Women in Banking & Finance’s Recognition of Achievement event is our opportunity to recognise and celebrate individuals, across the UK’s financial services sector, who are progressing gender equality.

Taking a break from our annual awards, which started in 1998 – that’s 23 years ago – our virtual celebration aims to help you understand the steps WIBF and its corporate members are taking to ensure women can achieve success, and understand there are role models for them to look to – after all, you can’t be what you can’t see!

On 14th October, we hosted a packed 90 minutes of panel discussions, key note speakers and details of WIBF’s exciting plans for 2022. Hosted by Kate Thornton, journalist and television broadcaster, and Anna Lane, President of WIBF, we were joined live by Alison Rose, CEO of NatWest Group and the first female to run a UK financial conglomerate and high street bank. And we heard from Dame Inga Beale on her experiences as in the City of London before and during her time as the CEO of Lloyd’s of London.

We also celebrated individuals, from each of our institutional members and the wider WIBF network, who are recognised as having gone above and beyond to make a difference in gender equality in our sector over past 18 months.

The Recognition of Achievement virtual event was made possible by Citi, HSBC, Cynergy Bank, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, LSEG and TEN Group.

Read all about the achievements of WIBF’s 2021 Role Models by clicking on the ‘Read More’ button below.

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Role Models

Kate Smith


Throughout her career, Kate has helped to shape the pensions industry in the UK and supported a greater understanding of the ever-changing rules and regulations. She is also bringing attention to the gender pensions gap and flagging how it can be narrowed.

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Shilpy Kumar


Shilpy’s leadership of the Women@Capco network has pushed forward many projects, including a Return to Work programme which encourages experienced, senior talent to join Capco after extended career breaks, whether that was due to having children through to illness.

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Andrew Pitt


Andrew has made a unique contribution to gender equality for his colleagues and in the wider industry. Apart from his many managerial accomplishments, he is the co-chair of Citi’s gender network and actively advocates for diversity through a research programme where his support has been called remarkable and exemplary.

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Audrey Bampoe & Lisa London

Credit Suisse

When Credit Suisse was asked to put forward its role model for actions supporting the diversity and inclusion agenda, it provided Women in Banking & Finance with not one, but two names in Audrey Bampoe and Lisa London. We explain why both deserve our praise..

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Bernadette Smith

Cynergy Bank

Bernadette leads from the front, not only by being a senior role model for Cynergy Bank’s female colleagues, but also by hiring one of the most diverse teams in the bank (by gender and ethnicity). Bernadette is also the Executive Sponsor of Cynergy’s diversity and inclusion group.

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Katelyn Brown


Katelyn is the chair of Deloitte UK’s Financial Services Women in Leadership Council as well as a member of the firm’s International Women's Forum. Through her practice leadership initiative, the firm has made huge strides in diversity and inclusion, with 50% of the Financial Services Institutions’ executive team now female.

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Shalini Shan


Over the last 18 months as well as leading EY’s partnership with TheCityUK and UK Finance helping UK SMEs with recapitalisation solutions, Shalini has also helped other women through formal and informal networks and formative mentoring relationships – programmes now being copied by other EY teams.

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Lisa Fernihough


Lisa’s colleagues told us she leads by example – not just in her practice she leads, which has flourished – but also as an active, visible champion for diversity and inclusion. Lisa has established and leads a number of networks helping women, working parents and colleagues from ethnic minorities thrive.

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Kate James

Lloyds Banking Group

In addition to her day job, Kate leads communications for Lloyds’ gender diversity network, which boasts over 12,500 members. She is also helping deliver the group’s new menopause proposition, due to launch in a few days to all of her 65,000 colleagues.

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Anita Huynh


Called a culture carrier and positive force for change, Anita has achieved great results with regard to diversity and inclusion in her day job given she is a firm believer that it is not a standalone initiative, but that it helps organisations and operations become more successful.

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Nikki Wells


After six years leading NatWest’s gender network, Nikki is handing on the baton to a new leader. She is being recognised for the large-scale restructure of the network, bringing together five disparate groups to form one 13,000 strong community and initiating some great projects.

