Welcome to the Women in Investment Festival

in partnership with HSBC Global Asset Management

Tuesday 3 March | The Brewery, London

The successful investment firm of the future will be differentiated by its culture and its ability to attract the best talent. Women of all races, ages and backgrounds bring a variety of input, opinion and challenge that brings huge value to every part of an organisation and drives innovation.

However, how many times have you been into the boardroom, a conference, or a meeting room and been one of the few women in the room. With many companies still struggling to promote women into senior roles, we need to have candid, open, and courageous discussions about diversity and inclusion.

This festival will seek to serve as a beacon for the benefits of a truly diverse industry for all, whatever gender, colour or creed. Although it will naturally talk to and celebrate the achievements of women, we also believe we should showcase the role men play in the equation, and highlight examples of best practice where their support is helping to drive change for true gender equality.

Investment Week, Professional Adviser, Professional Pensions, Retirement Planner and Investment Europe have collaborated to launch the Women in Investment Festival. We’ll be celebrating successful women in the investment industry, sharing personal experiences of their journeys and the challenges along the way. This one-day, three streamed festival, taking place just ahead of International Women's Day 2020, will ask the hard questions: What is working and what isn’t when it comes to recruiting, promoting, and retaining top talent? What does an “inclusive” work culture look like? How do we move from D&I as not just a business case but a strategic imperative.

Our Mission Statement

Investment Week, Professional Adviser, Professional Pensions, Retirement Planner and Investment Europe are looking beyond the male dominated workforces, managerial boards, and industry events to find the women that are driving change.

Our mission is to celebrate women who are already at the top of their game within the investment industry, retain women in the profession, influence the culture from within and create demand for diversity as an industry imperative. We’re creating a network to enable women to share their experiences, advice, and raise awareness of challenges we are yet to overcome. To enable investment firms who are already challenging the status quo to share their successes and help forge real change in the industry and ensure lasting longevity.

Whether you’ve just left university, a manager, a director, a woman, or a man – you have a part to play in helping us tackle the gender diversity deficit. Our goal is that one day soon, this campaign will no longer be necessary.

Time until the event


The festival is open to all those working in the investment, adviser and pension industry.

  • Accountants
  • Actuaries
  • Asset Managers
  • CEOs
  • CFOs
  • Chair of Trustees
  • Chairs of Investment Sub-Committees
  • Chief Investment Officers
  • Compliance Financial Directors
  • Fund Managers
  • Human Resources
  • Independent Financial Advisers
  • Independent Trustees
  • Investment Analysts
  • Investment Consultants
  • Investment Managers
  • Marketing
  • Pension Consultants
  • Sales Solicitors / Legal advisers
  • Treasurers Trustees
  • Wealth Managers


Registration and breakfast

Delegates register, network and breakfast in exhibition area


Welcome from your host for the festival Julia Streets

Opening keynote
Breaking the glass ceiling: an economic case for gender diversity

Women are underrepresented at all levels of the global financial system, but nowhere is that more stark than at board level, where figures show that women account for less than 2 percent of financial institutions’ chief executive officers and less than 20 percent of executive board members. The predominance of men in senior positions in financial services companies is a symptom of broader problems. Overly narrow criteria for advancement, outdated leadership models, inflexible working practices and bias in talent management all contribute to a lack of diversity, highlighting a recognised need for improved values and behaviors. Tackling these issues is not just “the right thing to do”; it also benefits the organisation, its employees, its customers and investors.

Plenary Panel: Ethnic Women in Investment

Women are still a significant minority in the UK’s financial sector. But if you’re from an ethnic minority AND female, you’re probably among only a handful in your organisation. What is the impact of this on the human being, the person and the woman? How do you deal with the potential isolation and cultural gap in your daily work life? And what is changing in the workplace – among both employers and workers – to bring about change for a more inclusive workforce.

Refreshments and Networking Break in Exhibition Hub
Extended lunch with ‘building your network’ session

During this lunch session delegates will be invited to join a speed-networking session, consisting of 5 minute networking intervals – we recommend talking to a variety of industries and seniority levels. The session is designed to address some of the following areas:

• How to navigate the challenges of traditional networking.

• The importance of surrounding yourself with supportive connections.

• Building a network inside and outside your organisation.

Next Generation

Lifting the Lid on Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome has been the subject of research for over 40 years, but the persistent inability to believe that one's success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved can be debilitating, causing stress, anxiety, low self-confidence, even shame and depression. This session will lift the lid on imposter syndrome, give tips on how to combat it, and consider if it has underpinned failure in some diversity inclusion projects.

Think Productive!

Everyone faces pressures in their working life, but women are often the driving force in their private as well as their corporate lives, even more so when they have families. This session will give practical suggestions for maximising productivity to reduce the pressure of competing priorities.

Are men doing enough to drive change?

This event is called Women in Investment, so why you may ask are we running a session looking at what men can do? In reality men are still pulling most of the strings in the investment industry and therefore their buy-in is extremely important. This session will address what male managers could be doing to further their female colleagues careers, how men can support D&I initiatives and how they can champion inclusivity in their industry.

Inspirational Leaders

Tales from the top

A warts and all story of one woman’s career journey from the bottom to the top of her industry, including highlights – and low lights – along the way, and the lessons she’s learned.

A winning mindset

Achieving equality in the workplace is a journey, and it’s not realistic to think every firm will arrive there overnight. So how should and could women react to instances of inequality, often the unthinking result of generational or cultural differences? What language can they use to positively and proactively push back, without alienating otherwise well-meaning colleagues, or – better still - get them on side?

