What International Women’s Day means to Wren Sterling

Financial advice is a male-dominated industry. According to the FCA, just 16% of independent financial advisers are women and we’re similar, with 12% of our IFAs being women. It’s a change we want to be part of, so we’re pleased to be supporting so many women in Wren Sterling with the professional qualifications they need to build a career in financial advice.

But IWD is about so much more than promoting equality in traditional male dominated industries in the UK. It’s a global movement to highlight the achievements of women and the oppression and disadvantage that many face at vastly different levels across the world.

Making it personal

This International Women’s Day, we asked our people what it means to them and here are some of the women that have made a difference to them, personally and professionally. By sharing our stories, we want to inspire our people and everyone who interacts with Wren Sterling to show how we are made stronger by the women in our life.

On Friday 7th March, we’re going to be discussing what IWD means to us and sharing resources to help understand more of the challenges women face in the UK and around the world.

Who inspires us?

Sarah Herd, our Director of Employee Benefits and Engagement cited her mentor, Jane Galvin:

“Jane was the Head of Barclays Corporate Banking and was mentor when I worked there. She was a great listener, motivator and role model. She held events with guest speakers to encourage women at Barclays to aspire to be the best they could. One that sticks in my mind was a talk from Lady Barbara Judge who was also an inspiration. Jane invested her time in me for which I am grateful. She climbed the ranks to a very senior position whilst also raising a family. She shows that anything is possible if you put your mind to it!”

Sarah Baum, a Paraplanner in our Integrations Team chose her sister Catherine:

“Catherine embodies kindness and selflessness, always prioritizing others, regardless of her own challenges or her demanding schedule. An incredible Mum, navigating demanding hours at a boarding school, she still manages to carve out precious time to be there for those in need. Her altruism is matched by her infectious energy, which effortlessly transforms any room she enters, creating an atmosphere of pure ease. I’ve admired her throughout my life, her students of all genders are incredibly lucky to have her as an inspiring role model, as am I.”

And it’s not just people we work with who inspire us. James Twining, Wren Sterling’s CEO picked out the story of Hedy Lamarr.

“I have always been fascinated by Hedy Lamarr and found her a constant source of inspiration for how I have tried to live my own life. For those of you who don’t know her, she was born in Austria in 1914 and became a film star during Hollywood’s golden age. But my fascination with her stems from her achievements as an inventor. Her finest hour came in WWII. Along with avant-garde composer George Antheil, she co-invented a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes that used spread spectrum and frequency hopping technology to defeat the threat of radio jamming by the Axis powers. Her invention still sits at the heart of Bluetooth technology today. There are several reasons I find her so inspiring.  Firstly, I admire the fact that she was largely self-taught, having no formal training and investing her spare time, including on set between takes, in designing and drafting inventions. Secondly, I am attracted to the way she was able to master such different disciplines and live several different lives at once.  That is something to aspire to! Finally, her entrepreneurial drive provides a fantastic role model.”

Abi Rae, our Talent and Development Manager, is inspired by her mum, Deborah Smith.

“A true champion of her female friends and family, my mum, Deborah Smith, is just wonderful. She is smart, bright and draws everyone’s attention in any room she is in. She is a natural rebel and won’t stand for any nonsense. Prior to having children she ran a successful children’s clothes design and manufacturing business with her best friend, which she started from the garage of her parents house.

She never stops talking and is curious about the world, people and their lives, experiences and opinions. She is a terrible technophobe and wholeheartedly rejects almost all advances in modern technology! She is a fun, intelligent, free-spirit with her head screwed on and who has the measure of most people within five minutes of meeting them. I couldn’t wish for a better role model and advocate.”

Becky Snell, our HR adviser admires her best friend, Amy White.

“Not only working as a VP of an international company and travelling a lot, she also is an amazing mum to one biological son and one adopted with many additional needs. Even though her work and family take up so much of her time she without fail will always make time for her friends and offer to help and support where she can. And this is why she is my best friend.”