Women in Finance Summit Agenda

Wednesday 22nd November 2023

All timings are in GMT

Reception Breakfast and Registration
08:30  to  09:00
Organiser’s Welcome and Opening Remarks
09:00  to  09:05
Tania Ferreira. Director of Events. Women in Finance Global Series.
Host’s Welcome Remarks
09:05  to  09:10
Nadira Tudor. International TV & Radio Broadcaster/Journalist/VO/Host/Moderator/Writer.
Keynote talk: Nurturing Change: How to create a better world for the next generation
09:10  to  09:30

Every sustainability journey is different. For our speaker, her desire to create a better world for the next generation has driven her career and drives her to catalyse action in the business and beyond. 

Sustainable and diverse businesses help create a brighter future for everyone, as well as enhancing their own resilience and long-term prospects. But how can one person drive change throughout a business, and where does that journey begin?  

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the pivotal role each individual plays in driving organisational and societal change.
  • Gain insights into discovering your "north star" and leveraging it as a driving force throughout your career.
Ama Ocansey. UK Head of Diversity and Inclusion. BNP Paribas.
Panel Discussions: Why are we still talking about ESG?
09:35  to  10:15

As consumers increasingly prioritise diversity, equity, inclusion, and environmental sustainability in their choices, businesses must recognise the importance of these initiatives. Did you know 76% of customers view environmental friendliness as an important factor when choosing their bank?

This session will shed light on the current challenges faced by the finance sector, including the UK's progress towards emission targets, the gender wage gap, and the need for quantifiable reporting on DE&I. Join us to explore how financial institutions can learn from their commitments, analyse industry progress, and collaboratively work towards creating meaningful and lasting change.

Discussion Points:

  • Analyse the commitments made by financial institutions, understanding successes and shortcomings to drive improvement.
  • Examine the factual progress towards a more environmentally friendly and diverse industry over the past few years.
  • Explore strategies to exceed current targets, evaluating the role of businesses and individuals in effecting positive change.
Marie Vrakking. Independent Expert.
Leanne Mair. Managing Director & Founder. Benefactum Consulting.
Yulia Manyutina. ESG Strategy Associate Director. RBS International.
Emma Bickerstaffe. MD ESG and Sustainability. Apex Group.
Paul Asare-Archer. Chief Compliance Officer and MLRO. Shawbrook Bank.
Panel Discussions: Forecasting the Future: a 3-year outlook for the UK finance sector
10:20  to  11:00

The UK's finance sector has faced significant challenges, including the impacts of COVID-19, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and political instability. As the road to recovery remains uncertain, there is a growing concern about the socio-economic diversity disparity within the industry.

Regulators, industry bodies, and businesses have a crucial opportunity to provide support to financial sector employees most likely to be affected, aiming to sustain and enhance diversity.

This session will explore the potential manifestations of this support and discuss how individuals can safeguard their interests.

Discussion Points:

  • Analyse the long-term effects of recession on minority groups in the finance sector and those entering the industry.
  • Explore the reasons behind the stall in women's representation in senior leadership roles despite existing regulations to address this issue.
  • Assess the impact of the Consumer Duty on diversity initiatives and discuss the potential for further DE&I regulation.
  • Deliberate on the potential implementation of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and the implications for underserved and unbanked communities.
  • Define the responsibility of financial institutions in supporting their customers, employees, and reaching out to communities in need.
Gill Hayter. Founder / Module Leader. Reboot / London Institute of Banking and Finance.
Sophia Kewell. Director, UK Public Affairs. Corporate Affairs, UK Finance.
Alison Cottrell. Former CEO. Financial Services Culture Board.
Sally (Last) Hamacher. Finance Director/CFO UK, TR, and EU Other Hardlines. Amazon.
Steve Korris. Delivery Director. MyBnk.
Networking and Refreshment Break
11:00  to  11:30
Panel Discussions: Let's change the face of finance: addressing the talent and skills shortage in UK financial services
11:35  to  12:15

In 2022, the financial services sector faced a notable talent shortage, with 5 unfilled positions for every 100 jobs, trailing only hospitality and technology in terms of vacancies. This year, a staggering 90% of finance sector employers continue to grapple with skill shortages. To address the challenges posed by digitisation and meet the evolving demands of skilled professionals, it is imperative to identify effective solutions to close the talent gap.

