Women in Finance – The 2018 Fawcett Lecture

Alexandra Baskerville, Head of psd’s Professional Services practice, attended the 2018 Fawcett Lecture presented by CEO of Virgin Money and the government appointed Women in Finance Champion Jayne-Anne Gadhia with Professor Katie Normington, Royal Holloway’s Senior Vice-Principal.

The lecture was named after Dame Millicent Fawcett – GBE, English suffragist, writer and political and union leader. Jayne-Anne shared her own experiences as “an often lone-female” and her success in a predominantly male culture, to empower the audience to become confident in themselves as assets.

Jayne-Anne was asked by HM Treasury to lead a review into Women in Finance, which was published in March 2016. Nearly 3,500 people contributed to the report which looked into fairness and equality for men and women in the workplace.

The Fawcett Lecture was a brilliant and thought provoking conversation that served as an inspiration to aspiring female business leaders. Jayne-Anne spoke of the formative personal and professional challenges in her career which have culminated in her success as arguably one of the financial services industry’s most senior and influential women. In the lecture, Jayne-Anne identified that it was age that primarily enabled her to develop the confidence to be truly comfortable in her skin and speak her mind freely.

Although not a uniquely female characteristic, it still appears that despite positive moves towards diversity in the workplace it often takes women longer to find a strong narrative and to “own” their leadership positions.

Jayne-Anne’s lecture reminds us that our unique experiences and values are often our most powerful assets, and that our unique experiences and values are often our most powerful assets.

The 2018 Fawcett Lecture formed a part of the university’s programme of events to mark the centenary of women’s voting rights, called Vote 100 at Royal Holloway.