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The path to equality for women is one that has had many hurdles, from pay inequality to the lack of women in senior management positions. However, awards events such as the Financial Reporter Women’s Recognition Awards (FRWRA) are making an impact by raising awareness and giving hope that one day, these obstacles will be overcome. Joey Horn, the Managing Director of Oak Management AS in Norway, is among many female leaders who laud the progress made so far in recognising women’s accomplishments.

The introduction of the Women in Finance Charter in 2016 in the UK marked a significant move towards making the financial services sector more balanced and fairer. Most importantly, it helped firms to commit to supporting the rise of women into senior roles within the industry, a move that not only helps achieve a balanced workforce but is also an attractive proposition to investors. The Charter encourages firms to set their own targets and strategies towards achieving diversity, and regularly report on progress.

As the financial sector has traditionally been male-dominated, the Charter was welcomed as a move that would help bring positive change and lead to the recognition of women who succeed and blaze a trail in the industry. It’s against this backdrop that the FRWRA began in 2018 as a celebration of women who succeed in the sector, recognising those who achieve in fields such as specialist lending and mortgages, among others.

In the lead up to the event, the FRWRA organisers encourage people to nominate women who they think are deserving of the various awards. The second annual event (slated for 25th September 2019) will be used as a platform to award the women who emerge as winners in each category. The selection of winners is undertaken by a panel of expert judges who have the insight and experience to pick out the winners from the nominees.

Positive Change

In addition to awarding women in the industry, the FRWRA also rewards businesses and individuals in the industry that have worked towards gender equality by raising awareness or through implementing changes in the workplace. The Awards’ inaugural event in 2018 was positively received by the industry, with hundreds of nominations made at the time. The event was held at the Roundhouse in Camden.

Nominations are made through the Women’s Recognition Awards website, with a closing date set in early July to allow the panel of judges, comprising of both men and women, to pick the finalists in every category. Individuals are encouraged to nominate themselves, peers, colleagues or someone they think deserves it.