Discussion Points:

  • Explore the missing pieces of the talent acquisition puzzle, such as flexible working options, outreach programmes, and incentivised upskilling, that contribute to the persistent talent gap.
  • Examine strategies to attract diverse talent, enhancing diversity of thought within businesses.
  • Discuss ways to tap into the knowledge and skills of women who have left the workforce, potentially looking to re-enter and contribute their expertise.
  • Evaluate the potential impact of emerging technology on attracting new talent to the finance industry.
Lee Chambers. Chief Psychologist & Director. Essentialise Workplace Wellbeing & Male Allies UK.
Tanya Tracey. CEO. GAIN UK.
Sarah Miller. Senior Vice President, Fund Research / Co-Lead, Early Careers Workstream. Redington / Diversity Project.
Sophie Creese. Founder / Co-Founder. MotherBoard / HeyFlow.
Skills Lab: Put yourself in pole position for the digital revolution
12:20  to  13:10

As the finance sector undergoes rapid digitisation, the UK stands as a global leader with 1,600 active FinTech firms. With the industry relying heavily on digital skills and ever-increasing customer expectations, the allure of emerging technologies like AI, Blockchain, the Metaverse, and IoT has never been stronger.

In this session, industry experts will delve into how financial businesses and individuals can effectively leverage digitisation. Following this, attendees will participate in table discussions to understand their unique impact and initiate or enhance their personal upskilling journey.

Discussion Points:

  • Analyse the risks posed by biased data and explore effective measures to mitigate these risks.
  • Identify new markets and monetisation opportunities created by increased digitisation, such as insurance of digital assets and virtual bank branches.
  • Discuss strategies for businesses to support their employees in making optimal use of emerging technologies and consider ways individuals can make themselves indispensable in this evolving landscape.
Will Billingsley. Co-Founder. ApTap.
Tobi Ajala. CEO. TECHTEE.
Clare Pearson. Open Banking & Payments Director / Panel Member. EPAM Systems / Payment Systems Regulator.
Networking Lunch
13:10  to  14:00
14:05  to  14:55

Choose between 3 incredible workshops:

Workshop: Overcoming Your Biggest Blocker - Imposter Syndrome
Run by: Lis Cashin, Speaker, Author and Founder, Positively Thriving

You have imposter syndrome. Well, perhaps you don’t, but 92% of women in financial services do, so it’s a safe bet. Men are impacted too, with 56% feeling the effect. If so many of us are carrying around this unnecessary baggage, how can we be our best?

In this workshop, we aim to empower you with the necessary tools to understand the origins of imposter syndrome and, more importantly, how to conquer it effectively.

Discussion Points:

  • Delve into the root causes of imposter syndrome, both on a personal and societal level.
  • Explore the extensive effects of imposter syndrome on your personal and professional life.
  • Acquire actionable steps to dismantle imposter syndrome, both in the moment and for long-term growth.
  • Learn practical strategies for discussing your experiences with peers and creating a supportive network.

Workshop: Get What You Want and What You Need
Run by: Dr Elaine Smith, Business Wellbeing Consultant and Clinical Psychologist 

The work-from-home movement during the Covid pandemic provided an opportunity for many to find a better work-life balance and understand their needs to perform at their best, both personally and professionally. However, with businesses now pushing for a return to the office amidst economic challenges, individuals may face new stresses and financial considerations.

There are of course ways to help with these things, such as flexible working patterns, benefits, or even promotions and raises – but how do you ask for them?

