The inaugural meeting of the E2W Front Office team. It was an energetic breakfast!
Tina.Freed / 05 Nov 2017
This week Tina Freed co-hosted the inaugural meeting of the E2W Front Office team. It was an energetic breakfast!
At E2W, we strive to promote and further women in financial services’ careers. We connect women with likeminded peers so that they can learn from each other, share experiences and make valuable additions to their network. As the E2W career coach, Rhian Bowler, recently wrote, “The true value of professional networking is underestimated: being able to network and subsequently, collaborate with peers is now being directly linked to productivity.”
On 31st October, at the offices of Standard Chartered bank, a group of such likeminded women who work in Front Office roles gathered for the inaugural meeting of E2W’s Front Office Team, a new group following the success of the Risk, Regulation and Technology teams. The focus of the meetings is twofold: to consider the issues that are being faced in areas of their business and share knowledge & experience, and secondly, to support the group members’ career progression by looking at successes as well as challenges faced, behaviours, cultures and opportunities presented.
In this first meeting, all attendees introduced themselves by sharing their areas of expertise, discussing their motivations for joining the group and what they would like to gain. Thanks to this being a women only environment, everyone felt comfortable and we had some thought provoking and passionate speeches to kick off proceedings.
Career progression was, understandably, a hot topic. Fathima Hussain, Managing Director, Oil & Gas Corporate Finance, Standard Chartered, said “the barriers to progress from middle to senior management/C level need to be addressed and we need to consider what measures need to be adopted to increase the number of women in these positions”. Organisations seem to be paying ‘lip service’ to the issue rather than really tackling it; transferable skills need to be recognised as women move into and out of Front Office; and sadly, the fact that the Front Office is still dominated by men.
But, despite all that, there was a buzz in the room. The attendees were energised at the thought of starting a new network and easily saw the benefits of connecting with women in a similar position outside of their own organisations. There was encouraging discussion about the women taking the initiative to help their own careers and yet, willing to support everyone else with theirs.
The next meeting, pencilled in for January will discuss how to break down the barriers, both perceived and real, to progress and fulfil potential. If you’d like to attend please email
Tina Freed is co-founder, chairperson & COO of E2W with 25 years’ experience of working in financial services.
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