Inspiring Women in Finance at the Bank of England

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Yesterday 45 high profile women working in the UK Financial Services Sector took part in a unique ‘career speed networking’ event with 120 girls aged 14 – 17 from six London state secondary schools at the iconic Bank of England headquarters on Threadneedle Street. The aim of this event is to showcase the wide range of roles in the financial sector to which young girls can aspire, and in which many talented women already excel.

The Inspiring Women campaign hopes to encourage thousands of other women to join and volunteer to pledge ‘one hour a year to talk to girls’ in a state school near home or work about their life experience, job and career route. The campaign is open to all women, whatever their job, including those who work full or part-time, retired workers and volunteers. They can register online in 2 minutes: http://www.inspiringthefuture.org/about/inspiring-women-campaign.aspx

Campaign champion, Miriam González Durántez, Partner at Dechert LLP and wife of Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, said; “It is fantastic that the Bank of England and the Financial Times are supporting the Inspiring Women Campaign. Many women already work in this sector. While many – some of whom will be at the Inspiring Women in Finance event – have already reached the top of the financial world, there are still many more to come. Finance is not just for ‘alpha males’ – it is one of the leading sectors of the British economy and it offers plenty of diverse and fulfilling roles and opportunities for the new generation, whether they are boys or girls.”

FT editor, Lionel Barber, said: “The Financial Times is delighted to participate in the Inspiring Women in Finance event with six female FT journalists attending to meet with students. The FT is a strong supporter of diversity in business and we benefit greatly from the wisdom and experience of accomplished female leaders across the company, including nearly half of our executive board and many senior editors. You can follow FT news, comment, and analysis on women and the workplace at ft.com/women”.

Jennifer Taylor, Chief Operating Officer, EMEA at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said: “As Inspiring the Future’s lead corporate supporter, we believe that educating the next generation is crucial for a strong economy and for successful communities. We are particularly encouraged by the launch of Inspiring Women in Finance, which will help broaden young girls’ horizons and awareness of the many types of careers available to them in financial services. Our aim is that through our collaborative efforts with partners, we can educate, inspire and motivate more young women to consider a career in finance.”

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, hosting the event said: “The Bank of England is committed to promoting and improving diversity in all forms – gender, race, background, belief and orientation. As an organisation, we have set clear targets to ensure we reflect the diversity of the United Kingdom as we seek to attract the best people to public service, and we are making good progress towards them. The Inspiring Women campaign plays a crucial role in showcasing the wealth of opportunities that are available to young women across a broad range of sectors, and the Bank is very pleased to support it.”

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Oxfordshire pupils play ‘What’s my line?’ with UK’s 1st female RAF Air-Vice-Marshal and people from diverse jobs

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On 5 December Gateway Primary School in Oxfordshire took part in an initiative aimed at widening the horizons of primary school children. Gateway invited Primary Futures volunteers to visit and talk about their job.

The event had classroom insight talks with diverse volunteers taking part including; the UK’s first female RAF Air-Vice-Marshal, an Aston Martin engineer, a merchant navy captain, a chef, a prison officer, a geologist, a PepsiCo financial controller, a dermatologist, an entrepreneur, a lawyer, a publisher, a TV producer and a zoological education coordinator.

Lord Nash, Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Department for Education chaired a “What’s my line?” activity with volunteers and pupils to help break down job gender stereotypes.

Prime Minister, David Cameron said: “Children who understand the link between the world of work and what they learn in school are much more likely to achieve. Primary Futures is a great nationwide initiative developed by the National Association of Head Teachers and charity the Education and Employers Taskforce. It gets people from different backgrounds doing a wide range of jobs from apprentices to CEOs, archaeologists to zoologists to volunteer an hour of their time to visit local schools across the country and talk to children. It’s a great campaign and one that deserves the widest support. Over 18,000 people have already signed up and I encourage you to join them.”

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) says: “Primary Futures is transforming the way children connect their learning in primary school with the many opportunities that lie ahead. The project also opens up the world of work to the children – right at the age where they are beginning to develop their aspirations and ambitions. I would wholeheartedly encourage every employer to support this scheme by becoming volunteers and every school to take advantage by joining us on this exciting journey.”

Event Flickr album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/edu_employers/sets/72157649653216742/
Read the press release: