In the run up to International Women’s Day (IWD), Capco held a number of events across globe on the theme of ‘Balance for Better’.
To mark IWD in Scotland, Capco held three events, two internal breakfast sessions (one in Edinburgh, the other in Glasgow), and an evening panel event (Edinburgh) with influential leaders to engage and generate debate with our colleagues and clients on the importance of gender balance, the challenges we face and how we can address them on a daily basis.
The breakfast sessions provided a forum for constructive dialogue and a range of perspectives to be heard by Capco’s leadership on gender equality at all levels: from understanding where we are on the scale of gender balance against the backdrop of the wider financial services industry, and what actions we can take as a business and as individuals. This included conversations about our recruitment, mentoring and the importance of female leaders.
The evening panel event provided an insight from leaders from the financial services industry and beyond. Our Scotland partner, Rachael Zukerman hosted the event and kicked off the evening’s proceedings by sharing her personal thoughts experiences - from girlhood and the need for role models at an early age, to the importance of collaboration.
She said: “For me, it is important to start with the end-goal in mind. Organisations should agree and measure, upfront what ‘good’ looks like from a diversity perspective. Just like they would agree and measure any other dimension of their strategy, such as ROE. Once the definition of ‘good’ is understood, organisations can work backwards to put a plan in place to achieve their desired outcomes.”
The panel included Capco UK partners Annie Rowland and Stuart Boyd, Head of Supply Chain Management, Sainsburys – Lorna Brown, Programme Director for HSS, HSBC – Samantha Scobie and Director of YSC Consulting, Ed Cochrane.
Together they discussed why balance is important, the challenges to achieving gender balance, and who can support it. The general feeling was that things are changing, albeit slower than needed in financial services. Indeed, the parents among the panel felt that things will be different for their children.
Everyone was unanimous that diversity and inclusion is a business driver. Simply put, businesses which are more diverse - particularly at a leadership level - achieve more. However, the driver for gender balance and inclusion more widely shouldn’t be solely viewed from the lens of business and must also be viewed as a right to give both men and women equitable access to opportunities to advance.
IWD provided a catalyst to galvanise action and demonstrated our leadership’s commitment to achieving gender balance. After all, gender equality is going to be a journey. Although one day won’t achieve it, I think we’re headed in the right direction.