Bloomberg today announced the expansion of the EU Women in Finance initiative, following a successful first year. Launched in 2022, the initiative aims to open up and demystify the world of financial markets to young women, and inspire and empower them to pursue and advance careers in finance.
It is the first pan-European programme offering dedicated training on capital markets and the opportunity to learn from female leaders shaping financial services in Europe. In 2023, the initiative will expand to Ireland, Poland, and Switzerland, bringing the total of participating countries to nine, including Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Spain.
In collaboration with Junior Achievement Europe, one of the world’s leading educational NGOs, the initiative offers high-school and college students an introduction to financial markets using a bespoke curriculum developed by Bloomberg. Participants learn from senior leaders in the finance ecosystem, including banking executives, investors, policymakers, central bankers, and regulators. In its first year, the initiative mentored close to 300 students. This year, that number will increase to 450.
Bloomberg’s Chairman Peter T. Grauer said: “Women remain dramatically underrepresented in senior leadership positions across the industry. By offering access to some of the leading voices shaping finance across the EU, the Bloomberg EU Women in Finance initiative will not only encourage more young women to participate in the industry, but to inspire them to be the future finance leaders of tomorrow.”
Mairead McGuinness, European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union, said: “While there has been a welcome increase in the number of women in leadership roles in finance in recent years, much work remains to be done. Finance, particularly at management level, continues to be male dominated. This is not just about women in top jobs; we must do more to encourage women to consider finance as a career and support women at all levels in the sector. I’m delighted to continue my involvement with the EU Women in Finance initiative and help make finance more diverse and inclusive for the ultimate benefit of the sector and the people it serves.
Magdalena Rzeczkowska, Minister of Finance, Poland said: “The EU Women in Finance Initiative not only inspires other women to reach for their dreams and goals but allows aspirational students to learn from inspirational female leaders shaping the future of financial services in the EU.”Initiatives like EU Women in Finance offer us an opportunity to discuss what is necessary to improve the situation, to level the playing field and increase the number of women in leadership roles in finance. Building diverse teams is just one part of the equation. We also need to create an inclusive culture in which employees, in all their diversity, feel valued and respected, and all employees feel empowered to contribute. Inclusiveness is a leadership skill that must be developed. When we do it right, this is what works best for businesses and communities.”
The initiative aligns with the European Commission’s objectives set out in its Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025. This initiative specifically supports the Commission’s strategy of promoting vocational education and training in order to promote equal opportunity.
The EU Women in Finance initiative forms part of Bloomberg’s global Corporate Philanthropy program working with a network of non-profit partners to ensure more individuals from underserved communities have the relevant skills and experience for employment and entrepreneurship; supporting global efforts to make the world’s economy fairer and more inclusive for all. Find out more here.
Ana Botin, Executive Chair, Santander said: “I long for the day when we no longer need a Women in Finance initiative. We’ve made a lot of progress in helping more women get up and get on in finance, but there’s still much more to do. Inspiring more women to choose a career in finance is critical, as well as supporting better work-life balance, encouraging women back to work after they have had children, and exhorting women to apply for promotions. These are just some of the things we can still do better at. Until we make further progress, I will do all I can to support initiatives like this.”
Evelyn Bourke, Non-executive director at the Bank of Ireland said: “I’m delighted to join Bloomberg’s EU Women in Finance initiative as an Ambassador for Ireland. The importance of promoting gender diversity, and empowering the next generation of women to advance their careers in finance, is something I strongly believe in. This benefits us all – individuals, firms, and the sector as a whole. It also contributes to building a more inclusive and progressive society.”
Thuy-Tien Glück, Head of Corporate Sustainability, HSBC Continental Europe said:
“I am very honored and grateful to be an ambassador for Bloomberg’s EU Women in Finance initiative. Women have a decisive role to play in the performance of businesses. It is therefore essential to support the development of young women, to offer them career paths where they can fulfill their full potential and thus take their place at all levels of the company, including and especially in decision-making bodies. Europe needs all these energies and ambitions to move towards a resilient and inclusive economy. The EU Women in Finance initiative is an important lever for supporting this vital momentum.”
Prof. Danuta Hübner, Member of the European Parliament, Poland, said: “Data show quite clearly that the overall number of women in the financial sector has steadily increased over the past few years. Yet, in the top management positions, the financial services industry remain overwhelmingly a male-dominated affair, and the gender pay gap remains significant. Progress, though slow, is happening – and it needs to permeate all levels of society. We need to encourage and prepare the future generation of women to approach the world of finance not as an exclusive club, but as an environment where their work is respected and their worth recognised.”
Magdalena Zmitrowicz, Vice Chair, Bank Pekao S.A. said: “Bloomberg EU Women in Finance initiative is highly important for all women because it keeps inspiring a future generation. For me, it is a privilege to be an Ambassador of this initiative. I am delighted to present an example of how to build a long-term strategy and engage more women to take responsibility for their careers in the financial industry. In my opinion, the companies which have more diversified decision-making positions achieve better results. Women should build confidence in themselves and not be afraid to apply for higher positions.”
Junior Achievement Europe CEO Salvatore Nigro said: “Talent is universal, but opportunities are not. Initiatives such as EU Women in Finance show young girls that there is no limit to their dreams and ambition, that all sectors and positions are accessible to them. Thanks to this initiative with Bloomberg, we are creating a more diverse future of work and a more equitable society”.
The full list of ambassadors include:
- Ana Botín, Executive Chairman, Grupo Santander
- Evelyn Bourke, Non-executive Director, Bank of Ireland
- Nadia Calviño, First Vice-President of Spain, Minister for Economy and Digitalisation
- Elena Carletti, Professor of Finance, Bocconi University, Member of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Internal Control and Risk Committee, Unicredit Spa
- Natasha Cazenave, Executive Director, ESMA
- Thuy-Tien Glück, Head of Corporate Sustainability, HSBC Continental Europe
- Petra Hielkema, Chairperson, EIOPA
- Prof. Danuta Hübner, Member of the European Parliament, Poland
- Katja Lammert, Member of the Board of Management, MEAG
- Virginie Maisonneuve, Global CIO Equities, Managing Director, Allianz Global Investors
- Dr. Sabine Mauderer, Member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank
Mairead McGuinness, European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union
- Bettina Orlopp, CFO, Commerzbank
- Magdalena Rzeczkowska, Minister of Finance, Poland
- Irene Tinagli, Chair, Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, European Parliament
- Anneka Treon, Chief Economist, Van Lanschot Kempen
- Magdalena Zmitrowicz, Vice Chair, Bank Pekao S.A
Bloomberg has partnered with 2023 Nobel Peace Prize nominated NGO Junior Achievement since 1997. In the last four years, over 1,000 Bloomberg employees across nearly 50 cities have dedicating their time and talents to support their work. The EU Women in Finance initiative forms part of Bloomberg’s global Corporate Philanthropy program working with a network of non-profit partners to ensure more individuals from underserved communities have the relevant skills and experience for employment and entrepreneurship; supporting global efforts to make the world’s economy fairer and more inclusive for all.
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About Junior Achievement Europe
JA Europe is the largest and leading organisation in Europe dedicated to inspire and prepare young people to succeed. For over 100 years, JA Worldwide has delivered hands-on, experiential learning in entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial health. In the last school year, the JA Europe network provided over 6.6 million learning experiences for youth in online, in person and blended formats.
Oisin O Malley, Bloomberg Communications: [email protected]