Insight & Analysis

Harnessing the power of communication to drive change

Published: Apr 2024

On International Women’s Day, Treasury Today Group hosted an insightful discussion on results from 2023’s Global Equity Study. Key highlights focused on advice for leadership and self-advocacy, as well as identifying the main barriers to inclusion.

Women in Treasury Global Equity Study 2023 LinkedIn Live

Treasury Today Group’s 2023 Global Equity Study, proudly sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, paints a clear picture of the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) progress being made and the new challenges evolving. On International Women’s Day, we joined an inspiring panel of female industry leaders on LinkedIn, to analyse the study’s key findings, moderated by Sarah Rundell at Treasury Today.


An emerging theme of our 2023 Global Equity Study was acknowledging leadership’s indispensable role in advancing DEI objectives. 57% of respondents stated that leadership engagement and training is essential for driving positive change, whilst a further 28% agreed it was very important.

Caroline Stockmann, Board member and Treasurer at Stonewall stressed the importance of leadership clearly understanding DEI and implementing transparent conversations at all levels of the organisation. Drawing from her own experiences, she highlighted the positive impact of open discussions by recounting an instance from her tenure in Thailand. During this period, workers confided in her feeling excluded from a planned activity due to boat sickness, prompting her to adapt the plans to foster greater inclusion. Furthermore, Caroline discussed unconscious bias and highlighted, “unconscious bias training is really important for leaders and to cascade that throughout the whole organisation because we don’t realise where our biases are.”


Self-advocacy emerged as a powerful tool for effecting change in the workplace, with a growing trend of individuals taking proactive measures to improve their working conditions. One study respondent reported: “I wasn’t paid the same as my male counterpart. I found out by accident and challenged it. It has since been rectified. But if I hadn’t challenged it, I would still be paid materially less.”

Latha Visvendran, Group Treasurer at Chemring Group shared ways to be proactive to develop your career, “I think that building your anchors, your networks, your allies is fundamental,” continuing that, “it’s almost like creating your own ladder.” Reflecting on her career journey, Latha emphasised the need for individuals to align their career goals with personal aspirations, citing her decision to move to treasury to accommodate creating a family.

Barriers to inclusion

A large topic within our 2023 Global Equity Study are the different reasons individuals feel excluded. For the first time, language and accent were identified by respondents as significant barriers to inclusion. With one respondent sharing the observation, “When working in a foreign country, people with accents, even if fluent, are treated as not as smart.”

Lorraine Fagan, Head, Organisational Performance & Inclusion at Standard Chartered Bank shed light on accent bias, highlighting that “it’s not often talked about” but often present. She explained, “accent bias manifests when people make assumptions or form perceptions about a person’s capabilities, their intelligence, or professionalism based solely on their accent, or the way they speak.” Lorraine gave an example of accent bias at work within the UK: “Turn on your TV tonight and most broadcasters are going to speak with what’s called a standard accent, you and I would know it as the Queen’s English, despite less than 10% of the population having this accent.”

Whilst the 2023 study reveals, for our female respondents, gender is still the predominant factor for feeling excluded, age has also become a substantial reason. A shocking 50% of female respondents have felt ignored and/or overlooked in the workplace due to their age; similarly, amongst our male respondents, 75% felt excluded due to age.

In the final moments of the discussion, the panel took the opportunity to address the growing discussion and research surrounding menopause, and the large impact it has on the ageing female workforce. “It’s about open conversations, communicating and making sure that people are not disadvantaged, and they get the support,” Caroline urged, adding, “companies can really help on that.”

A clear conclusion from the panel, is that by harnessing the power of communication, we can continue to increase support for self-advocacy and awareness of reasons for exclusion, among other key topics, and drive meaningful and lasting change in the workplace.

Continue the conversation by taking part in this year’s Global Equity Study, again in partnership with Standard Chartered Bank, which will be launching imminently.

Join us on LinkedIn

Become a member of our Women in Treasury LinkedIn Group. Contribute your insights and talent and be part of our discussions and articles online.

All our content is free, just register below

As we move to a new and improved digital platform all users need to create a new account. This is very simple and should only take a moment.

Already have an account? Sign In

Already a member? Sign In

This website uses cookies and asks for your personal data to enhance your browsing experience. We are committed to protecting your privacy and ensuring your data is handled in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).