Breaking barriers in finance: What happens when you promote a ‘time bank’

Written by By Gianluca Ordonez, CNN Strict rules of etiquette in the workplace inhibit the confidence of new graduates, which can lead to a range of problems that can take months or years to…

Breaking barriers in finance: What happens when you promote a 'time bank'

Written by By Gianluca Ordonez, CNN

Strict rules of etiquette in the workplace inhibit the confidence of new graduates, which can lead to a range of problems that can take months or years to repair.

This is something former global banking executive, Louise Trott, realized after working in a range of roles in Switzerland, United Kingdom and Spain and launching her own company as a woman in a senior position with an international private bank, which has developed an educational programme that is focused on improving the results of global new-mints.

Travel insurance provider, Jetadis, a French-owned company established in 2001 by its owner Jean-Marc Alfaro and his brothers, is one of the pioneers of the E.S.G. concept (End of Growth – a phase in a career that can be hard to escape), because of the insights it has gained from conducting research with hundreds of new-mints.

Now, more than 15 years on from the beginning of the E.S.G., Trott has created Embrace, her own professional development company aimed at delivering practical, tangible education to successful leaders with a focus on gender diversity.

1 / 12 – The Ballerina Baking Company You’ve never seen a cake like this, but that’s because it’s made by a woman. Cathy Vallat, a ballerina and artistic director of the Ballerina Baking Company, uses bread dough instead of baking sugar to create magical little cakes.

‘We believe that what you learn through your life can play an important role in your career, but we also feel that by taking the time to act on these lessons you can develop the skills and experience that will enable you to enjoy your career to the fullest, especially in a male-dominated field like finance.’

At Embrace, research shows, women graduate faster than men, but of those who make it into senior roles, only 19% of women stay there more than five years. The reasons cited for this challenge are wide-ranging, but it is not down to lack of preparation or talent: Embrace believes, E.S.G. and other leadership programmes are not only useless, but worse still, stereotype disguised as new-mint discovery.

Aware that girls are less likely to pursue a senior-leadership role than boys — that early barriers include not being confident enough to take on key roles, is still difficult to tackle — along with the number of people entering financial services has been falling dramatically, which was a reality driven home for Trott with her first experience of financial services.

1 / 10 – Sita Panda A speech therapist at the Singapore Institute of Language & Nerve Centre, Sita Panda is passionate about the importance of teachers to developing literacy and critical thinking. Courtesy Sita Panda

“It became increasingly clear to me that with so few women in senior leadership roles, we would have to focus our attention on middle managers and women of all ages. This challenge is something that has seen my company deliver over the past five years a slew of tailored leadership courses, delivering specialist content specifically for women leaders.”

Trott has long been passionate about the concept of E.S.G. and has become a driving force of Embrace’s research and education efforts. She is the founder and Executive Director of Embrace’s My Leadership Institute, an online course that integrates academic teaching with social media integration and real-world learning.

She is also the head of the W0M24 Media Center, an entrepreneurial think tank which focuses on empowering women through action. An active participant in the community and education initiatives, she has been awarded the promotion of the “Thrive in Height” Award, which celebrates global research into gender diversity in leadership.

Out to change mindsets

“I am a firm believer that what we learn through our life can play an important role in our career, but we also feel that by taking the time to act on these lessons you can develop the skills and experience that will enable you to enjoy your career to the fullest, especially in a male-dominated field like finance.”

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