Moving Diversity and Inclusion
forward at the Women
in Finance Summit

12 February 2020

Talent comes in many forms and we need diversity and inclusion in order to create business models, products and services, and organisations that are fit for purpose and reflect the customer base they serve.

But more than that, varied life experiences bring an abundance of perspectives that help companies build strong dynamic teams that drive a culture receptive to fresh thinking and organisational innovation. It also ensures an organisation is more connected with broader communities at large.

From our perspective it is a MUST to have diversity at the table. It isn’t a nice to have, but a fundamental requirement. And when we talk about D&I we consider this right across the spectrum: gender, ethnic heritage, LBGTQ+, disability, faith, cognitive diversity, backgrounds and age, not to mention regional coverage and representation.

That’s why being part of this discussion matters, and so we were delighted to be part of this event.

Our very own CPO Bev Brown was guest speaker at “Women in Finance Summit 2020”!

Organised by City Financial Global the conference was focused around women in finance, covering topics from how Women can grow into future leaders, to how to empower more women onto boards, and executive and entrepreneurial rolls.

The room was jam-packed as speakers all highlighted the importance of gender balance in financial services. Starting with John Glen MP himself. Looking at the problem from all angles: social, economical, legal, psychological and societal, the summit aimed less at converting attendees to the importance of gender balance than at bringing concrete solutions and tested practices to actually achieve this goal.

“Diversity is the mix –
Inclusion is getting the mix
to work well together ”

As an entrepreneur herself, Bev has been passionate about advocating to give women more of a voice and enabling them to reach their goals and ambitions, addressing the lack of senior leadership amongst women, and promoting gender balance.

Bev’s contribution was centred around future leaders and insights into the most effective recruitment practices. Interviewed by Vivenne Artz, Global Chief Privacy Officer at Refinitiv, they delved into best practices to nurture talent & develop the agility and upskilling to encourage Future Leaders. As companies strive to attract talent and build effective teams, Bev asserts that, “Diversity is the mix – Inclusion is getting the mix to work well together”.

The discussion lead onto Gen Z, about actively reaching out, teaching from the grass roots up, and the benefits of going into schools to talk about women in the workplace and the types of roles available in finance, so that the seeds of change are sown before the next generation of talent enter the workforce.

There were several take home ideas from the conference.

When women tell or share their stories about lack of D&I in the workplace or problems and issues they have had, one of the keynote speakers said that a way to start answering positively is to say “We don’t do that here” when they are interviewing for a new job or role at a company.

Another share was that summits and conferences such as these, or reports are baby steps to getting where we want to be. And there is much to do, but at least steps are being taken!

It was also echoed that this is not just a women’s issue, but a human one, and a good way to communicate this, was that when you attend these events, bring a man along with you!  This is a way of including, sharing and being able to show and tell the barriers that women are coming across. As organisations we are stronger as a collective to make change whatever the change may be across all the issues and challenges that we all face.

And it is becoming understood that flexibility has become key to ensuring organisations attract the best talent, but also retain the great talent they have and ensure that any talent lost through career breaks for whatever reason have a pathway back to a fulfilled return to the workplace.

As CPO at ELEMENTARYb, Bev is part of a team that exhibits by example from the top down, that inclusion and diversity is ingrained by design. And our CEO was on hand to reiterate that point, support the Summit and celebrate our official first Media post, with pom-poms no less! You know we’re enthusiastic about D&I when the pom-poms come out!

And indeed we are super proud to have this as our first official Media post, it is a testament to how important D&I is for our organisation, and important that our CPO is echoing and advocating for one of our key values, that of fairness and fair access for all.

Credit: Banner image, and middle top and bottom images courtesy of City & Financial Global