in the workplace. This woman is considered a role model and is making a significant impact by driving change across the industry.

Champion for Women Award

Celebrates a seasoned professional, man or woman, who through personal commitment, application and dedication, continuously promotes and inspires women in the workplace to reach their full potential.

Team Award for Diversity

Celebrates team success in promoting gender diversity in the workplace. The team may be a business line team that has driven and embedded the diversity agenda or a specialist function (such as HR or Diversity & Inclusion) that partners the business to provide vision and framework for enabling diversity at work.

Young Professional Award

Celebrates a woman aged 35 or younger (on 28th February 2018) who is making an exceptional impact within an organisation. She is shaping her organisation, not only in terms of business success, but also in the example she provides to colleagues. This individual out-performs her peers across the industry and demonstrates huge drive for career success alongside energy for helping others.

Rising Star Award

Celebrates a woman who has demonstrated significant initiative in the early stages of her career in finance (no more than five years on 28th February 2018). There is no age limit for this award. Candidates may include someone who has changed careers to, or within, finance (such as a lawyer taking on a business role in finance or an accountant moving into the finance sector). This woman’s outstanding contribution to her organisation makes her ‘one to watch’ as someone who has progressed with their career at a significant pace in a short space of time. What will this woman do next?

Sponsored by

Headline sponsor

“Having people from a variety of backgrounds and experiences in our teams brings different perspectives to the table, enhances decision-making, and improves overall business performance. Citi’s continued relationship with WIBF allows us to honour our diversity goals, in-relation to supporting women both at Citi and in the wider financial services industry to ensure female representation continues to grow and is appropriately recognised.”

Jim Cowles, EMEA CEO, Citi


Lloyds Banking Group
"Lloyds Banking Group is proud to support the Women in Banking and Finance Shortlist Dinner, which honours the women and men that judges have recognised as stand out talent across the industry. We are especially pleased this year to be presenting the Award for Achievement. This is a prestigious award recognising a female leader who is delivering significant impact to the sector and beyond."


“Barclays are delighted to sponsor the 2018 Young Professional Award, with just over 45% of our colleagues under the age of 35 it is important for us to nurture, grow and of course recognise the contribution of this talented part of our workforce.”

Wendy Papworth, Director, Global Diversity and Inclusion, Barclays


“At Standard Life Aberdeen we have a fundamental belief that everyone, regardless of background, deserves the opportunity to work and fulfil their potential in an inclusive workplace. Our approach to Diversity & Inclusion is in its broadest sense and over a number of years we have progressed our inclusion approach and practices. Making sustainable progress in building diverse and inclusive workplaces will be accelerated by collaborating with and learning from each other – that’s why we are delighted to be sponsoring the Women in Banking and Finance Alumni which is an exciting opportunity to share the great work which is happening across our organisations.”

Lynne Connolly, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Standard Life Aberdeen

Champion for Women award sponsor

Credit Suisse
Credit Suisse is delighted to sponsor the 2018 Champion for Women Award. Our employee, Tracy Jordan, received the 2017 award due to her outstanding contribution to the Modern Muse program. Winning the award further elevated the profile of Modern Muse resulting in increased funding, global expansion and the launch of the Modern Muse Next Steps initiative. Good luck to the 2018 nominees!


This year Santander was listed as one of the top 50 employers for women in the UK by The Times in recognition of our initiatives to equalise the gender pay gap, such as our Accelerating You Women’s Leadership Programme, Returnship Programme and commitment to the HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter to achieve 50% [+/- 10%] women in senior roles by 2021 across the bank. We are proud to sponsor the 2018 WIBF Rising Star Award.

The winners

Women Connect, Credit Suisse

Team Diversity Award

Credit Suisse’s Women Connect initiative co-ordinates a group of female MDs who host interactive monthly forums to encourage an open dialogue in a confidential, collaborative and inclusive environment. The programme delivers inspiring speaker events and learning resources to develop a range of business, technical and interpersonal skills to enable participants to progress their careers. Feedback from participants has been so overwhelmingly positive that the programme will be extended globally and across a wider population to maximise its impact and build upon success to date. Women Connect’s founders, Lisa London and Tanya Bhairo, have demanding day jobs but have shown exceptional passion and commitment to driving the diversity agenda and developing a pipeline of female talent through Women Connect.

Read more

Tracy Watkinson, Credit Suisse

Champion for Women

Tracy, a COO at Credit Suisse, carried out detailed work aimed at identifying the potential risk of unconscious gender bias in internal employee processes. Her conclusions have been fully endorsed by the UK Senior Executive team, the UK Board and Group Board members. Consequently, senior management has approved changes in processes, aimed at eliminating the possibility of any such unconscious bias. Tracy created and leads an initiative to inspire Credit Suisse’s women to hold a board role alongside their professional career. As a Non-Executive Director herself, she organises events giving insight on securing a board role and what that role entails, and she personally provides 1-2-1 coaching. Tracy successfully secured Credit Suisse corporate membership for the Women on Boards network.

