Spotlighting the women of HTB

International Women's Day and how to #BreakTheBias

The 8th of March recognises International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate the social, cultural, economic, and political achievements of women. This year’s theme “Break The Bias” stands to build a world that is diverse, equitable and inclusive regardless of gender.

This year we gave the spotlight to the women of HTB to contribute to the conversation and share their thoughts on how women are breaking the bias.


Do you have a female role model who you think has broken the bias?


“Sanna Marin – she is the youngest Prime Minister in Finnish history who now has a female majority cabinet and has had her first child whilst in office. None of these things should be surprising in 2022 but unfortunately they still are.” – Zoe Burtwistle

“My role model is my mum. She travelled to the UK on her own in her teens and settled here. She set up a business with my dad. That business now employs over 100 staff. Oh – and she brought up 5 children too!” – Pui Wah Poon

“Malala Yousef is the youngest Nobel Prize laureate the world has seen. She overcame an assassination in Palestine at the age of 15, and to campaign for women’s rights and children’s rights to an education.” – Anonymous card


Do you think financial services has done enough to help with gender diversity? If it could do more, what would you suggest?


“Yes and no. Whilst I have noticed that there are more women in financial services, there is still a lack of visible female leaders. I do believe great strides are being taken to improve this but there is still more work to be done.” – Jessica Weedon

“The workforce as a whole has come a long way in terms of gender diversity but the glass ceiling is the main barrier women in the industry continue to face. Unfortunately, absent gender quotas which I don’t agree with, this isn’t an issue with a binary solution.” – Sophie Hurrell

“I think a lot of positive things have been done, for example around flexible working, parental leave, women’s networks and mentoring – I have personally benefitted from all of these. But, although the proportion of women on ExCos and Boards have increased, women still only make up 20% of executive committees. The shocking thing is that the percentage of men and women entering Finance and Financial Services is roughly equal – women are just not rising up the ranks as fast as the men. So we do need to do more. We need to talk about unconscious bias – we all suffer from it (even women!) – more training in this area would be a start.” – Pui Wah poon


How do you feel HTB helps in breaking the bias? Could it do more, if so, what?


“I think HTB is a good example of gender diversity. There are quite a few great examples of females within senior roles who are fantastic role models for other women looking to achieve success. They are proof that gender does not play a part in determining success within HTB.” – Abbie Creed

“The senior leadership team are representative of the HTB Team as a whole – we have lots of women and we all have a voice, which is fantastic.  We would love to see more women progress within or outside of HTB and the support is there to ensure every member of the team can – irrespective of their gender.” – Louisa Sedgwick

“HTB introduced a Women in Leadership programme to a selection of women throughout the organisation, of which I was chosen to take part in. I had great encouragement from my team to do this.” – Jessica Weedon


What advice would you give a younger version of yourself?


“Don’t be afraid to take chances and don’t be afraid to have a voice, you’d be surprised how many people value your opinion. Also don’t feel obliged to always eat the office snacks – your future self will thank you!” – Natalie Parker

“Look to other women for help and advice, the times in my career where I have improved the most and subsequently been promoted have all been when I’ve had very good managers who have supported and encouraged me, they also happen to all have been women.” – Zoe Burtwistle

“You will see others fall into the trap of trying to adopt what are perceived to be “more male” traits to succeed in the workplace. Don’t join them.” – Lisa Crane