President’s Message - December 2018

As we fast approach the end of 2018 and the Christmas holidays, it is an opportunity to reflect back on an amazing year at WIBF.

We started the year with the largest number of Awards for Achievement nominations ever, which culminated in a hugely impressive group of short-listed candidates, and finally the Award event and winners in June. Do remember to nominate a talented female colleague or male champion for the 2019 Awards for Achievement which are now open for nominations.

A key focus for this year has been the 100 Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in the UK, with an inspiring event with Dr Helen Pankhurst, author of “Deeds Not Words”, and great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst, who were both leaders in the British suffragette movement. These amazing role models continue to be an inspiration to us today, as highlighted in the recent event with Lyndsey Jenkins, Historian and Biographer at Oxford University, who spoke eloquently about the story of the Suffragettes.

This has also been the year of the Gender Pay Gap reporting, which highlighted how much more we need to do in the financial services sector to ensure improved gender balance at all levels in financial services, particularly in senior and leadership positions. The launch of the Women in Finance report by HM Treasury, to which both WIBF and our members contributed, focused on the barriers to women succeeding in the financial services sector, where unconscious bias featured high on the list of issues that need to be addressed.

Finally, there are now more than 300 firms which have signed up to the Women in Finance Charter, including most of the partner firms of WIBF, which is aimed at driving better gender balance at the leadership levels within firms.

Together with the myriad of events, including the Alumni dinner with the Countess of Wessex, it has been an inspiring year for women in the financial services sector. I would like to extend a huge thank you to all the volunteers at WIBF who together, help to make this happen, and to our members, who attend and support our events throughout the year.
Wishing each of you a joyful Christmas, and looking forward to an exciting 2019.

Vivienne Artz
WIBF President