I can’t believe that I’m in my sixth month as the President of WIBF. The time has flown by – although I am not surprised by this given the huge level of energy I draw from WIBF every day.
From the announcement of my appointment at the beginning of November last year to today, I continue to be informed and inspired by the opportunities our organisation creates to challenge the status quo with regard to women’s roles in financial services and beyond. While change is still needed, the influence WIBF brings to bear offers hope. But what makes WIBF so special?
As I thought this though, I was drawn to my February update, which saw me thanking – amongst others – the amazing volunteers who make the events, mentoring and thought leadership agendas (plus a host of other activities) possible. In a period that has seen the gender “pandemic time-famine” continuing to take its toll, our volunteers remain committed to giving their time and ‘spirit’ generously despite the challenges that Covid-19 has brought on. Without these individuals, we literally wouldn’t be who we are.
So it is very fitting that we joined other organisations across the UK to celebrate Volunteers’ Week. Now in its 37th year, it gives everyone a chance to recognise the vital and often unrecognised contributions of an estimated 20 million individuals who (according to a Bank of England assessment) contribute over £200 billion annually to the UK economy.
Within WBIF, just in 2021, our support has delivered so much and yet more is set to be launched. June alone is promising to be a busy month.
These plans include the next release for the Accelerating Change Together research programme as The GOOD FINANCE Framework launches on 16th June. WIBF opens trading on the London Stock Exchange to mark the occasion and promote the significant work undertaken to help the financial and professional services sectors create diverse and inclusive organisations. Please sign up to hear the practical steps being presented.
The month will also see changes to the WIBF Advisory Board being announced and our website will move to a new platform. While there are not too many changes initially, the new content system being deployed enables us to deliver much better functionality and easier access to our insights and interventions. An email will follow to ask you to update your login details, which I would urge you to do.
Last, but definitely not least, we will be asking you to complete our annual members’ survey. This information helps us understand what you appreciate about WIBF, what we should focus on and where we can do better. Watch out for that email too.
We appreciate that these require your time at a point in the year when we are being pulled in even more different directions than is usually the case ahead of summer holidays. However, these are all important initiatives that I am convinced take us forward in our aim to ensure WIBF remains innovative, drives inclusion and has an impact on your career and those of our peers.