E2W was founded in 2002 by husband and wife team Tina and Mark Freed.
“We created E2W because we had a unique solution to a common problem faced by women pursuing careers in financial services. We remain as passionate today about solving them as we did 15 years ago.” - Tina Freed
In recent years financial services firms have recognised the business and social case for improved gender diversity, and as they have E2W have gone from being a niche supplier to a strategic partner to our clients - working with them to help meet their gender targets.
In 2002, we experienced first-hand the personal frustrations of choosing between a career we loved and being the type of parents we wanted to be. We also recognised the wider business, social and economic folly of letting so many talented parents reluctantly leave city careers behind them because they felt they had no other choice.
To us, the potential was obvious. So, we developed a solution for thousands of highly skilled, well-trained professionals who, given the right opportunity, would continue in or return to their financial services careers.
Initially our solution was to remove some of the barriers and offer flexible and agile working, with a family-friendly ethos, in an office environment close to women’s homes and their children’s schools.
But how could this enterprise work commercially? We approached the industry for projects and business-as-usual work to undertake for them. Today Business Process and Project based work remain a core revenue stream for E2W.
We’ve grown internationally too. In 2008 we opened our office in the USA, followed by Singapore in 2011.
Women often need and look for support in progressing their careers. Women needed a professionally run, active and supportive place for women to network, share, collaborate, be inspired and be represented. We are now the go-to place for women in financial services.
E2W has links to over 7,000 women working in mid and senior positions in London, New York and Singapore. We provide support to members of our community through our membership, offering coaching and career advice – aiming to help women achieve their career aspirations, whatever they may be. We hold business focused events designed to help members collaborate and network. Many of our members have benefited from priority access to career opportunities.
The financial services world began to change for the better. By 2015, diversity and inclusion were high up on the agenda of most financial institutions. Report after report showed that diverse and inclusive workforce performs better and, encouraged by the Government, organisations began to recognise the economic and social benefits of ensuring women are encouraged and able to be economically active.
This evolution created new opportunities for E2W. Banks needed a more a diverse workforce, and we had access to a vast network of women – women with an array of skills and experience looking for the next career move. Our women could be the next exco member or next women returner, next head of risk or next jobsharer, next BA contractor and a rising star.
In 2016, E2W launched its recruitment, contractor and consultancy businesses, and became the go-to place for banks to collect the gender dividend and for women to manage their financial services careers.
By signing the Charter, E2W have committed to implement four recommendations to improve gender diversity in financial services. The charter asks financial firms to support the progression of women into senior roles, set internal targets to improve diversity in the workforce, and publicly report on these goals.
As the go-to place for women to manage their financial services careers and for financial institutions wishing to claim the Gender Dividend, our gender diversity challenges are different from most firms.
By the nature of our business, each individual member of the E2W team is responsible and accountable for promoting gender diversity and inclusion to the industry, and ensuring our members maximise career opportunities.
We have set a target at board level to consider how we encourage men into our membership, and to promote and understand how their requirements can be addressed to build towards the long-term goal of a gender-neutral society.
Our internal diversity targets are to ensure that 75% of our senior management team remain female.
Our external targets are to:
We will publish progress against these targets on this website. Tina and Mark Freed are the accountable executives responsible for meeting these targets. The management team and other staff receive bonuses for progressing towards these targets.
We set a target at board level to consider how we encourage men into our membership, and to promote and understand how their requirements can be addressed to build towards the long-term goal of a gender-neutral society. Little or no progress has been made against this target.
Our internal diversity targets were to ensure that 75% of our senior management team remain female. This target has been met.
Our external targets have been met. E2W are now supporting in excess of 200 women in the sector through our membership programme.
Read about how we met our 2017 targets and our new 2018 targets.