Mary McNamara, CEO of Close Brothers' commercial division, will lead the Leasing Foundation's Women in Leasing initiative, intended to attract a more diverse range of talent to the leasing and asset finance industry and to support women in the industry.
The initiative will include training and education, themed networking events and mentoring, and will draw on the expertise of the Foundation's women Fellows and Governors. Women in Leasing will also connect with established diversity initiatives and networks such as Women in Banking and Finance. A segment of the upcoming Leasing Foundation Annual Conference on 30 September 2013 will be devoted to diversity issues.
Mary McNamara says “We want to enrich the leasing and asset finance industry by attracting, retaining and developing a more diverse workforce. For too long our industry hasn't effectively drawn on the many talented and capable women that can play important leadership roles and bring an incredible amount to our businesses. Women in Leasing – along with the many diversity programmes run by businesses in this sector – aims to tackle that through networking, education and development”.
Carol Roberts, MD of Bibby Leasing, emphasises that the diversity discussion needs to be open and inclusive. “There are many excellent diversity programmes in companies that are working with the Foundation – such as GE, RBS and Société Générale – and we want to leverage and support them. I want to encourage all of the businesses the Foundation is working with to play a part, and over the coming months we'll be looking at ways to engage with them”.
Women in Leasing is being supported by Foundation European intern Gila Birk and associate advisor Stephanie Strickland, who will work with the Foundation to research diversity issues for the industry, identify examples of best practice and help set short and medium term objectives for Women in Leasing.