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Launch of WIBF Norwich & East Anglia Region

news published date 23 October 2023
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Our WIBF Norwich & East Anglian branch launched earlier this month and welcomed representatives from over 20 local financial services firms in the historic Marble Hall Norwich.

WIBF Norwich & East Anglia Region hosted the launch event in collaboration with Aviva with speakers from Aviva, Barclays Wealth, Coutts and Deloitte. Norwich is the 2nd largest host of insurance companies in Europe and 5th in the UK for financial services. We believe by reaching more women in banking and finance in core employment regions we can create a powerful community and encourage more women to reach their full potential wherever they live.

On October 17th, we kicked off the launch of Norwich & East Anglia region with welcome networking in the stunning head office of Aviva in Marble Hall. Marble Hall is one of 12 building of historical importance in Norwich and was originally built for Norwich Union Life Insurance. Attendees were greeted with drinks and WIBF cupcakes before heading into the event space to hear from the key note speaker.

Lauren Fuller, Co-Chair of WIBF Norwich board welcomed attendees and introduced Charlotte Davey, Risk operations & Innovation Director from Aviva to open up the event with a fantastic talk about her career to date and the lessons she’s learnt along the way. Charlotte started off her career in the military working as a military intelligence officer in the British Army. Charlotte then found her way to Aviva after following time in Deloitte and Barclays. Charlotte’s career in Aviva includes working as Amanda Blanc’s (CEO of Aviva) business. Charlotte shared some great anecdotes and career tips including:

  • Don’t underestimate the power of your network so make sure you own it
  • Have self-belief and confidence in yourself don’t blur that with nerves and caring about doing a good job
  • Find a sponsor or mentor to help you navigate your career – they’ll raise you up in times of self-doubt
  • Pay it back – where you get benefit pay it back and help others

We then welcomed Nancy Dickinson, Co-Chair of WIBF Norwich to host the panel portion of the event. Nancy was joined on stage with Molly Howes from Aviva, Jasmina Grabham from Barclays Wealth, Julia Challicom from Deloitte and Laura Reynolds from Coutts. Women who have all made careers for themselves in the region whether by growing up here or moving into the area. They each shared their personal experiences which made up over 80 years combined in the industry and how Norwich isn’t just a fantastic place to live but does have incredible opportunities for women’s careers too. All advocates of working in this fine city.

Audiences were offered an opportunity to ask questions which ranged from how to engage senior leaders about gender equality and create male allies to how to encourage women into board rooms. All topics Norwich & East Anglia branch will cover over the next few months and into 2024.

To close the event they opened for more networking and drinks and highlighted to potential members how to sign up. This is just one of many events lined up for the region and Nancy and Lauren are keen to hear from any potential local employers who’d love to host their next regional event.