FACT: There are a mere 10 female CEOs in the FTSE 100.
As founder, and Managing Director, of two successful finance brokers, I have spent the last 25 years encouraging and supporting women in finance. Pioneering the virtues of the industry as well as the USPs women can bring to this business.
Putting Women Off and Holding Them Back
Sadly, there are many things putting women off when considering a future in finance.
Having children - working hours have been inflexible resulting in near impossibility when juggling work and family life; although a change does appear to be coming about in this area, which is a hugely positive step for career minded working mums. There’s the attitude, acceptance and culture of ‘old school’ male peers to overcome. And of course, the elephant in the room, that is the gender pay gap.
Lack of Role Models
Yet, a big concern to me in particular, the lack of role models in this business. Young ladies, keen to start their professional path are curious. Where are all the inspirational, empowering, motivating and remarkable women? They are out there, believe me!
The Curious Career Ladder
Climbing the career ladder can be difficult for women for a number of reasons. It’s not easy for a young woman of today, entering the world of finance, to see her future.
She’s probing, she’s ambitious, so of course she needs to see her role model out there, proving that the highest run of the ladder is climbable (even in heels!).
Celebration & Solidarity
As an industry we should be celebrating successful and powerful women. As women we should be showing our solidarity and looking at ways to make a change – to encourage and promote the exceptional industry we work in. Think of the #MeToo campaign, and how this has already had a huge impact, globally for a myriad of women’s rights and issues.
We’re Good, But Not Just Because We’re Women
That said, what we should also be doing is celebrating the fact we are good at our jobs – that’s not just because we are women. Myself and my fellow peers within this industry have worked darn hard, arguably harder than our male peers, to gain the trust and respect we deserve. Let’s not be afraid to shout that from the roof tops.