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Bloomberg launches EU Women in Finance initiative to inspire the next generation of leaders

23 March 2022

Bloomberg today announced the launch a new EU Women in Finance initiative to promote greater gender diversity, inspire and empower the next generation of women to pursue and advance careers in finance.

The initiative, launched at the Bloomberg Equality Summit, aims to open up and demystify the world of financial markets to young women. It is the first pan-EU programme offering dedicated training on capital markets alongside the opportunity to learn from inspirational female leaders shaping the future of financial services in the EU.

In collaboration with JA Europe, the initiative will offer high-school students in six EU countries an introduction to financial markets using a bespoke curriculum developed by Bloomberg. Participants will also have a unique and valuable opportunity to learn from senior leaders in the finance ecosystem across the private and public sector, including banking executives, investors, political decision-makers, central bankers, civil servants and regulators. In 2022, the initiative aims to reach 300 students across Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain.

Bloomberg’s long-standing commitment to promoting an inclusive global economy is in line with the European Commission’s objectives in its Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025, and the goal of making the world of finance more accessible to women and other under-represented groups. This initiative specifically supports the EC strategy of promoting vocational education and training as a means to promote equality of opportunities.

Bloomberg’s Chairman Peter T. Grauer said: “While data shows that more and more women are entering careers in finance, women remain dramatically underrepresented in senior leadership positions across the industry. They say, "You can't be what you can't see". 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 aspire to be the future finance leaders of tomorrow.”

Ambassadors include:

  • Ana Botín, Executive Chairman, Grupo Santander
  • 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
  • Olivia Grégoire, Secretary of State for the social economy, French Government
  • Petra Hielkema, Chairperson, EIOPA
  • 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, European Commission
  • Bettina Orlopp, CFO, Commerzbank
  • Irene Tinagli, Chair of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, European Parliament
  • Anneka Treon, Managing Director, Head of Competence Center, Van Lanschot Kempen
  • Fannie Wurtz, Head of Distribution & Wealth Division, Passive & Alternative business lines, Amundi

Mairead McGuinness, European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union, said: “While there has been a visible increase in the number of women in leadership roles in finance in recent years, much work remains. Finance, particularly at management level, remains a male dominated world. 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. Today’s initiative is a really positive step in ensuring a greater diversity in finance for the ultimate benefit of the sector.”

Ana Botin, Santander Executive Chair, 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.”

JA Europe CEO Salvatore Nigro praised the new partnership and 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 new initiative with Bloomberg, we are creating a more diverse future of work and a more equitable society”.

Bloomberg has partnered with 2022 Nobel Peace Prize nominated NGO Junior Achievement since 1997 with over 330 employees dedicating their time and talents to support their work in 2021 alone. 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.

About Bloomberg

Bloomberg, the global business and financial information and news leader, gives influential decision makers a critical edge by connecting them to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas. The company’s strength – delivering data, news and analytics through innovative technology, quickly and accurately – is at the core of the Bloomberg Terminal. Bloomberg’s enterprise solutions build on the company’s core strength: leveraging technology to allow customers to access, integrate, distribute and manage data and information across organizations more efficiently and effectively. For more information, visit Bloomberg.com/company or request a demo.

About Junior Achievement

JA Europe is the largest organisation in Europe dedicated to preparing young people for employment and entrepreneurship. JA Europe is a member of JA Worldwide® which for 100 years has delivered hands on, experiential learning in entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy. JA creates pathways for employability, job creation and financial success. Together we work in 41 countries in Europe, offering 4 million learning experiences every year in core programmes and inspiring millions more through online events and activities.

For more information, visit jaeurope.org

Quotes from Ambassadors:

Ana Botin, Executive Chairman, Grupo Santander

“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.”

Nadia Calviño, First Vice-President of Spain, Minister for Economy and Digitalisation

“Women need to be at the table where important decisions are taken, be it in politics, media, top management or boards of leading companies and also finance. It is not only a matter of fairness but of economic rationale. Diversity leads to better decisions, we need to make the most of the skills and talent of 50 % of the population and closing the gender gap leads to higher growth. We have made great progress but there is still much to be done and we cannot wait 125 years to reach equality; we need to do something now and public policies are effective to close the gender gap and accelerate gender equality”.

“I would say to young girls to be self-assured. Do not let yourself down because your remarks were not considered at first. Keep on speaking up and aim for your personal goals.”

