Last night’s Women in Finance Awards UK highlighted the remarkable work of women who are carving out their own paths in the traditionally white, male, and socially privileged sector.
The first live event in the ‘Women In’ series since early 2020 provided the perfect opportunity to catch up with old friends, make some new ones and, more importantly, celebrate the amazing achievements of the winners.
Sponsored by Sage, the event took place at London’s JW Marriott Grosvenor House Hotel and were hosted by TV presenter Gabby Logan, who shared her early career experiences of sexism. Two diverse female finance leaders scooped a couple of the night’s most iconic awards.
Being authentically ‘female’ in finance
Throughout the evening, it was clear that the pandemic hadn’t dampened the spirits of women working in finance. Authenticity, whether being loud and proud about being a working mother or staying true to working-class roots, was agreed to be key to fostering belonging for women in the sector.
Arora spoke about returning to the workplace after having a child and how this was the biggest period of professional development for her. She wants to assure other women that becoming a mother doesn’t mean abandoning a successful career.
Cartin described her early experience as one of the few women in many of her meetings, as well as one of the only ones from a working-class background. As she progressed and finally got a “seat at the table” and decision-making power, she realised her differences were strengths.
On the topic of strengths in differences, Noreen Biddle Shah and Jacqueline Taiwo bagged two of the night’s most impactful awards by embracing their diversity to initiate change—many congratulations to them and the rest of the winners.
Women in Finance Awards 2021 – two inspirational diverse winners
Noreen Biddle Shah, Head of Marketing and Communications at investment bank Numis, won the Women of the Year award. In addition to her day job, Shah is the Founder of reboot, an organisation comprising ethnic minorities and allies accelerating discussions about race in the workplace and society.
She is the co-founder of Black Women in Asset Management (BWAM) – a group of 300 industry professionals in England and Wales that aims to advance and retain Black female leaders in the sector.
Speaking about her win, Taiwo said she wanted to use her own privilege as a senior woman in finance to pave the way for others like her and be a role model for her daughters.
The full list of the night’s winners in order is below:
The full list of winners
Accountant of the Year – Kim Percy, Blackstone
Advocate of the Year – Jacqueline Taiwo, TowerBrook Capital Partners
Banker of the Year – Helen Bierton, Starling Bank
CFO of the Year – Afua Kyei, Bank of England
DEI Initiative of the Year – It’s Her Future (IHF), KPMG
Employer (under 250) of the Year – Financial Services Compensation Scheme
Employer (over 250) of the Year – Nuveen
Finance Team of the Year – Uma Rajah, CapitalRise
Innovator of the Year – Georgia Stewart, Tumelo
Insurance Leader of the Year – Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, Tapoly
Legal Adviser of the Year – Natasha Harrison, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP
Male Ally of the Year – Paul Kilpatrick, Brewin Dolphin
Next Generation Leader of the Year – Zoe Atkins, Barclays Private Bank
Outstanding Contribution of the Year – Ijeoma Okoli, JPMorgan Chase & Co
Returner of the Year – Adriana Ennab, Credit Suisse
Specialist Investor of the Year – Anya Navidski, Voulez Capital
Sustainability Project Leader of the Year – Venetia Bell, GIB Asset Management
Wealth Manager of the Year – Emma Stevens, Corinthian Wealth Management
Woman of the Year – Noreen Biddle Shah, Numis Securities Limited
To find out more about the Women in Finance Summit & Awards Series, click here.