International Women's Day Blog from Indesser CFO Helen Windle
International Women’s Day has occurred for well over a century with the first gathering held in 1911. A global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. This years’ theme is #ChooseToChallenge
I plan to challenge myself and the Indesser team to discover new ways we can help forge a gender equal world by celebrating women’s achievement, raising awareness against bias and taking action for equality.
Here at Indesser, social value is built into our DNA, so equality, diversity and inclusion are really important topics for us, where we have already made significant progress. As a business:
- As a business we have made the Social Mobility Pledge. We're encouraging the partners in our supply chain to make the pledge too.
- We are challenging the gender pay gap by committing to voluntary gender pay gap reporting.
- We are committed to open recruitment practices completed by those who have had unconscious bias training.
My personal commitment is that in my leadership role I will challenge practices that I see that forge a gender unequal world.
Despite women being under-represented in senior roles across the Financial Services and Debt sectors, we have a lot to be proud of here at Indesser. Two of Indesser's key executive roles are held by women, which includes myself as Chief Financial Officer and Rhona Parry as CEO who has recently started maternity leave.
Having our CEO on maternity leave is fabulous news for the Indesser family, but also a shining example of diversity in action as Rhona takes on an even greater challenge, as she is expecting twins very soon. Whilst remaining part of the Indesser board, I know Rhona is delighted to leave Indesser in the capable hands of Interim CEO Paul Verner, who was already a valuable member of the Indesser board, having spent more than 13 years with Indesser and TDX Group.
I asked Paul why International Women’s Day is important to him in his new role. Paul said "As a proud father of four young women I want them to be able to be treated equally throughout their careers. So as Interim CEO, I want to continue to build on the good work Indesser and its network have done to attract and develop the talented women we have in our business. Maintaining a working environment that is respectful and flexible to the needs of all."
I couldn't agree with you more Paul, having twin teenage daughters of my own.
I am starkly aware more work needs to be done across the wider business community to forge a more gender equal world. In the list of FTSE 350 firms we have just 17 female Chief Executives and only 16% of CFOs are women.*
So I invite you to challenge yourself. What can you do to help forge a gender equal world?
You can find out more about International Women’s Day 2021 and #ChooseToChallenge here.
As Chief Financial Officer of Indesser Helen is a Director and a Board member, alongside being Indesser’s Finance leader. Prior to joining Indesser, Helen was Financial Controller at Equifax, one of the three largest consumer credit reporting agencies, where she led a large and diverse team to deliver a range of financial and accounting services. She is an accomplished business leader who exhibits passion, authority and diligence in decisions affecting a supply chain of more than 500 people across the UK.