Presentation skills

Industry Innovation

Management criteria

State of European Tech report found that of the $23 billion invested in firms in 2018 all-male founding teams received 93% of funding and accounted for 85% of all deals over the year. Meanwhile, nearly half of all women polled said they had experienced discrimination, leading to the only conclusion that the investment industry needs to undertake a widespread review of its funding procedures in order to redress this balance. This session will shine the spotlight on what the industry can do to affect change in the wider business market, the investment community still remains male-dominated, and as such, investors are not necessarily attuned to the products that may be geared to a female market.

Panel: Gender Perspectives

Gender equality should matter as much for men as for women, yet inevitably both sexes come at it from very different perspectives. A shared responsibility is critical to achieving equality, but understanding each other’s perspective is a vital step to reaching this point. This session will consider the challenges that women face, how men perceive those challenges and what can be done to address them. We will also explore the gender stereotypes men face, and how that further embeds stereotypes for women and consider practical joint steps every workplace can take to create a gender equal culture.

Gender pay gap

A report compiled by PwC in association with the Diversity Project has revealed that the gender pay gap in the investment management sector has continued to grow, making it the second worst of the 22 sectors reviewed. Of the five sectors with the highest gender pay gaps, investment management was the only one to see no improvement, reporting a mean gap of 31% (second only to banking at 32%). With only 23.2% of the upper quartile female the investment industry also has the lowest percentage of higher paid women. How can the industry solve the so called ‘chicken and egg’ scenario, encourage younger women into the industry and tackling the issue right now instead of relying on future change.

Extended lunch with ‘building your network’ session

During this lunch session delegates will be invited to join a speed-networking session, consisting of 5 minute networking intervals – we recommend talking to a variety of industries and seniority levels. The session is designed to address some of the following areas:

  • How to navigate the challenges of traditional networking.
  • The importance of surrounding yourself with supportive connections.
  • Building a network inside and outside your organisation.

Flying the flag for shared parental leave

Shared Parental Leave was introduced in 2015, allowing parents the right to split up to 52 weeks of shared parental leave between them following the birth of a child, as well as up to 39 weeks of statutory shared parental pay. It was a dramatic shift in the law, intended to enable fathers to play a bigger role in childcare and enable mothers to go back to their careers earlier if they so wished. Around 285,000 couples are eligible every year for shared parental leave, but the government says take up is as low as 2% - meaning the lion’s share of childcare responsibilities continues to be carried out by mothers. This session will consider the benefits for businesses and families, the reasons for poor take up, what companies can do to change the status quo, and the vital role of male senior executives in leading by example.


Gender bias – the human element

  • How can the language used in job applications be less tailored towards men?
  • What benefits should you be advertising to be more gender neutral?
  • What barriers need to be changed to help encourage women to progress in their careers?
  • Does your interview technique need a rehaul?

Fostering team diversity

  • How can men and women collaborate to improve diversity in the industry?
  • What successful programmes have companies been implementing?
  • Where are the key failings of diversity in the industry, and how can it be over-come?

Refreshments and networking break
Entering the industry

• Emboldening young women to identify their transferable skills to find an entry point into financial service businesses

• How can education regarding roles within the industry be improved?

• How to encourage women into a broader spectrum of technology roles

• What qualifications should you be aiming for, and how much of an impact will they have?

Closing Keynote: What does an “inclusive” work culture look like?

• What still needs to be changed within the industry?

• How can the industry continue to drive change?

• The future of financial services development and the opportunities this presents.

Closing remarks
Drinks reception and networking
Julia Streets
Julia Streets
Festival host

Julia Streets is a business woman, writer and comedian.

Julia is regularly booked as a host, chair or keynote speaker at industry conferences around the world. She is an evangelist and commentator on innovation and change, particularly in the world of financial services & technology and is called upon to talk about diversity and inclusion.

As an entrepreneur, Julia is the Founder and CEO of Streets Consulting, the business development, marketing and communications consultancy working with clients – from early stage startups to some of the world’s largest organisations. She has enjoyed a 25+ year career in financial services and previously held senior executive positions at the stock exchange group NYSE Euronext and the international brokerage firm, Instinet.

Julia was been named one of Brummell Magazine’s 30 Inspirational Women on Boards. The same City publication named her one of their 30 Inspirational Women Entrepreneurs and 30 Women of Influence. She is regularly named one of the 30 Power Women in Fintech by Innovate Finance and this year has been shortlisted as Fintech Champion in the Women in Finance awards. In addition to running the City business she founded, Julia regularly performs at corporate events, hosts gala dinners, is an after dinner speaker and an auctioneer. Julia has been written about in The Financial Times, City AM, The Daily Telegraph; she has been featured on BBC Radio 4‘s Today Programme and is a regular guest on BBC Radio Kent's Drivetime show discussing her favourite topic of business, comedy and the comedy of business.

Julia has been featured on radio, TV and in the national and regional press, and is the host and executive producer of DiverCity Podcast, exploring the subject of diversity and inclusion in financial services. Comfortable on large stages, Julia has been invited to host royal, charity and industry gala dinners and awards, drawing on a mass of her own comedy material observing corporate behaviour. In 2012 Julia's first book 'The Lingua Franca of the Corporate Banker' was published, lampooning the excessive use of corporate jargon. Julia also pens the light-hearted 'Watercooler' column in the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants' global monthly magazine. She proudly serves as a Trustee for Street Child, a charity dedicated to improving the lives of children and their communities in post-conflict, hard to reach territories by delivering a sustainable approach to education.

Venue - The Brewery, London

This event is working towards the International Standard ISO 20121 and follows guidance set out by the Sustainable Event Alliance (SEA)


For ticket queries:
Rebecca Hancock
Head of Marketing
+44 (0)20 3727 9924
For programme queries:
Paige Reeves
Conference Manager
+44 (0)20 7484 9810
For logistics queries:
Victoria Newell
Senior Event Manager
+44 (0)20 7484 9981