Women in Treasury

Inspirational women wanted

Published: Feb 2014

In a highly competitive jobs market, young people can benefit from hearing about your experiences. Volunteers are needed to inspire the next generation.

Can you spare just one hour a year to go into a school or college to talk to young women about your career and life experiences? The Inspiring Women campaign is aiming to register 15,000 women from all backgrounds and professions to talk to students in state secondary schools about their work and life experiences. Treasury and finance professionals at all stages of their career are more than welcome!

The new campaign has been set up by the charity the Education and Employers Taskforce as part of their ‘Inspiring the Future’ programme because research shows that girls respond best when hearing from other women. The charity, which arranges for male and female volunteers from all sectors and professions to visit state secondary schools and colleges to talk about their jobs, held its first Inspiring Women careers fair at the end of January.

The event, held at a southern counties school in England, attracted support from 175 women doing diverse jobs including electricians, a shadow minister, lawyers, occupational therapists, bankers, a plastic surgeon and presenter, writer and broadcaster, Clare Balding. Organisations being represented included Aston Martin, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BSkyB, CBI, Crossrail, Little Miss Geek, National Trust, NHS, Premier League, Royal Air Force, Sainsburys, the Medical Women’s Foundation and the University of Cambridge.

As well as the careers fair the school hosted a ‘career speed dating’ event with 100 girls and ten highly successful women including Miriam González Durántez, partner at law firm, Dechert LLP (and wife of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg), and Jennifer Taylor, Chief Operating Officer EMEA, Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

González Durántez said of the scheme: “Girls need to feel free to make their own choices. The main purpose of the Inspiring Women campaign is to reassure them that there are many female role models out there willing to help and that any option they take in life is valid if it is what they really want”.

One of the founding corporate supporters of Inspiring the Future is Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Alex Wilmot-Sitwell, President, EMEA, BofAML, said the world of work is changing rapidly and young people need to be prepared for future opportunities. “We can all help to ensure they develop the right skills. We know that the programme makes an impact.”

A spokesperson at the bank told Treasury Today that “700 colleagues have already signed up to spend time in schools local to their home or office, talking to youngsters about what they do at the bank. They are returning to work full of encouragement and enthusiasm, saying just how much they enjoyed speaking to the young people, who ask some great, thought-provoking questions”.

Inspiring the Future is supported by all the main UK employer and workforce representative bodies. Volunteers can get involved independently or through their employer. For more details or to register your pledge of ‘one hour, once a year’ visit www.inspiringthefuture.org

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