President’s Message - August 2020


I am delighted that WIBF has launched our Distinguished Speakers mini-series, with David Craig, CEO of Refinitiv, starting the ball rolling with his thoughts on the future of the gender agenda post Covid-19. It was a hugely popular event with our largest online audience to date. Thank you, David, for getting the Distinguished Speakers mini-series off to such a thought-provoking start.

t has been brilliant to see the large and growing participation rates in our recent online events, enabling WIBF to connect with Members from across the UK and deliver relevant and interesting content. Do refer to the WIBF Events page to find out about all the online events we offer.


I am very proud that WIBF has launched the Accelerating Change Together Research. This timely thought-leadership initiative will produce practical and insightful research which will help us all identify and address the challenges of the talent pipeline. Supported by outstanding industry partners and world-class researchers we are building a collaborative group that will achieve lasting change for women across finance, banking, insurance, fintech and financial services. Our new research programme aims to provide actionable recommendations and effect policy change to better retain women in financial services. We are working in partnership with our institutional members and organisations in the wider industry, allowing them to influence the direction of research. We will test and share findings with the group to create momentum in the gender agenda. This multi-year research programme will be carried out in four distinct phases so that the research can address industry “hot topics”. Contact with any questions.


WIBF Director of Membership, Natalie Gill, brought together WIBF Partners on the 22nd July for an online roundtable meeting on how to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace (following new guidance issued by the EHRC for employers in January) with expert guest speaker, Dr Anne Sammon, Partner at Pinsent Masons. There was a candid and practical discussion on what our organisations should be doing in this space, and with so many of our Institutional Partners around the table, this was a fantastic opportunity to share examples of best practice from across the industry.

A summary of themes discussed and examples shared is available here, (scroll down the page and select the attached PDF). Respecting the Chatham House rule, these are a summary only of the themes discussed and examples shared. Sharing information, opinion and experience is incredibly valuable for our sector and WIBF is committed to facilitating these conversations throughout the year.


A recent report by Pinsent Masons (Reported here) made for interesting, if depressing, reading about the lack of women applying for senior roles within financial services. Do take the time to read it.

Women in Banking and Finance believes that by working with our members, we can match talent and opportunity through the use of WIBF Jobs Board which enables members to advertise and apply for roles at all levels in the financial services sector. With the Financial Conduct Authority figures showing that just 21% of employees being put forward for senior roles at financial services firms last year were women, compared to 79% who were men, it is time to act, and to ensure that all short-lists for senior roles are diverse and inclusive to close the gender pay gap and ensure balanced representation of gender at all levels.


Sincere thanks to Nigel Jackson, who is stepping down from the WIBF Advisory Board, for his contribution as an Advisory Board member, longstanding advocacy of WIBF and unwavering practical support of WIBF over many years.

I am very pleased that Sally McFall, who has done so much to accelerate the growth and vision of the WIBF Awards for Achievement, has agreed to turn her attention to Mentoring & Development as WIBF Director, and give it the ambitious focus it needs and our members need from it. I am equally pleased that Tracy Watkinson, a WIBF Award winner, who has recently led the WIBF 40th anniversary team, will bring her energy and innovation to the role of WIBF Director for Awards. Thank you Sally and Tracy – for what you have done for WIBF and what you will do.

I wish you all a restful and enjoyable August break – for those of you not on staycation, we do have some great online events taking place.

See you in September.

Vivienne Artz

President, Women in Banking and Finance