NEWS

Building Corporate Resilience: Diversity and Inclusion at the 2019 Summit

This year’s Financial Alliance for Women Annual Summit focuses on fostering resilience among women and the companies that serve and employ them. One of the most effective levers organizations can use to build their own resilience is ensuring a gender diverse and inclusive workforce, which research shows leads to a more profitable and innovative organization. The 2019 Summit will put a spotlight on the critical importance of gender diversity and inclusion (D&I), exploring why and how companies can go about increasing their gender diversity in the C-Suite and create an inclusive culture.

Getting to the Top: Women in the C-Suite

Women are largely absent from the leadership ranks of the financial services sector worldwide. While they comprise two-thirds of financial support staff and half of professionals, their numbers decline as they move up the hierarchy to less than one quarter of all executives. The unequal representation of women in decision-making roles of financial service institutions results in a huge untapped opportunity. Featuring insights from Robert Baker, Senior Partner, Global Client Director, Diversity & Inclusion Consulting Leader, Europe & Pacific at Mercer; Selim R. F. Hussain, Managing Director & CEO at BRAC Bank; and Peter Van Mierlo, CEO of FMO, this session will highlight the challenges financial institutions face to achieving a gender balanced and inclusive senior leadership and showcase best practice approaches and initiatives to advancing and retaining women in senior leadership.

Creating an Inclusive Culture

Company culture can be one of the biggest barriers to effectively implementing any gender strategy, whether customer- or employee-facing. Not surprisingly, 89 percent of Alliance Working Group members cited culture shift as their highest-priority goal. If managers do not understand and acknowledge that there may be systemic biases that disadvantage women employees, then prescriptive D&I policies and practices will face resistance and be less successful. This session explores approaches to creating an inclusive culture including engaging leaders and men, and challenging power dynamics in order to shift attitudes and beliefs about gender. Alliance members from some of the most challenging ecosystems in the world – including Nadia Al Saeed, CEO of Bank al Etihad in Jordan, and Danysh Hashmi, Head of Retail Products at HBL in Pakistan – will share their experience in shifting mindsets and changing company culture to drive their gender strategy forward.

Take a look at the rest of the sessions scheduled for the 2019 Annual Summit in Paris by checking out our latest agenda.