Women Rising

With preparations underway for gender pay gap reporting and tougher targets for Women on Boards set for 2020, there has never been greater pressure on the financial services sector to tackle the challenge of gender imbalance.

‘Women Rising’, held in partnership with Bruin Financial, The 30% Club, and Women Ahead, explored the innovative and creative strategies being harnessed to attract, retain, develop, and progress women working in the City.

Some of the UK’s most forward-thinking business leaders and diversity champions joined us at M&G’s offices to discuss how financial services can overcome potential barriers with ‘out-of-the-box-thinking’.

Industry-leading guest speakers shared the results of latest research, and an expert panel discussed common challenges in the career arc of women, exploring innovative approaches to hiring, agile working, mentoring and coaching, that are revolutionising the industry.

Innovation & ‘out of the box thinking’

Guest Speaker Kirk Vallis, Global Head of Creative Development  at Google set the tone of the evening with a thought provoking overview of how lateral thinking, drawing on de Bono’s ‘Rivers of Thinking’ concept, leads to changes in attitude and approach. Attendees were given an insight into how breaking away from conventional processes and accepted ways of thinking can lead to innovation – by disrupting ingrained thought patterns, and embracing ‘deep thinking’ and critical problem solving.

Innovation & Mentoring

Liz Dimmock, 30% Club committee member and Founder of Women Ahead shared how effective mentoring can help to bridge the gender gap in senior roles. Drawing from research conducted with Deloitte, “Turning the Gender Dial”, Liz illustrated how mentoring creates a ripple effect that enhances diversity, broader development programmes and also, crucially, inclusion,  with the result that ‘the rising tide lifts all boats’.

Innovation & Coaching

Geraldine Gallacher, Founder of the Executive Coaching Consultancy gave an compelling case for turning traditional coaching on its head as a tool to drive diversity and inclusion. Sharing the results of the recent study “Gen Y Men & The City”, Gallacher demonstrated why the career aspirations of young men matter when it comes to retaining and developing female talent.

In particular, Gallacher argued that the emergence of a global shift in male/female earning power among the most recent graduate population to join the workforce means maternity leave needs to be reframed – and how organisations can take the necessary steps to address the issues raised. For more details, visit: www.executive-coaching.co.uk

Innovation in talent management

As part of the panel discussion, Emily Ayre, MD of Bruin Financial noted the key challenges that financial services organisations often face when attempting to recruit and retain female talent, and examples of innovative approaches to tackle these.

Creative hiring strategies, advancement of agile working and the use of Big Data all typify the distinct attitude shift in the City. No longer just another HR initiative, gender diversity is now an issue that has a seat in the board room, and recruitment processes must adapt in kind.

For more information on Bruin’s gender diversity initiatives, please contact one of our management team.