The Women in Leasing (WiL) initiative held its first networking event on Wednesday 19th June. The aim was to bring women across the industry together to share experiences, discuss challenges, promote ambition and leadership, and encourage networking as a tool for success.
The event was hosted by Mary McNamara, CEO of Close Brothers Commercial Division, and was attended by around 40 women across the sector. In her introduction to the event, Mary McNamara highlighted concerning statistics – such as a meagre 0.6% increase in female board members in 10 years and that only 6.1% of FTSE100 executives are women – to demonstrate the importance of the issue of gender diversity. Mary stressed the importance of engagement and a willingness to share experiences to identify the barriers to increased female representation at senior levels and allowing the develop strategies to address those barriers.
A panel discussion involving Carmen Ene (Vice President Business Analytics and Optimisation at IBM Global Business Services), Lisa Marks (Partner at Berwin Leighton Paisner) and Carol Roberts (Managing Director at Bibby Leasing) discussed the challenges of female leadership in a predominantly masculine environment, and talked about their approaches to ambition, sacrifice and risk.
Speaking at the discussion following the panel, Joanne Davis (Partner at DWF LLP) commented “it was a great opportunity to network with the ladies in the industry, which is very rare”, and Lorraine Burton (Caterpillar) described the event as “inspirational”.
Structured evaluations from attendees have provided feedback on what the initiative will pursue as it moves forward.
For more information about Women in Leasing, and details of further events contact Stephanie.Strickland@leasingfoundation.org
You can also join the Women in Leasing LinkedIn Group