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Mrs Pankhurst we hear you!  The E2W rally cry

Mrs Pankhurst we hear you!  The E2W rally cry

Mark.Freed / 23 Jan 2018

Emmeline Pankhurst rocked the boat and changed women’s role in society.  E2W has provided evidence to the Treasury Select Commitee's women in finance Inquiry and E2W CEO Mark Freed explains how you too can shake up society.

When Emmeline Pankhurst died in 1928, she and the Suffragette movement had made such progress for the time.  Yes, some of their ways and means were dangerous, illegal and sadly, even fatal but in 1918, they had secured the vote for women over 30 years of age and, just after Emmeline died, the Government brought the voting age for women in line with that for men, 21.

At E2W we aren’t necessarily as controversial for our time, but we do have a similar passion: we want to help women start, continue and further their careers in financial services, a previously male dominated industry. 

At times in 2018, it can feel as though little progress has been made since Mrs Pankhurst’s era.  The #metoo and #time’sup campaigns remind us of how women continue to suffer at the hands of men and the media reports stories of high-profile gender pay gaps, inequality in the workplace between men and women, and gender diversity issues. 

 At E2W, we regularly hear stories of poor recruitment practices, a lack of flexible working opportunities and the like from our community of women in financial services and our network.  I met Sam Collins recently, a woman who runs an organisation, ASPIRE, that is devoted to supporting and helping all women to excel.  

Our conversation soon turned to one of the biggest news stories of the day: the resignation of Carrie Gracie from the BBC.  Ms Gracie said she resigned as the BBC’s China editor because she could not “collude” in a policy of “unlawful pay discrimination”. The conversation rapidly moved on to the gender pay gap and important differences between ‘equal pay’ and the ‘pay gap’.

I pointed out that the average woman working in financial services earns about 30% less an hour than the average man – before bonuses are taken into account.  We asked the questions why is one women’s fight for equal pay more news worthy than the aspirations of thousands of women working in one of the most prestigious sectors of our economy? And why don’t more women stand up and say this is wrong?

We understand that it’s difficult to rock the boat on your own, to shake up society is no easy task – even Mrs Pankhurst had some help from the Women’s Social and Political Union.  And that’s where E2W can help...

E2W’s ‘Recruitment Strategies for Financial Institutions to meet Gender Diversity Targets’, has been submitted as evidence to the Treasury Select Committee’s inquiry into women in finance, chaired by Nicky Morgan. 

We didn’t create these strategies on our own.  These strategies were devised thanks to our 2017 survey of members and the many conversations that we have with our members, clients and network. 

And this is how you can make an impact on the future of women in financial services:

  • become a member and join a network of likeminded professional women working in the financial services sector;
  • share your story with us – anecdotal evidence is so valuable in explaining the status quo;
  • attend some of our events to meet E2W and like-minded women.

Standing together we will have greater impact – you don’t need to be controversial to help shake up society.

We mustn’t forget that we have come a very long way in the last 100 years and perhaps this generation of women and men can stand up, be counted and put gender issues behind us once and for all.

Become a Member 
Help us drive change within the industry through participation – make use of the opportunities available to you, work to inspire other women, and motivate your organisation to collaborate with E2W.   Membership

Share Your Story
E2W is publishing the stories of women who have been working in financial services to celebrate this year’s 100 year anniversary of women securing the vote. We have two themes – “My Career…..” and “My Contribution to ….”   Please contact Mark Freed to share your story,

Attend an Event
E2W run a series of event throughout the year for members and non-members. Up and coming events are advertised on our website.

Mark Freed is CEO of E2W, the company that he set up with Tina twenty years ago to address the issue of gender diversity.  He is passionate about gender parity and encourages more men to join the campaign.  

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