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The ‘Women in Finance Awards’ was established in 2017 with the aim of showcasing female leaders in the UK finance sector. Created by GrowthBusiness.co.uk – an online publication for business people and entrepreneurs – and ‘What Investment’ magazine, the second award ceremony in 2018 hosted over 800 guests at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel.

The European financial industry’s largest diversity event, the Women in Finance Awards were created as a way to combat the low profile of women in the financial services industry and examine the gender imbalance in the industry. Currently, only 12% of leaders in finance are female, despite the fact that many companies have devised diversity initiatives to address the problem.

Diversity measures often do not work because there is an inherent bias about women in the industry that is based on gender stereotypes, which has discouraged many women from entering into finance. The lack of opportunities for women means that fewer women apply for positions in the industry, which has made recruiting and keeping female finance workers more difficult.

As a career investment banker, this issue of women in finance has been very important to Joey Horn. For further details on the issues surrounding the lack of female leaders in finance, please refer to the embedded short video.

The 2018 Women in Finance Awards recognised a number of women for their excellent performance and outstanding achievements in the finance sector. The event gained support from the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter as well as from a number of financial firms and trade associations including the London Stock Exchange, Virgin Money, EY, NatWest, Prudential, Schroders, Rolls-Royce, LV=, FinTech Advisory and M&G. Awards included ‘Wealth/Asset Management Rising Star of the Year’, ‘Finance Rising Star of the Year’ and ‘Ambassador of the Year’ – for further information on the award categories please refer to the PDF attachment.

With 793 nominations in the 2018 awards, the all-female nominees worked in a large range of sectors, including banking, venture capital, corporate law and accounting, and there were over 200 finalists. The winners were recognised for the excellent work that they had done in their individual fields and the event aspires to create female role models for those working in the industry.

The keynote speaker at the 2018 award ceremony in London was John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to HM Treasury. Glen’s speech commented on recent developments in the treatment of women, as well as making special mention of the 100 year anniversary of women’s suffrage in Britain. Glen also spoke of the importance of the HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter, and explained the strong link between profits and gender balance in the workplace. Glen spoke directly to the financial firms that were present at the awards, urging them to sign up to the Charter and to continue to drive gender diversity. For further details on the presenters and speakers at the 2018 event, please refer to the attached infographic.

The 2018 Women in Finance Awards came just a week after the Future Stars of Tech Awards, which aim to promote females working in the tech industry. The aim of the Future Stars of Tech Awards is to increase the visibility of women in the tech sector in the first eight years of their careers, as well as encouraging females to enter the industry in order to address the gender imbalance. This award was also given support by HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter as well as the London Women’s Forum, Savvywoman.co.uk and Voice at the Table, among others.