Elena Carletti, Professor of Finance, Bocconi University, Member of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Internal Control and Risk Committee, Unicredit Spa.

"The recent improvements in career advancement and leadership positions for women in finance have halted due to the pandemic, hindering an already slow process towards gender parity in boards as well as in executive positions. However, this crisis has given us the opportunity to rethink the workplace using hybrid work models and to propose strategies to boost women’s career growth opportunities at all corporate levels."

Natasha Cazenave, Executive Director, ESMA

“At ESMA we believe in equal opportunities and are keen to support further progress in the area of gender balance and diversity. I look forward to contributing through the Bloomberg EU Women in Finance initiative to raising awareness amongst young women of career opportunities in the financial sector and to reinforcing the role of women as leaders in finance.”

Olivia Grégoire, Secretary of State for the social economy, French Government

“It is an honor for me to be an ambassador for the ambitious EU Women in Finance initiative led by Bloomberg. Positive role models are key to succeed in unleashing women’s potential, and I’m proud to be involved into this great movement to motivate these incredible talents and participate in a more inclusive global finance world. I’m a strong believer that impact is the new age of capitalism, and this revolution will not be held properly if we leave apart one half of the population.”

Petra Hielkema, Chairperson, EIOPA

"We need gender balance across all levels of the organisation. This means not only encouraging young women into the sector, but nurturing them so they stay in the sector. The varied career paths showcased through this initiative will help to inspire the next generation to build their career in finance."

Katja Lammert, Member of the Board of Management, MEAG

“It is a great pleasure to become an ambassador for EU Women in Finance, as the initiative is committed to a cause that I am very passionate about: Empowering young women, promoting their education, and inspiring them to pursue a career in finance.”

Diony Lebot, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Société Générale

“I am both delighted and honoured to become an Ambassador for the Bloomberg EU Women in Finance initiative. This initiative will contribute to break the “mental barriers” which often prevent young girls from joining the industry. The financial sector needs them: they have all the capabilities and I hope they will have the desire to make a positive impact by having meaningful careers, leading change at a time when finance can play a significant role towards a more sustainable and inclusive world. There is still a long way to go!”

Virginie Maisonneuve, Global CIO Equities, Managing Director, Allianz Global Investors

"Taking ownership to promote gender diversity and inclusion in the financial industry with pragmatic initiatives is critical to its sustainability and future success. By giving access to practical information and financial stakeholders this program promises great impact."

Dr. Sabine Mauderer, Member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank

"I firmly believe that bringing more women into finance delivers tangible benefits across the industry, I encourage young women everywhere to be part of a new generation of leaders who is turning finance into a driving force for sustainability."

Mairead McGuinness, European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union, European Commission

“While there has been a visible increase in the number of women in leadership roles in finance in recent years, much work remains. Finance, particularly at management level, remains a male dominated world. 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. Today’s initiative is a really positive step in ensuring a greater diversity in finance for the ultimate benefit of the sector.”

Bettina Orlopp, CFO, Commerzbank

“I very much welcome Bloomberg's initiative to encourage more women to pursue careers in finance. We know that diverse teams usually make better decisions. This benefits our employees and our customers. Commerzbank has been investing in Diversity & Inclusion for many years in order to reflect the diversity of our society in our processes, products and solutions and, above all, at all management levels. That is why we have set ourselves the goal of increasing the proportion of women in management positions at our Bank to 40 % by 2030 and continuing to be "best in class" in all aspects of diversity.”

Irene Tinagli, Chair of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, European Parliament

“For decades, society has attached a strong stigma on women dealing with money. And even today, in many subtle ways, many parts of society keep telling women that earning, investing and managing money it is men’s work. We need to remove that stigma. Encourage more women to pursue economics and finance studies and careers, promote a continuous debate and remove all the obstacles.”

Anneka Treon, Managing Director, Head of Competence Center, Van Lanschot Kempen

“Women have been encouraged to lean in. But the real work only starts after you’ve leant in. That’s the moment you’re expected to deliver. We need to invest in building the conviction that women have about what they can bring to the table. This conviction is what provides the confidence to lean in.”

Fannie Wurtz, Head of Distribution & Wealth Division, Passive & Alternative business lines, Amundi

“I am honored to be an Ambassador for the Bloomberg EU Women in Finance initiative. At Amundi, we firmly believe in equal opportunities and I am convinced women should be daring and aspire to the top in their careers. Thank you Bloomberg and JA Europe!”

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