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Desirée Clarke-Noble


Desiree is focused on supporting community causes and enabling people to pursue careers in marketing. She has a string of impressive civic and corporate titles and is also helping RBC expand its community and charitable fundraising initiatives – some of which have gone global.

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Beatriz Rufo Arriero


Beatriz has been fundamental in the creation of the diversity and inclusion working group in the commercial and investment banking division at Santander, which has been running for about two years. Her impressive network is structured around three pillars: retaining talent; hiring; and awareness.

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Fola Osuntokun

TD Securities

A role model during her 25-year tenure, Fola owns the intersectionality of gender and race despite the challenges she has encountered and continues to face. She is an exceptional leader on the Visible Minority committee and a key contributor to the Black Experience Committee globally.

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Debbie Walker

Tesco Bank

Debbie is seen to have had a huge impact as a role model at Tesco Bank - working her way up to an ExCo role, leading and helping those around her to deliver more, and better, for our customers. She also sponsors the Women at Tesco network, advising, assisting, mentoring and developing colleagues.

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Lana Vannerem & Stefanie Hanstveit

Wells Fargo

When Wells Fargo was asked to put forward its role model for actions supporting the diversity and inclusion agenda, it provided Women in Banking & Finance with not one, but two names in Lana Vannerem and Stefanie Hanstveit. We explain why both deserve our praise.

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Kate Thornton

Journalist and Presenter

Kate is a journalist and television and radio presenter, who has hosted some of television’s biggest shows, including the X Factor, The Royal Variety Performance, Loose Women and This Morning.

Kate currently hosts the hit podcast White Wine Question Time, which sees her asking well-known guests three thought provoking questions,over three glasses of wine.

At 21, Kate became the youngest ever and first female editor of pop magazine Smash Hits, before working as a Contributing Editor at the Sunday Times and Marie Claire magazine. In 1997, Kate began her second career in television on the ITV current affairs’ programme Straight Up, and has also hosted talk shows and documentaries on Radio 2.

Kate is conscious of the need for women to take control of their financial futures and is also involved in The Wisdom Council’s Yes She Can programme.

Anna Lane

WIBF President

Anna is CEO and President of Women in Banking & Finance and passionate about gender equality. She is also the founder and CEO of The Wisdom Council (TWC), where she focuses on delivering strategic, innovative and actionable strategies to improve consumer engagement and financial awareness. TWC is a partner with the London School of Economics to support WIBF’s Accelerating Change Together research programme.

Anna recently sat on the Money and Pensions Service – Gender and Financial Wellbeing Challenge, bringing a gender lens to the UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing. In 2019, Anna launched the cross-industry Yes She Can initiative, focusing on closing the gender gap in pensions and investments. Prior to launching TWC, Anna ran a specialist consultancy and worked in the City for over 20 years in senior roles at JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley.


Alison Rose

Chief Executive Officer, NatWest Group plc

Alison is Chief Executive of NatWest Group plc having worked at the bank for more than 27 years. She joined as a graduate and was most recently Deputy CEO of NatWest Holdings and CEO of RBS’s Commercial & Private Banking business.

Alison sits on the Board of Directors for the Institute of International Finance and is a member of the International Business Council for the World Economic Forum. She is also a Trustee of Business in the Community (BITC) and Chairs the Scottish BITC Advisory Board. Alison is a Non-Executive Director of Great Portland Estates plc and sits on the board of the Coutts Charitable Foundation.

Inga Beale

Former CEO of Lloyd’s of London, Dame Inga Beale is a British business woman with over three decades of experience in the financial services sector.

Inga is a Patron of Insuring Women’s Futures, an alliance of insurance and personal finance professionals helping to improve women’s long-term financial resilience.

She served as a member of Stonewall’s Development Council, and was awarded a Damehood for her influential work in driving the inclusion agenda for women and the LGBT community. She has served as President of the UK Chartered Insurance Institute, a member of the Geneva Association Board, and a member of the UK Government’s Financial Services Trade and Investment Board. She serves as Chair of the healthcare group Mediclinic International, and also sits on boards of the claims handlers Crawford & Company and the business group London First, and is a member of the London Mayor’s Business Advisory Board.