Embark has partnered with Women in Asset Servicing (WiAS) to increase the support for women’s careers in financial services.
The announcement comes ahead of this year’s International Women’s Day, held on March, 8, which has the theme ‘choose to challenge’ – asking us all to commit to “challenge and call out gender bias and inequality.”
The support scheme is designed to offer guidance to women at all stages of their career.
WiAS was established by Kate Webber whilst working as a managing director at Calastone. What initially started as a group of like-minded women from within the finance sector has now grown to a body which promotes female representation across all levels of the financial services industry, including senior positions, an area of historic under-representation.
It seeks to attract women to the industry, retain them within it, nurture their talent, increase their visibility within the industry and provide them with guidance and support to help achieve their career goals.
As part of the agreement Embark will provide a mix of practical support, resources and expertise to WiAS to further expand the reach and impact of the group. The partnership will initially last for two years.
Webber said: “As the next generation of women progress from the early stages of their careers, I want them to be inspired by our industry and understand how to demonstrate their talent and skills as they develop towards senior positions.
“With that in mind, Embark is providing us with support with a difference. Their expertise, time and the resources they bring with this partnership will directly support our purpose to improve diversity in the industry, particularly at higher levels.”
In a statement, Embark said it was “committed to supporting women in the finance industry” and was hopeful that the collaboration would provide “significant expertise and practical support to WiAS” through marketing, content production and web development.
Lisa Worley, group head of marketing at Embark, spoke of an “exciting opportunity” for the firm.
She added: “With this partnership we wanted to deliver tangible, practical support rather than just writing a cheque or paying lip-service to the issue and believe that we can help drive forward real change through our involvement.
“Embark’s scale and distribution network will be invaluable in ensuring that WiAS can extend its reach, maximising the impact of its activities.”
Embark said it would also help in attracting speakers for events and promotion for WiAS through its social channels and newsletters.
WiAS agreed to support Embark’s graduate programme, providing a mentoring role to members.
Embark said the partnership will ensure that its “graduates are exposed to a diverse range of mentors, ideas, and best practice from as wide a pool of people as possible.”
Gillian Hepburn, UK intermediary solutions director at Schroders & WiAS advisory board member, said: “With a recent study from PwC showing that we are at risk of the UK suffering a ‘shecession’ as women’s workplace equality is threatened due to the impact of Covid-19, this partnership is very timely indeed.”