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Creating more inclusive mentorship and sponsorship programs within the company, attracting more millennial women into financial services, and new interview procedures to attract top talent in the industry are some of the best practices for recruiting women into financial services management positions.

1. Mentorship and Sponsorship Programs

  • Since men are more likely to have managers and senior leaders act as sponsors than women, creating more inclusive mentorship and sponsorship programs helps in providing advice and identifying opportunities.
  • Companies need to ensure that they have mentorship and sponsorship programs designed with a gender intelligent lens that would recruit/support women to get into the C-suite.
  • According to Korn Ferry Institute survey, 65% of women CEOs hadn’t realized they could be CEOs until someone else suggested it. By having relevant experience, the support of sponsors who recommend women for such job rotations, and assignments women succeed being CEOs.
  • Companies also need to set clear expectations of managers, mentors, and sponsors and equip them with the tools to support women effectively.
  • Making mentors a priority was listed as the “four ways to attract and retain top female talent” which gives them access, support, and challenges them.

Implementation

  • Companies can make sure everyone understands the difference between mentors and sponsors.
  • Women should seek mentors early in their careers and consider having multiple mentors who span geographies, lines of business, areas of expertise, levels of seniority, and have the skills and experiences they seek.
  • Mentors can then bridge towards finding a sponsor.
  • Similarly, sponsors can use their influence to make sure women get recommended for the promotions and types of projects that will give her experiences and visibility.
  • Companies also need to prioritize and coach mentors and sponsors on how these engagements are different for women.
  • Then create formal mentorship and sponsorship programs for high-potential women and pair them with mentors and sponsors.
  • This can also be implemented by giving women more access to male networks that will develop and connect high-potential women with senior leaders.
  • In order to promote women in management positions, State Street Global Advisors released the “Fearless Girl” statue in New York City’s financial district to draw attention to their call on companies to add more women to their boards.
  • Similarly, EY offers Global Next Gen (GNG) that identifies top men and women and gives them access to senior leaders and potential sponsors to build the skills and characteristics necessary to lead.
  • We also saw a global program where the mentors and mentees will register online at the women in payments mentorship program page.
  • With the provided background and qualifying information, they will be given the option to be paired with someone from their own country or a different country to gain valuable career guidance from experienced mentors from the industry.

2. Millennial Women

  • Recruiting millennials and changing customer demographics is listed as the top financial services industry recruiting trends of 2019.
  • The popularity of finance careers are dropping by 22% since 2008 and 40% of top MBA graduates are less likely to work in investment banking. The need of the hour is to recruit and retain millennial graduates.
  • With millennials outnumbering baby boomers by 2019, and have surpassed the Gen X’ers “who are the backbone of today’s financial services leadership”, there is a need to recruit millennials and especially women.
  • To recruit and/or promote female talent in management positions in the industry, the firms need to think about how they can attract and nurture talent.
  • With more millennial women likely to have a college degree than their male peers and employment rates climb with education.
  • Millennial women in the industry want a job with purpose, opportunities for growth and career development, flexibility and work-life balance, competitive rewards and benefits, job stability, diversity and inclusion, and a re-entry path.

Implementation

  • To attract such women, companies should offer them to work remotely one or two days per week. Telecommuting and working remotely among millennials are highly appreciated.
  • Setting accurate goals and career path for millennials keep them engaged. This can be achieved by challenging them with more difficult projects or allowing them to collaborate with executives.
  • Other means to implement this practice includes brainstorming meetings and career growth prospects.
  • Creating a supportive work environment will keep millennial employees more engaged in their careers.
  • SunTrust Banks Inc. has instituted financial fitness programs geared towards millennials.

3. New Interview Procedures

  • Companies now recruit potential hires based on assignments and tests to ensure they are well suited for the job as unconventional new interviews are on the rise.
  • This new hiring trend even has Forbes addressing the issue as “take-home assignments”.
  • New companies are accelerating smarter with better hiring processes for these hard-to-fill jobs with AI-enabled interviewing technology.

Implementation

  • Company’s integrate text recruiting, automated scheduling, on-demand and live interviews, industry assessments, unbiased candidate review along with video, voice, and text interviews in the finance industry.
  • Potential hires can be expected to write grant proposals, produce webinars, and to do take-home assignments as a part of their recruitment process.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

We examined several credible sources and came across a lot of practices for recruiting women into financial services management positions. Practices that have been mentioned by multiple esteemed sources were considered as ‘best’ practices.

TDM

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