Finance sector

Financial Services – Fast Tracking Successful Business Women for Top 120 Key Roles


One global financial services firm with over 50,000 employees was struggling to move adequate numbers of successful business women into positions of leadership. There had been multiple leadership changes over a five year period. The organisation had made positive progress around racial diversity, mainly driven through government legislation, but they did not have sufficient female talent to feed into their pipeline of successful business women at executive level.


Increase the number of women in their ‘120 Key Roles’. Dr. Doyle-Morris of of InclusIQ concentrated on the ‘successor’ planning for those roles. She identified that 15% of those key roles, at the time, were held by women – just 18 successful business women. Moreover, of those 18 women, we established only four had a potential female successor.

InclusIQ Support:

Inclusiq recommended the development of a mentoring programme to move women closer to attaining ‘Key Role’ status. InclusIQ’s underlying remit throughout was to encourage the mentors assigned to these successful business women to take on more active sponsorship behaviours, a missing form of support for many professional women. InclusIQ delivered a mentoring programme pairing 11 female mentees
with the 11 Exco members (10 of whom were male).

Mentees chosen were high potential women in the running for a promotion or job stretch, in the next 12 months, which could take them into one of those 120 positions. InclusIQ guided the selection of pairings, delivered training of mentors and mentees and organised individual and group check-ins to ensure both partners were on track for their agreed goals and having their thinking stretched.

Results for 11 Successful Business Women as Mentees:

  • 5 of the mentees were promoted during the programme, with the others on track for stretch roles.
  • 7 were more committed to staying with the organisation than had been previously
  • 9 felt more successful in their current roles because of their mentor’s guidance
  • 10 felt their mentor would now advocate for them behind closed doors.

Results for 11 Financial Service Leaders as Mentors:

  • Feedback that they viewed female career progression from a new perspective
  • 2 of the participating Exco members started separate mentoring programmes in their own business units using Inclusiq model

InclusIQ was invited back by mentors the next year and asked to broaden the programme in Year 3.

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