President’s Message- July 2019


What a terrific day we had at the 22nd Annual WIBF Awards for Achievement in June. More guests than ever before joined us to celebrate the remarkable 2019 winners, who were selected from the largest number of nominations ever received. From this competitive and exceptional field, the winners were:

Young Professional – Amani Kiflemariam, Credit Suisse
Tech Star – Jenny Chong, Credit Suisse
Champion for Women – Anna Somaiya, KPMG
Team Award for Diversity – Macquarie Infrastructure Debt Investment Solutions COO Team
Award for Achievement – Deborah Gilshan, Aberdeen Standard Investments and The 100% Club
Lifetime Achievement Award – Noreen Doyle, Credit Suisse

Congratulations to these wonderful champions. Have a look at the photos and read more about their achievements here.

The Awards are more than an individual’s achievements, it is also the conversation they encourage and the colleagues they bring together who are all committed to improving the gender balance in our industry. Our Keynote Speaker, the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, spoke about the Bank of England’s determination to improve diversity for the benefit of decision making and creating thinking. If you’d like to read the full speech, it is available from The Bank of England website.

We were delighted with the press coverage through City AM and other papers which took our messages to new audiences, which we welcome.

Looking ahead to 2020, the planning is already underway for WIBF’s 40th anniversary, and the Awards for Achievement will be a highlight of that celebratory year with the Luncheon taking place at the London Guildhall on 12th June.

As we considered WIBF’s 40th anniversary, we saw the need to revisit our strategy in order to lead change for others. WIBF has re-focused its efforts to emphasise working with the Government, developing insightful and innovative thought-leadership; and to determining and promoting those tangible actions with accountable outcomes that will accelerate culture change in the financial services industry. We want to accelerate this culture change through research, community and action.

WIBF is increasingly sought out to hear what we and what our members think of current issues, discussions and proposals for gender practices in the industry. More and more often we are asked to collaborate in conferences; WIBF’s voice, our members’ voice, is being heard more loudly and more insistently. We need to ensure that what we say is absolutely relevant and meaningful today. This is what directed our change.

But what won’t change is the commitment and enthusiasm and experience of our wonderful volunteers who run this network. It is run for members by members. What won’t change are the extraordinary role-models we have in our Patrons, Advisory Board, Management Board, Awards Alumni, and in each and every member.

Each one of us is an influencer; together with WIBF our influence is formidable.

July is another busy month for WIBF and our members, but I hope that you each have an opportunity to enjoy a summer break soon.

Vivienne Artz
WIBF President