FLASH FRIDAY: ‘Tis the Season…For Women in Finance Awards

 FLASH FRIDAY is a weekly content series looking at the past, present and future of capital markets trading and technology. FLASH FRIDAY is sponsored by Instinet, a Nomura company.

Markets Media Group will broadcast its 2021 U.S. Women in Finance Awards on Thursday, November 18, at 4:30 pm New York time.

The seventh-annual event continues our longstanding support and advocacy in recognizing the extraordinary contributions of women in the capital markets space that we cover. 

It promises to be a banner program. 

We’ve pre-announced that Anushree Laturkar, Head of Americas Execution Consulting at Instinet, will win the STEM Champion Award. This new award recognizes a woman with an exemplary STEM background,who continues to distinguish herself in the discipline as an outstanding woman in finance.

Yie-Hsin Hung, CEO of NYLIM and an influential voice for women, diversity and sustainability in investment management, will give opening remarks. Doug Cifu, CEO of Virtu Financial, will speak on the importance of the role of men in supporting women in finance. 

More than 40 awards will be presented, including Rising Star, Excellence in Equity Trading, Trailblazer, Excellence in Leadership, and Lifetime Achievement.  

Traders Magazine launched its Women in Finance program a decade ago, in 2011. This article details the second-annual event, held in 2012. Markets Media Group bought Traders in 2016, and folded Traders’ WIF program into its own nascent WIF franchise. 

We looked back on Markets Media’s inaugural 2015 WIF event in this space last year. 

Just last month, McKinsey & Co. published a report assessing the state of the landscape for women in financial services. The consultancy’s takeaway was mixed, with some progress noted on gender and racial diversity, as well as women’s day-to-day work experience — but challenges persist.

“Women in financial services continue to experience a ‘broken rung’ at the first step from entry level to manager — where they are significantly less likely than men to be promoted,” the McKinsey report stated. “At the same time, women leaders have taken on the additional responsibilities of supporting employees and investing in diversity and inclusion during the COVID-19 pandemic — but they aren’t being rewarded for this critical work.”  

McKinsey suggested four priorities for companies to build a more equal and inclusive workplace: (1) fix the broken rung; (2) create a flexible and supportive culture; (3) grow and reward caring people leaders; and (4) actively monitor and solve for burnout.   

“The financial-services industry has made some progress in closing the gender and race gaps, but there is still a long way to go,” the report concluded. “As financial-services firms reimagine the future of the workplace, this moment calls for bold action to improve gender and racial diversity across the talent pipeline and create an inclusive culture where all women, and all employees, feel like they belong.”

We think every one of our 2021 WIF Award winners is helping move the industry forward on these very issues.