As International Women’s Day approaches, it’s important to reflect on the strides made by women in the finance industry towards achieving equality and recognition. However, it’s also crucial to acknowledge that there are still significant challenges to overcome.
The fact that the pay gap for women in finance and insurance is the highest of any industry is a stark reminder of the obstacles we still encounter. This gap widens significantly for women who have children, which has a negative impact on their lives, such as the inability to afford basic needs, missed opportunities for career advancement and reduced retirement savings.
Despite these challenges, there are inspiring role models who are paving the way for change. Women who are raising awareness, empowering and championing the advancement of women at work are making a difference. As we strive for equity, we must also acknowledge the incredible women who are leading the way, including my friends Edwina Dunn OBE, who has proven ‘we rise by lifting others’ with The Female Lead and our patron Dr Heather Melville OBE who has just been appointed Chancellor of York University. And there are more incredible role models – men and women – listed in the latest WeAreThe City’s Trailblazer50, which I am truly humbled to have been included in.
At WIBF, we’re proud of our remarkable success in 2022, achieving 100% growth in corporate partners in just over a year, making us one of the fastest-growing social enterprises in the UK. This success is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team, partners and members. Our upcoming AGM on 20 March is an opportunity to discuss these successes and how we can continue to support women in finance.
This International Women’s Day, let’s take a longer-term view and work towards empowering all women to reach their full potential. Advocating for equal pay, promoting flexible working hours and mentoring are just a few of the ways we can make a difference. Every action counts.
Let’s take a moment to celebrate the progress that has been made in promoting gender equality in the financial services industry through initiatives like HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter. As we look ahead to the release of the next annual review on 16 March, let’s not just focus on achieving parity in the short term, but let’s also celebrate the long-term vision and efforts that are being made to create a more diverse and inclusive financial services industry.
Finally, let’s celebrate the progress we’ve made and acknowledge the work that needs to be done. Women in banking and finance are making history and together we can empower them to achieve their goals and dreams. With determination and perseverance, we can build a more equitable and inclusive industry for all women.