International Women’s Day 2021
Bringing people with different backgrounds together helps us in our mission to identify compelling companies and support these during their growth through strategic engagement and transformational transactions. We put our culture and values at the core of our business. One way we have achieved this is by appointing Lisa Pickup (NED) and Simone Westerhuis (Managing Director of LGB Investments) on LGB's board.
Having more women at our company, especially in senior positions, fosters an inclusive, collaborative and vibrant culture. Importantly, the multiplicity of perspectives that a strong gender balance brings can also spark creativity and innovation and help us spot and seize new opportunities. Ultimately, it means the proposition for our clients, both companies and investors, is stronger.
Below, Megan, LGB Investments’ Relationship Manager, and Simone provide their perspectives on female representation in financial to services.
As a 26-year-old at the early stages of a career in financial services, I can reflect on what has been important to me so far.
Personally, the most important factor is having the right role models. I get the same level of job satisfaction and enjoyment of my day to day working life working for both men and women, but it is the women I have worked for that have inspired me the most. Seeing a woman being listened to while she illustrates her point gives me confidence that I, too, can command respect. Similarly, seeing a woman build a relationship with a male client in a professional manner is a much needed reminder that I can connect with male clients on equal terms. And, seeing a woman manage a family whilst excelling in a company shows me that I will not need to choose between raising a child and progressing at work. There are men whom I aspire to be like, but I cannot relate to them in quite the same way, as there are life experiences that I hope to have one day that they may not have faced.
If there are no mothers in a company, who can give me confidence about the prospect of returning to work.? Women are shown to be more risk averse than men, yet we are expected to join companies in a business sector in which few women have succeeded in reaching board level so far.
When spending money on a glossy website, remember that a candidate may be most interested in the pictures of your employees and what these say about your culture.
A senior woman is a hugely valuable asset. Celebrate her, and look after her, so that I can aspire to be her.
When working for investment banks, I benefitted from policies that enabled me to take maternity leave, have two children and work part time for a few years. My children are now teenagers and I have returned to work on a full-time basis. In recent years I have been able to make strides in my professional development which I had not thought possible whilst being a mum. Although I have worked hard, the key has not been the number of hours but the way in which I can complement the efforts of my colleagues.
I now find myself in a position where I can be a role model for others. I believe that it is very important for women who have children to stay involved with their careers, even on a part time basis, whilst the children are young. This is particularly important because of the pace at which the world is changing. They can maintain self-confidence and return to develop their careers if they are continuously learning. If they do not remain employed, they might still be able to be an active part of an industry association to maintain the network and knowledge of their business sector.
This International Women’s Day, we should think positively about the contribution women can make to business culture and the success of their employers.