Edinburgh: Meet The President
In Edinburgh on April 25th we had the pleasure of hearing our WIBF president Vivienne Artz being interviewed by our board member Sally McFall.
The event was held in an amazing room supplied by Baillie Gifford which meant there was plenty of room for all our members who were delighted to come and hear all about Vivienne’s career journey and her vision for the future of WIBF.
Vivienne spoke about her career and how she always develops and follows a five year plan. She spoke about the lack of female role models when she was starting out but was keen to stress that gender isn’t really important with role models, it is more about looking up to people who you admire. Vivienne said that there were strong external role models such as Margaret Thatcher, when she started her working career and whether you liked Margaret Thatcher or not she certainly made big changes in how the UK was perceived.
Vivienne worked for Citi for almost 20 years and was heavily involved in the Citi women’s network, running events, bringing all of the women together and offering them a platform to share ideas. She has noticed changes over the years in the way that men at first didn’t really want to be actively involved with the network, but more recently this has changed and men are more likely to be involved and publicly support women’s networks. It was through Vivienne’s contribution to this network that she was put forward for a WIBF Champion Award and she said that winning it was one of the best moments of her life. she was so delighted with the recognition and felt a sense of responsibility afterwards to ensure that she did everything she could after the event to promote women in the workplace. When the position came up as President of WIBF Vivienne decided to apply.
Vivienne spoke about her strategy for the next three years for WIBF which includes ensuring that WIBF is recognised as the main network that supports women working in the Finance industry. Vivienne is working closely with HM Treasury and with the Finance Charter on the Gender Pay Gap. WIBF will also be working on developing research and thought leadership around why women leave financial services between the ages of 30 and 40. The research findings will then be shared with all of our members.
Vivienne made some changes to the infrastructure of WIBF so that it can grow successfully over the next 3 years, this has involved reorganising the board and creating a range of new roles. Vivienne also spoke about the importance of getting involved in committee positions and board positions to gain new experiences and increase your knowledge. She spoke about joining WIBF offers an opportunity to use a different skillset, be a leader, obtain more responsibility out with your normal role, it also offers the chance to network with other likeminded women which provides support and confidence to each other.
Some of the key points from Vivienne’s speech:-
Male advocacy – very important, we want men to come along on this journey with us. It’s not about women being 50% it’s about a balance that suits everyone and the correct frameworks being in place for the future that supports a diverse workforce.
Choose a life partner – it’s very important to choose a partner that is supportive in your career journey and wants you to be successful.
Failure is the teacher, success is the reward – Vivienne gave a few examples of how things didn’t always work out first time around but it is your response to this and how you deal with it that can play a part in opening up a different opportunity.
You need to experience adversity in order to enjoy the successes, you learn more through adversity.
If you are in a job and need to learn more about your subject matter area, try looking at a public committee focussed on this area and then get involved, it is a good way to interact with your peers and then potentially join the committee.
Celebrate success together – Vivienne loved the feeling of winning the WIBF award but what struck her was how pleased all her co-workers were for her on winning this award.
Importance of working for an employer who creates opportunities for men and women equally – Vivienne talks about the importance of brining her whole self to work. When she took on the job at Reuters it was important that they embraced her WIBF President role which they were delighted to do!.