Celebrating female leadership for International Women’s Day
Over the years, the number of women in financial services in the UK has grown steadily. The FCA has also been increasing its focus on promoting gender diversity and recognise that “diversity and inclusion underpin healthy cultures in firms.” This has resulted in a 43% increase in women working within the sector, according to Stemwomen. In addition, the response to COVID-19 and new working practices has opened up new opportunities for rising talent and enabled alternative routes to senior management roles for females, according to Grant Thornton.
As positive as this may be, there is still a long way to go. Historically, there has been much debate around women’s performance in leadership positions and there is no doubt that this is frustrating for some – however, this does then promote research within this area, which in turn highlights the effective contributions that women make.
What is leadership? Leadership as a general term can be different from managership: leaders lead whereas managers plan and coordinate tasks. According to Bill Gates, “Leaders will be those who empower others.” A leader tends to influence and motivate others towards a goal. According to Forbes, women leaders are likely to use a compassionate style to influence others and build trust, resulting in productive and effective teams. A 2019 S&P Global Markets Intelligence Study found that “firms with female CEOs and CFOs produced superior stock price performance.”
Working within Financial services can be very challenging and demanding at times, and we are very lucky to have various strong female leaders, in varying roles, working at Thorntons Investments and Wealth – all of whom strive for excellence. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that spans at least 50 years, which they pass on to other aspiring female leaders!
As an aspiring female leader myself, I can say from first-hand experience that they all understand the individual needs of their team members and work with them on a personalised basis, promote strong personal development, open opportunities, support other colleagues and are always on hand to offer guidance on a range of issues.
I thank you for being such transformational and aspirational leaders.