Female Representation in the Financial Service Sector

The most senior woman in the US navy is Admiral Michelle Howard who was the keynote speaker at a global banking conference hosted by Sibos in Boston, USA, in September 2014.

Being second in command of the US Navy, the largest navy in the world with over 300,000 active service personnel, Admiral Howard knows what it is like to lead diverse teams, citing many occasions where she has worked together with commanding navies from countries including China and Norway to support safety across the global seas of the world.  “Different perspectives allow you to succeed; it’s not about finding the good idea, it’s about having a team that generates many ideas and grabbing the right one”.

Conference attendees had a lot to think about with regard to women in leadership positions in the financial services industry: women make up nearly 60% of the workforce but at the C-Suite board level women only occupy 2-11%.

Admiral Howard also participated in a panel discussion at the conference where it was agreed that ‘these statistics represent an incredible waste of human capital and demonstrate a market failure’. Panellists also reported that setting up both formal and informal mentoring networks was important to the success of achieving diverse leadership teams.

You can watch the keynote here.