In the latest episode of the 'Ganado Meets Finance' podcast, Stephanie Farrugia, senior associate at Ganado Advocates, speaks with Paulianne Nwoko, managing director of Apex Fund Services Ltd, on the representation of women in finance.
In the world of finance, women are still largely outnumbered by men, especially in executive roles. Yet studies and statistics in this area continue to recognise the value which women contribute to the industry, even in leadership roles.
Looking back at the progression of her career so far and always having formed part of the industry Paulianne Nwoko mentions the importance of discussing the involvement of women in the finance industry. She recognises the change that has taken place over the years but highlights that a gap remains in this area. She says that women bring diversity in thought and are good leaders but by often setting women aside, and not providing the right tools to help them advance in their careers, the industry is simply missing out on talent.
Starting in parity
In the finance industry, women and men generally start at parity, but as careers progress, women tend to be left behind. This may be due to several factors. Nwoko says it is relevant to look back at the role of women in society and despite there having been an improvement, there is still much to be done to break the bias against the involvement of women in senior roles.
Sustainability and gender
The EU is pushing change through the sustainability agenda and related regulation, yet it seems that focus seems to always gravitate towards environmental factors, pushing gender issues to the bottom of the agenda, Nwoko says. Aside from the regulatory push, the interest of shareholders and institutional investors to bring about change in this area,remains important.
The role of the employer
The employer and those in leadership roles naturally play a large part in ensuring gender diversity at the workplace and even in senior roles. Both Farrugia and Nwoko recognise the various initiatives at their workplaces to encourage and facilitate the progression of women in their careers. Nwoko speaks about Apex's Women Accelerator Programme, which provides tools such as coaching and mentoring, and provides a platform to discuss gender diversity at the workplace.
This article was first published in the Times of Malta.
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