On Wednesday 30th January we had the pleasure of hosting a breakfast launch event at Lloyd’s Banking Group in London. Today, 31st January we held our Scottish leg of the launch in Edinburgh, also kindly hosted by Lloyds Banking Group. Both events were attended by representatives from our corporate partners, members of the WIBF team and some of our judges.
In London we were welcomed by Jo Carver, Head of Inclusion and Diversity at Lloyds and Co Chair of Breakthough Network.
She told us that Lloyds Banking Group are delighted to be the headline sponsor of the awards this year and continue working together with WIBF to recognise the success stories of women and their supporters in our industry.
Jackie Leiper represented Lloyds in Scotland and told the audience that Lloyds Banking Group are “passionate about making work a better place for women and delighted to be the headline sponsor for the 2019 WIBF Awards”.
Both Jackie and Jo spoke about why inclusion and diversity is so important and that Lloyds Banking Group has made a strong public commitment to it and included it under their strategic banner of helping business prosper. They are making progress on their commitment to 40% of senior roles to be filled by women by 2020, having reached 35% by end of 2018. They are providing opportunities and reducing barriers, and recognise that the barriers are increasingly tougher.
We heard from WIBF President Vivienne Artz who played us the short film from the 2018 Awards Luncheon, to remind us what an exciting vibrant event this is and how we are going to make 2019 an even bigger and better event.
Vivienne announced that Dr Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England will be our Keynote Speaker at the Awards Luncheon on June 14th.
WIBF are also delighted to announce the six judges who will make the final, difficult decisions on this year’s winners.
Gerry Mallon, Chief Executive, Tesco Bank
Vivienne Omaset, Managing Director, EMEA Equity/Global Strategy & Macro Group, Citi
Julie Baker, Head of Enterprise and Community Finance, NatWest
Jay Sheth, Head of Economics, Politics and Regulatory Affairs, Virgin Money
Esra Turk, Head of Emerging Markets Origination, EMEA and Americas, Barclays
David Stringer-Lamarre, Chairman, Institute of Directors
You can read more about them here.
Sally McFall, WIBF’s Director of Awards spoke in both London and Edinburgh. She told both audiences that these awards recognise women and men who contribute extra over and above their day job to support women to thrive at work.
The recognition is extremely valuable and raises nominees’ sense of self-worth even if they are not shortlisted. She also outlined the schedule for nominations, booking and opportunities for sponsorship by corporate partners – see information at the end. The Awards luncheon event has grown from 375 people in 2017, to 510 in 2018 to 600 this year, 2019. This is an ideal size for a prestigious event that creates a positive impact, makes a difference and yet is not too big.
In London, we then heard from Jane Magill, Managing Director at Macquarie Group who was shortlisted in the Champion for Women category in 2018. She spoke about how much she enjoyed being part of the process last year and how a large part of the enjoyment was meeting other women from across the industry. Jane touched on the shortlist dinner held in May as an amazing experience where she was able get to know her fellow shortlisters and some of those women are now considered friends. She said that her being part of the shortlist became a way to get senior (male) leaders within her organisation to celebrate and become involved.
We also met Tracy Watkinson, Manager Director at Credit Suisse who won the 2018 Champion for Women Award. She talked about her huge surprise at winning, despite convincing herself and everyone else that she wouldn’t! She said that winning the award reminded her that she hadn’t valued what she did and winning had fired her up to take a step further and reach out to women outside her organisation. She said that she has become more confidence to speak externally and has attended and been a keynote speaker at conferences since.
Tracy also highlighted how much she enjoyed the shortlist dinner and luncheon and the pleasure of meeting other women from different sectors of the industry.
In Edinburgh, Gerry Mallon, CEO of Tesco Bank and one of our judges spoke. He took up his role in August and was concerned that there were only two women in his senior management team. From a CEO’s perspective, this is a challenge as an organisation to be losing half the potential talent. Tesco has built a very successful bank, but it would be even better if they were playing with a full team rather than half a team. Supporting women to develop and progress in individual businesses and across the industry is important, not only at a human level around equality, but as a human capital issue: losing women at senior levels leads to under performance as the organisation does not get the best of its people. There are talented women at junior and middle levels, but then they are cut off and not there at senior levels.
The organisation is doing good work to support women overcome barriers, but the issue is not really about fixing women. The fundamental challenge is for the board and senior management team to fix the organisation so it works for women.
As CEO, Gerry sees it is important to recognise where the organisation and individuals get it right, which is why he’s agreed to be a judge for the WIBF awards. Tesco has a strong and active women’s network and Gerry is now the executive sponsor for women in Tesco across the Tesco Group. He’d like to get the bank closer to retail where women progress and succeed better than in finance. In his own career, Gerry has been around many strong successful women, starting with his own family, at school, at university, working in government as private secretary to a female minister, and working with bright, strong female colleagues at the consultancy where he later worked. When he moved into banking, the women started to disappear.
Vicky Zuiderent, WIBF Edinburgh Board member, spoke about the power of being nominated and feeling recognised.
Often talent is taken for granted even by the people who work closely with you. Recognition for an award magnifies that enormously and raises confidence for the nominee. Vicky talked about the positive difference winning an award had made for two previous winners’ career and life, including promotions and new opportunities. This is a priceless gift you can give someone by nominating them.
More than making an individual difference, nominating women for an award makes a difference for your organisation and champions success, supports unsung heroes and puts a spotlight on rising stars in your organisation. Often this work is unseen, quietly and effectively delivered as it is driven by passion and values. Giving recognition raises the profile of both the individual and the organisation, raises awareness of the importance of inclusion and diversity so you have more traction for supporting women throughout the organisation. It demonstrates how you can give back, be successful and make a difference for others in the organisation. In so doing, you are making the workplace a more inspiring place to be.
Niamh Simms, Co-Chair, WIBF Edinburgh Board then took the stage to describe how the Edinburgh Branch of WIBF has grown to around 350 members. We collaborate with Glasgow, the other branch in Scotland, to create a phenomenal resource for members.
WIBF Annual Awards for Achievement 2019 Information
The award nominations are initially read by five members of the WIBF executive committee then the shortlist is independently judged by the diverse panel of judges from different organisations.
Nominations are open until 27 Feb 2019. Nominations can be made by members and those employed by our corporate partners. You can nominate as many times as you like, and re-nominate women who you have nominated in the past. More information and the nomination form can be found here
The 2019 WIBF Awards Luncheon is on 14 June 2019 at the London Hilton, Park Lane. Bookings can be made now for individual places and groups via this page.
You can view images of both events via our Flickr Account
Thank you to Sue Mitchell, reporting from Edinburgh.