Read more

Abisola Barber, Barclays

Rising Star Award

Abisola is Assistant Vice President – Business Manager at Barclays. She has embraced challenge and change throughout her career. Self-confident yet collaborative she consistently outperforms. Her new role as a Trading Business Manager, giving her more responsibilities, has allowed her steadfast performance, management and oversight during critical moments to shine. Abisola has been a valuable addition to Barclays’ efforts within Diversity & Inclusion. From establishing a six-month secondment programme for high-performing individuals in the UK and South Africa to forging innovative ways to engage the next generation’s women with careers in the Financial Services, Abisola is passionate about breaking down barriers to participation. Abisola was named in the 2017 EMpower Top 30 Future Ethnic Minority Leaders, published in the Financial Times.

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Alison McGregor, HSBC

Award for Achievement

Alison is CEO Scotland for HSBC, leading over 4000 employees across a range of businesses. She is responsible for maintaining HSBC’s relationship with those external stakeholders and senior leaders with a key interest in supporting economic growth. Alison is a Board member of CBI, a Non-Executive Director of The Beatson Cancer Charity, a Board member of Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board. She was Chair of CBI Scotland from 2015 to 2017. Alison was named Scottish Corporate Leader of the Year 2017 at the inaugural Scottish Women’s Awards. Alison has made it her personal mission to increase the “trust in banking and the confidence and pride of our people”. She is a role model for women across the sector and beyond.

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Emma Margetts, Visible Alpha

Young Professional Award

Emma was the CEO and co-founder of Alpha Exchange and successfully sold the company to Visible Alpha in November 2017, a comprehensive MiFID II solution for investment research. In addition to launching Alpha Exchange, Margetts started The Business Learning Network, the first women’s accelerator for female entrepreneurs in the townships of South Africa, in 2008; advises NGOs and startups across Africa; and is on the steering committee for Harambe Catalyst Fund, an African venture fund.

Read more

Keynote Speaker

Rt Hon. Nicky Morgan MP

Nicky Morgan is the Member of Parliament for Loughborough and was first elected to serve the constituency for the Conservatives in the 2010 General Election.

Nicky is the first woman Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee in the Commons.

She was born in 1972 and grew up in Surrey, before studying law at Oxford University. She worked as a solicitor specialising in corporate law, advising private and public companies from 1994-2010.

Nicky served as Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women & Equalities from 2014-2016. She was made a Privy Counsellor in April 2014.

In her first Parliament, Nicky also served as the Financial Secretary and Economic Secretary to the Treasury, an Assistant Whip, the Parliamentary Private Secretary to David Willetts at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, and she was a member of the BIS Select Committee.

Nicky’s interests in Parliament include the Economy, Europe, Children’s Character/Education, Mental Health and Heritage Railways.

Nicky lives in Loughborough with husband Jonathan and they have one son.

The Judges

Marian Bloodworth

Partner, Kemp Little

Marian is a partner in the Employment Team and Financial Services group at Kemp Little, advising commercial clients, on a range of employment law issues.

Her particular expertise is in helping clients in the financial services sector manage their legal risk. She has extensive experience of advising on complex and high value litigation and also advises on the employment law implications and challenges of regulatory regime requirements, including internal and external regulatory investigations, the Approved Persons Regime (APER) and the Senior Managers regime for banks and insurers (SMCR and SIMR).

Marian is recognised in the legal directories, being described by Chambers UK as “an excellent lawyer with very sound judgements and good tactical acumen” and by Legal 500 as “unflappable”. She is a Who’s Who Legal Recognised Practitioner for Labour and Employment 2017. Marian is Co-Chair of the CityHR Consultation, Legislation, Advice and Policy Committee and of the working party set up to support members implementing the individual accountability regimes. She also leads the national Employment Lawyers’ Association (ELA) Training Committee and sits on the ELA Management Committee.

Marian was appointed to the WIBF Advisory Board in July 2017, and has been involved with WIBF since 2009.

Melanie Seymour

Managing Director, BlackRock Budapest

Melanie is responsible for establishing the BlackRock presence and building out the footprint in Hungary.

Melanie has over 30 years’ experience in Finance and Banking, holding senior roles in Technology, Operations, and Change Management as well as running her own business.

She set up and ran a mortgage distribution business with one partner, and over eight years grew the business to a team of over 200 with three offices throughout the UK and a turnover in excess of £20m.

She is Co-Chair of the EMEA chapter of BlackRock internal women’s committee (WIN) where she leads a programme of events to support women (and men) in their career journey through the firm. She is passionate about education and developing the next generation of leaders, mentoring a number of men and women both internally and externally.

In 2015 Melanie was recognised as one of Brummells’ Top 30 Inspiring Women in the City. She joined the Advisory Board of Women in Banking and Finance in 2017 after three years as Vice President. Melanie splits her time between Budapest and London with her husband and two sons.

Sarah Carroll

Managing Director, MUFG

Sarah’s role as a global relationship manager for large-cap multinational corporations positions her as a key intermediary between MUFG and the finance function of her clients and responsible for the origination of a wide range of transactions in conjunction with product partners. Sarah also is the head of industrial clients within Western Europe.

