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Opportunities and challenges for Women in the City

What can a woman expect from a career in the City? What are the benefits to a business of having a diverse workforce? Those were just a few of the issues tackled when 20 female students from the Bridge and Skinners’ academies attended a ‘Women in the City’ workshop.

Inspire! developed and delivered the workshop as part of the UBS annual diversity month. Hosted at the bank, the workshop was actively supported by UBS volunteers, including communications specialist, Holly Marshall, who provided an overview of UBS and Su Ungless, an executive director in the compliance division. Su talked about her personal experiences of being a woman in the financial world.

Students got to meet and question other UBS members of staff during a ‘Careers Carousel’; they took part in animated, thoughtful discussions about several inspirational women and in a quiz which tested their knowledge of women and work. The final component was to produce and deliver presentations on what they had learned from the workshop. The girls, now ambassadors of the ‘Women in the City’ programme, agreed to give their presentations to their peers back at school.

“I learnt more about how women are treated concerning work in our society’, one of the students wrote afterwards.

The visiting group certainly made a positive impact on the UBS staff who met and worked with them. “I was impressed with the students, they were engaged and seemed to learn a lot from the day,” said one of the volunteers. Another said the event had been very interesting and even prompted her to think about what inspires her.

95% of the students said they would consider working in a City company such as UBS – up from 75% before taking part in the workshop, while all participants reported that they better understood the careers available in the City and some of the key achievements of successful women in the business world as a result of the trip.