President’s Message - July 2021

WIBF President, Anna Lane looks forward to the summer break and reflecting on what is important to us, plus a reminder to complete the WIBF Members Survey

We’re now into the second half of 2021 and the summer holidays are here. I am really looking forward to a break and finally spending more than a few hours’ time with family and friends in person.

I’ve also really relished the opportunity over the last couple of weeks to have the balance of face to face meetings with business partners and colleagues and working from home. Although this feels a bit odd after so many months of video calls only.

As such, the summer also gives us the chance to step back and think through what is really important to each of us about how/where we want to work going forward, particularly with regard to flexibility. What do you want to do?

The reality is that flexibility will become a commodity as part of the employee value proposition. And lots of companies have cottoned on to this changing expectation of their workforce – particularly in financial services – which understands their value to an organisation and its bottom line.

The latest research released as part of WIBF’s Accelerating Change Together programme on 16 June should also encourage us to think more holistically about flexibility. The report reminds us of the first findings released – which found that those who believed their job could be carried out while working flexibly jumped from 54% to 94% in 2020 – but also highlights other areas where we can deviate from the past. Introducing a more diverse approach and putting in place practical measures creates a better workplace for all employees. I hope you can find the time to read the report and think through what it means for you.

The research also flags reasons why WIBF exists. At a time when a small number of managers are making decisions affecting thousands, we are promoting different, valid opinions to help you decide on your working future – and encourage flexibility of thought in the industry.

But for this to continue (and expand), we need your help. As a membership organisation, we exist to support you, and your completion of the annual member survey helps us in this. Taking about five minutes to complete, the information ensures WIBF remains relevant. And you may get back more than career advice and support – those completing may win the prize draw for a Fortnum & Mason hamper worth £100 and a WIBF individual membership worth £90!

Thank you in advance for your support – it is really appreciated.

Anna Lane

President, WIBF