In Focus: Advice for Women  

Education is key to boosting our profession

Rebecca Constable

Rebecca Constable

To encourage more women into the financial services industry, we need to have financial education as part of the main curriculum at school.

It is at the moment partly applied maths and partly economics, but it should be a separate subject offered to all children from a relatively early age.

School is a time of significant influence on all children but inclusion of such subjects may have a particular effect on the career choices of girls, helping them to understand the importance of effective management of finance from a relatively young age.

The opportunities and choices that financial security provides will instil women with more confidence in this subject, with the general consensus being that it will encourage more women to choose a career into the financial services industry.

This is one of the reasons why we started a partnership with The Brilliant Club.

This is a UK non-profit organisation working to support less advantaged students to access the most competitive universities, in co-creating an educational handbook on economics for pupils age 11-13, that will be taught in state schools across the UK.

This should help young people from underrepresented backgrounds to progress in their education to reach selective universities and hopefully provide an open door to the world of finance to more young female students.

Another thing we need to do is to present an industry that welcomes soft skills around networking, powers of persuasion, connectivity and trust -as well as exploring and explaining financial targets, financial pressures to grow and demystifying language that is difficult to understand.

In the absence of being able to host in-person events recently, we launched a newsletter aimed at female clients which enables them to learn more about finance, meet experts and share experiences with one another.

Along with our webinar series, it drove momentum in the field and allowed us to provide educational resources covering everything from asset classes to succession planning and jargon busters to demystify overly technical terms.

And we need to offer good career opportunities, including flexible working, and supporting women to return to work after having children.

For example, every year we run specific talent development programmes targeted at our female staff, to support their development, improve their network and increase their visibility across the organisation.

As a member of the Societe Generale Group, we have also signed the Women in Finance Charter, a commitment to build a more balanced and fair financial services industry, which reflects our aspiration for all levels across the board.

Additionally, as a founding partner of the WealthiHer Network, which champions the transformation of the financial services industry's approach to female investors, we are committed to empowering female clients with the knowledge and confidence they need to grow and protect their wealth.

Rebecca Constable is head of the Newbury office and head of philanthropy at Kleinwort Hambros