This workshop aims to equip you with the skills to identify your needs and guide you in effectively communicating and obtaining the support required to thrive in your work and personal life.

Discussion Points:

  • Recognise the unique challenges you are currently facing and identify potential areas where your employer can offer support.
  • Analyse the impact of this support on your work, considering both positive and negative aspects.
  • Develop an actionable plan for approaching your employer and initiating a conversation to convey your needs effectively.


Workshop: Advocacy, Sponsorship, and Creating Your Network
Run by: Sophie Creese, Founder / Co-Founder & Director, MotherBoard / HeyFlow & Jardine Miles, Marketing & Events Executive, MotherBoard / HeyFlow 

In the realm of allyship, uncertainties and grey areas can often arise, emphasising the need to explore and comprehend the responsibilities and actions necessary for nurturing an inclusive environment.

This workshop presents thought-provoking questions that illuminate the roles of individuals and businesses in promoting allyship and fostering a supportive and equitable community.

  • Who bears the responsibility of being an ally and advocate?
  • How can businesses universally promote and cultivate allyship, transcending traditional gender roles?
  • What aspects should individuals examine within themselves that could unintentionally impact others negatively?

Join us in this workshop as we delve into these questions, guiding you to identify your strongest allies and equipping you with the tools to be the advocate you and your colleagues deserve.

Discussion Points:

  • Understand the transition from mentorship to sponsorship and gain insights into effectively seeking sponsorship.
  • Identify the needs and expectations of your team, implementing meaningful change with sensitivity and empathy.
  • Discover strategies for becoming a better ally, regardless of your position within the organisation, fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for all attendees.
Dr Elaine Smith. Business Wellbeing Consultant and Clinical Psychologist.
Sophie Creese. Founder / Co-Founder. MotherBoard / HeyFlow.
Jardine Miles. Insights manager. MotherBoard / HeyFlow.
Lis Cashin. Speaker, Author and Founder. Positively Thriving.
Armchair Chat: Are we kidding ourselves? Overcoming pinkwashing the importance of changing internal culture
15:00  to  15:25

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the significance of addressing employee needs and expectations, which can drive meaningful transformations within businesses. This engaging conversation explores the deeper implications of seemingly minor workplace changes that may inadvertently or intentionally mask underlying organisational and cultural issues. We will focus on understanding the genuine desires of women, BAME, differently abled, neurodiverse, and LGBTQ+ employees from their employers.

Discussion Points:

  • Strategies for implementing authentic organisational change across all levels of the company.
  • Exploring the support structures in place to enable diverse employees to progress within the business, including assigning promotable tasks.
  • Addressing the often-overlooked area of middle management, which plays a pivotal role in achieving diversity in recruitment and leadership.
Bhavini Shah. Co-Chief Executive. City Hive.
Helen Emmet. CFO UK. Experian.
Closing Keynote Talk: Redefining Success: The Working Mother
15:30  to  15:45

The world of work is changing. The industry is changing. What we want and need from our lives and careers is changing. Traditional measures of success for ourselves may no longer fit, and it's time we spoke about it. We often think of success as our positions held in an organisation, the size of our house, or money in the bank. Success is not a quantitative measure. 

Ranu Sharma shares her inspiring journey of navigating career growth as a parent to two small children. She shares her vulnerable side and an inspiring story about how she has revolutionised her definition of success. Hear the importance of being open and truthful, and overcoming the fear of missing out on opportunities because of who you are. Challenges are always the best catalyst for growth, you just have to take the leap. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding the importance of honestly and candidness - and how these can be your biggest strengths. 
  • A look at how “good leadership” is changing, and the importance of empathetic management.  
Ranu Sharma. Finance Director, Fintech. Major FTSE Financial Business.
Closing Remarks
15:50  to  16:00
Rosalind Johnston. Senior Awards and Conference Producer. Women in Finance Global Series.
Nadira Tudor. International TV & Radio Broadcaster/Journalist/VO/Host/Moderator/Writer.