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Since its launch, the WealthiHer Network has made significant progress in supporting women’s economic advancement by equipping them with the knowledge they need to prosper and rise. The “RISE: Female Financial Futures Reimagined” event hosted by the WealthiHer Network was a continuation of that conversation, taking place at The Ned, where the network was launched in 2019. Together with my colleague Helen James and nine other experts, we lent our voices to provide insights on how to build business resilience and how the finance and professional industry can advance women together. Below I share some food for thought and some of my main takeaways from the event:
Walking a mile in another (wo)man’s shoes – Tamara Gillan, Founder and CEO of The WealthiHer Network, noted that “You cannot change, what you do not understand.” Surprisingly, I found the truth behind these words, not just through listening to the panel discussion but by reflecting on my experience as the only man in the room. Participating in a majority female event, I gained awareness of the intimidating and uncomfortable feeling that women may experience as under-represented members of the business environment. I had never fully understood what it meant to be in this position, and it was eye-opening. It made me reflect on what concrete actions we can take to empower women in the workplace.
Meeting the gender gap in the middle – Though we have come a long way, women’s achievement is still nevertheless hampered by gender bias and institutional barriers, and it will take a unified effort from both men and women to unlock gender equality. I believe the analogy of a car best describes how we should direct our efforts in the best way possible to narrow the gender pay gap. If we drive in one direction as fast as we can, we may cause an accident, resulting in never reaching our destination or even hurting people along the way. Instead, if we drive towards a ‘meeting point’ from both directions; navigating slowly and carefully toward a destination, we will get there safely, at the same time and with the same outcome. This analogy shows what we can achieve by working together toward a common goal, through strategic and thoughtful corporate decisions. The way forward is collaboration and increasing awareness.
I’m proud to represent HW Fisher as we stand alongside WealthiHer to build more flexible and empathetic workplaces, where women can thrive as much as men and where everyone can benefit. Business leaders can play an important role in creating the corporate culture that will allow women to advance and fixing the broken rung that keeps them from climbing the corporate ladder. By participating in events such as “RISE: Female Financial Futures Reimagined” by WealthiHer, we hope to fuel this conversation and reinforce the narrative that empowering women is a compelling business imperative. We’re looking forward to continuing to join WealthiHer in their important work. You can find out more here.