The existence of a Glass Ceiling has long been a feature of women’s experience in the financial services industry. Women should not be held back by outdated gender stereotypes and oppressive hiring practices.
Women in financial services often find themselves with fewer paths to promotion into leadership roles due to gender stereotypes and oppressive hiring practices. Organizations cannot overlook the importance of training and development for women in financial services. Despite the drive for gender equity, significant improvement is needed to make positive changes when it comes to hiring female talent. For those women who have managed to find their way into financial services and build a career there, mentorship and sponsorship can play an invaluable role in promoting diversity and expanding career opportunities.
Mentorship offers valuable advice from a successful leader in the field, while sponsorship provides an advocate who will personally support and recommend advancement opportunities within the organization. Studies have found that this type of support can be instrumental in increasing job satisfaction and career trajectory for those struggling to reach the glass ceiling.
Women of all ages need this kind of support to progress properly. Women between the ages of 55-65 are particularly vulnerable: research has found that these older generations are frequently passed over for training and development opportunities and are discouraged from entering the industry by intimidating hiring biases. With proper mentorship or sponsorship, these issues can be addressed, allowing more women in financial services to achieve leadership roles on boards or in the C-Suite. Having more women in the leadership of an organisation has a knock-on effect, as these senior women are statistically more likely to promote according to a more equitable ratio of women to men into the management of an organisation, helping to further redress the balance between male and female employees in the management team.
Mentorship and sponsorship can play an invaluable role in promoting diversity and expanding career opportunities for women. This type of support can be instrumental in increasing job satisfaction and career trajectory for those struggling to reach the glass ceiling. Providing fair opportunities for advancement will empower more women to excel in financial services and create a more diverse workplace that reflects our current landscape.
It’s time to create a more equitable pipeline of talent that provides women with the opportunity to realise their potential and climb the corporate ladder. The glass staircase is an important first step on this journey.
The consequences of unconscious bias and ageism can be devastating for women. Without mentors or sponsors advocating for them within organizations, it can feel like climbing a glass staircase – an insurmountable obstacle that keeps them from reaching the top level of their careers. It is therefore of seminal importance for women to find sponsors early on in their careers, but also to include possible other sponsors within their network, in case the sponsor moves on or changes organisations.
To listen to the full recording and to download the slides containing the data discussed in the forum, please see below.