Reflections on International Women’s Day
Emma Napier, Head of Propositions, Bravura
At Bravura, we are passionate about increasing diversity and inclusion across all areas of our business.
We are proud to have women right at the top of our organisation: our CEO is a woman and we have just appointed a female Chief Operating Officer, Yaiza Luengo. But we know more work needs to be done across the entire Bravura Group, including FinoComp.
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is ‘Embracing Equity’ and we firmly stand behind and support this sentiment.
But, while it’s great that International Women’s Day is now a globally recognised and celebrated event, I’m personally always a little bit sceptical that awareness-raising initiatives like this can just become flashes in the pan and not work towards achieving positive industry change.
Embracing equity is a theme we should all be upholding every single day of the year. If businesses truly really believe in the power of different perspectives, then they need to give minority groups extra support and encouragement to open themselves up to new ideas and ways of working.
This is especially the case in financial services, a traditionally male-dominated sector, and one we’ve worked hard to challenge through the creation of our Diversity and Inclusiveness (D&I) programme which covers six key pillars:
- Gender (including Menopause and Andropause sub-working groups)
- LBGT+ (bYou)
- Social Mobility
- Race & Ethnicity (bRED)
- Disability (bEnabled)
My female colleagues and I at Bravura Group meet regularly as part of our women’s network and we have successfully lobbied for positive change within our organisation. In the past 12 months, this includes successfully extending the company’s maternity policy, which is a huge help for both working mums and dads.
Bravura is also a member of the Women in Platforms network, which aims to promote and empower women in our industry, and I help to run this in my spare time. I have opened up about my own experience in the industry at these events and I also take an active role in mentoring women to support them in their careers, both unofficially and through our Success Circles initiative Bravura launched globally last year. We’re also hosting an International Women’s Day event at our London offices for staff and clients later this month to help bring the industry together and encourage change.
We want to lead by example and demonstrate what our industry would look like if we truly embraced equality. Change is slow, but it is happening. At some point we will have to draw a line in the sand and just look forward, because we really have come a long way. Women can be in senior roles, big companies can change, but it’s not going to be overnight. We don’t need a big fanfare about it, we just need our industry to be aware that women are already succeeding and to ensure we involve our male counterparts on the journey – it’s not about leaving people behind; it’s about helping to pick people up.
By this time next year, on International Women’s Day 2024, I’d love to see more women in senior roles and also the results of women in senior roles. This would mean looking back a bit to see what has been done differently, and what women have managed to achieve. Ultimately, we are all working together for the good of financial services and everyone’s success should be celebrated equally.
International Women’s Day is not just one day to get the flags out and celebrate. It has to be a lived experience and a belief that people can make a lasting change.