Prior to joining MUFG in 2015, Sarah worked at Deutsche Bank, following five years at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Sarah also spent many years at JP Morgan Chase & Co, where she set up the corporate banking function following the merger of JP Morgan with Chase Manhattan in 2000.

Sarah was involved in the creation of, and is now co-chair of, the MUFG employee network, Balance, which focuses on driving gender balance across MUFG in EMEA. As well as being a mentor for other women in financial services, Sarah worked to raise awareness of diversity issues at JP Morgan Chase & Co, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. For this, and her work in Finance, Sarah was ranked No.40 in the FT’s HERoes awards in September 2017.

Sarah is a non-executive director of Nottingham Trent University and Stockport Grammar School.

Jane Karczewski

Managing Director, HSBC

Jane Karczewski has recently joined HSBC as Managing Director, Head of Global Custody within Global Banking and Markets. She has global responsibility for the management and development of the global custody franchise.

Prior to HSBC was a Managing Director within Citi Global Markets, Strategic Risk Solutions, where she focused on Asset Management solutions for liquidity and yield across multiple asset classes. Jane started at Citi in 2010 as EMEA Head of Sales and Business Development for Equity Financing and Delta One. Further roles include: Managing Director, Head of Equity Finance Sales within Global Prime Finance at Deutsche and 13 years at Morgan Stanley where she started as an Equity Finance trader before moving to a senior sales role managing the EMEA Sales effort.

Jane is on the Board of London Women’s Forum, and is the former Co-Chair of Citi Women. Whilst at Deutsche Jane was a member of the Senior Women’s Advisory Board, and the Women in European Banking (WEB) committee.

She started her career working for an FX Hedge Fund in Monaco. Jane has a BA (Hons) in European Studies with Combined Languages from Kent University in Canterbury, and speaks fluent French and German.

Vanessa Vallely OBE

Managing Director, WeAreTheCity

At the height of her successful 25 year career in the financial services, Vanessa launched the award winning WeAreTheCity.com in 2008 as a vehicle to help corporate women connect and grow professionally and personally. WeAreTheCity.com now has over 120,000 members and in 2013 launched a sister site in India.
Vanessa is the also the founder of UK wide diversity forum Gender Networks. Gender Networks (formerly The Network of Networks) brings together diversity leaders from over 120 firms to share best practice.

Vanessa is the author of the book “Heels of Steel: Surviving and Thriving in the Corporate World” which tracks her career and shares 13 chapters of tips to succeed in the workplace.

Over the past seven years, Vanessa has been named Women in Banking and Finance’s Champion for Women, Financial News Top 100 Rising Star, The International Alliance for Women Top 100 Women globally & Brummells Top 30 London Entrepreneurs. In 2015 Vanessa was in GQ UK’s Top 100 Connected Women and the Evening Standard’s 1000 Most Influential Londoners. Vanessa is a regular guest on TV and radio and also sits on the Government Digital Services advisory board.

Nick Williams

Managing Director, Lloyds Banking Group

Nick is a highly respected Executive with extensive experience in leading transformative change in complex organisations, across the public and private sectors.

As Managing Director of the Commercial Transformation at Lloyds Banking Group, he is responsible for Technology, Business Change and Digital channels to transform the banks capability in the Corporate Bank. Prior to this role, Nick ran the Consumer & Commercial Digital businesses across the group spanning across the 13m online users (9m mobile) in Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and Scottish Widows.

Nick is also the Group’s Ambassador for the North region, managing relationships with central and local government, MPs and LEPs. As the Chair of the Northern Executive Committee, he brings focus to the region with the objective of helping northern communities and businesses prosper.

The 2018 WIBF Charity – Bakhita House

Women in Banking in Finance is proud to support Bakhita House as the 2018 WIBF Charity. Bakhita House does vital work, with great compassion, for female victims of human trafficking. All proceeds from the charity collection at the WIBF Awards Luncheon this year will be donated to Bakhita House.

Caritas Bakhita House opened in June 2015 as an emergency safe house for rescued female victims of human trafficking in the UK. There are estimated to be more than 14,000 victims of human trafficking and modern day slavery living in the UK today, with 70% passing through or remaining in Greater London. 55% of trafficking and enslaved victims are women. Sadly, there are still large gaps in the care and resources available to help victims upon being freed. Caritas Bakhita Houseaims to meet this current gap in care by helping rescued female victims of human trafficking who have no access to public funding and support.

At Bakhita House guests receive pro-bono legal advice and assistance, counselling, medical help, translation, one-on-one English lessons, wellbeing and arts therapy, cooking and ICT classes, education and employment training and pastoral and spiritual care, provided by professional staff, religious sisters and 33 volunteers. Women can stay at the housefor up to three months - twice as long as the 45 days provided by Government funded schemes.

Since opening in June 2015, 81 women, originating from thirty countries, aged between 17 and 68, have been received into Bakhita House. Four women have also given birth during their stay at Bakhita house and a fifth baby is due shortly.

To find out more, go to www.rcdow.org.uk/caritas/human-trafficking/

To make a donation to Bakihita House via WIBF please visit our campaign page