In the spirit of International Women’s Day, networking and knowledge sharing
A group of women gathered in Fidessa’s office Tuesday night to mark the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day (IWD) and to initiate the first meeting of the newly launched London chapter of Women in Listed Derivatives Group (WILD). Other events took place globally Tuesday to celebrate IWD, a holiday recognized globally to promote equality among women.
Events commemorate IWD follow on the heels of renewed focus on the gender gap in boardrooms as highlighted by a report published by Lord Davies last week. The report, ‘Women on Boards’ calls for female board members to make up 25% of the boards of FTSE 100 companies by 2015 and suggests other recommendations to ensure greater gender balance in boardrooms is achieved at a faster pace.*
Unsurprisingly, the need for change in boardrooms was a topic of discussion at the WILD event Tuesday led by speakers Gay Huey Evans, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors and Non-Executive Chairman of Europe for ISDA, Niki Beattie, founder of Market Structure Partners and Cathryn Lyall, Director at BM&F Bovespa (UK) Ltd.
The goal of WILD is to promote the advancement of women in the derivatives industry through raising awareness about the benefits of sponsoring and employing women in senior management positions. The group also will assist in preparing women to take on senior executive roles including boardrooms. The WILD London Committee is part of the original WILD group started in Chicago in 2009, which now has more regional branches sprouting up in Europe and Asia.
WILD may be expanding rapidly but the idea of women’s groups is not new.
Kristin Boggiano, Kimberly Summe, Ilene Froom have co-founded NY-based Women in Derivatives Group. This group is an industry trade organization that host forums, workshops and other educational opportunities to facilitates the discussion of industry developments among women active in derivatives.
Other more general women groups have been operating with the same goals for years. Such initiatives continue to be led by leading women in finance or their respective sectors. Some pioneer such efforts on smaller, personal scale but their ideas and groups gather momentum quickly.
Sara Grillo, principal at Diamond Oak Capital Advisors is one example of a woman who is passionate about promoting other women in finance. Ms. Grillo is a mentor at NYSSA, NY Stern School of Business and general advocate for women in finance. She runs a LinkedIn group for Women in Investment Management and has penned an opinion piece on hedge fund due diligence here on DerivSource.
The GlassHammer is a blog and online community created for women executives in finance, law, technology and big business and is a personal favorite of mine. The GlassHammer offers informative and inspiring profiles of leading women, including some that have also been contributors to DerivSource via our Webinars or articles including: Michelle McCarthy, Holly Miller, Cynthia Meyn, Donna Parisi and Sara Grillo.
Many of these groups aim to do more than organize networking events and communication amongst women in the industry. For starters, WILD in London aims to launch a mentoring program to assist in career development and help mentees build professional relationships.
The goal of these groups collectively is to empower women in derivatives and finance to advance to more senior roles and contribute at an executive level and in the boardrooms. Everyone benefits from having a more gender-balanced boardroom because, after all, research shows there is a clear link between women and successful bottom lines.*
Happy International Women’s Month!
Linkedin: Women in Financial Markets Group
· 2. Research Report “Women Matter: gender diversity, a corporate performance driver”, published by McKinsey & Company in 2007 demonstrates the link between a company’s performance and the proportion of women serving in its governing body.