Wrapping up a Successful D&I Working Group with Burning Questions for the Summit

Tuesday 28th September 2021

During the nine sessions of our Working Group on D&I Strategies for the Future of Work, which wrapped this month, we heard from a diverse set of FSPs on how they’re creating more equitable and inclusive workforces by supporting women’s advancement up the career pipeline. 

Our guest experts shared the latest insights into the future of work trends and how these might impact women. We heard that the need for digital skills — which is already high — will increase dramatically in the next decade. Dr. Mekala Krishna of McKinsey Global Institute shared that the amount of time spent on tech-based tasks will increase by more than 50 percent by 2030 — so recruiting diverse talent across functions and creating upskilling opportunities will be key to the future of gender D&I. 

Another major focus area was how to create work environments that enable women’s success in the “new normal.” Hybrid work seems to be here to stay: In a Microsoft global survey in January 2021, 73 percent of workers reported wanting to maintain flexible remote work options and 66 percent of business leaders were considering redesigning offices for hybrid work. 

What are the challenges and opportunities for women in the financial services sector in light of digital transformation and the rise of hybrid work environments? This will be the topic of the Future of Work for Women panel on Day 3 of the Annual Summit, tackled by a dynamic set of panellists: Somi Arian, founder and CEO of Fempeak, a mentorship and upskilling platform for women; Matt Tuck, Head of Product, Service and Operations, Commercial Banking at NatWest; Daniel Sharaiha, CHRO of Bank al Etihad, and Kirsty Leivers, Group Head of Culture, Inclusion & Diversity at AXA. 

When discussing what holds women back from reaching the top of organizations, one theme came up again and again in our Working Group: caregiving responsibilities. An ILO and Gallup poll of 149,000 respondents conducted in 142 countries in 2017 identified balancing work and family as the top challenge for women at work — and this was pre-pandemic. 

We’ll tackle this knotty topic with a panel that includes Eve Rodsky, Author of “Fair Play,” a “game-changing solution for couples to rebalance domestic responsibilities,” alongside Felicity Duffy, Head of Women’s Markets, Foundations and Customer Advocacy at Westpac and Steven Puig, Executive President of BHD León — two banks that have been pioneers in supporting employee caregivers in their respective countries. 

Finally, many of our Working Group participants are applying a justice and equity lens to gender diversity and inclusion initiatives, moving from D&I (diversity and inclusion) to JEDI (justice, equity, diversity and inclusion). This shift reflects the increasing heterogeneity of ethnic and gender identities; a greater appreciation of intersectionality i.e. race, class and gender in combination; and social movements following the killing of George Floyd in the United States, the #MeToo movement, and the COVID-19 pandemic — which highlighted many inequalities, including the care burden on women’s shoulders. 

The opening panel on Day 3 of the Annual Summit has a star-studded lineup from some of the most advanced practitioners in this area: Randall Tucker, Chief Inclusion Officer for Mastercard; Ralph Jardine, Head of Inclusion, HSBC USA; and Tassya de Paula, Diversity and Inclusion Specialists Lead at Nubank. 

We hope to see you there. Register now.

And thank you to the all the members that shared their expertise during the Working Group: AXA, BRAC Bank, Bank al Etihad, Ecobank, Mastercard, and NatWest; as well as the many contributors who shared their experiences and perspectives as Working Group participants.