london stock exchange group welcomes wearethecity celebrating 10 years of gender networks

london stock exchange group welcomes wearethecity celebrating 10 years of gender networks

Gender Networks (formerly the Network of Networks) was founded in 2009 by Vanessa Vallely OBE, Managing Director of WeAreTheCity. The purpose of Gender Networks was to create a forum for corporate women’s networks, chairs and co-chairs to share network best practice, seek opportunities to leverage ideas and share challenges. In 2017, Gender Networks became a membership organisation and introduced an online resource portal for its members. The Gender Networks group now includes representation from 400 members from over 85 cross sector organisations in the UK. Gender Networks members meet quarterly throughout the year and are hosted by different member companies.

Gender Networks offers its members a wide range of resources to support corporate network chairs and D&I leaders. It brings together members on a quarterly basis to:

• Share best practice, particularly relating to the running of a gender network
• Educate our members on gender campaigns and initiatives that affect working women
• Enable our members, through the leverage of best practice, to develop effective growth strategies within their networks
• Provide a cross-company platform and network collaboration
• Facilitate network hacks to help networks grow
• Support and educate network leaders by expanding their knowledge of their peer group’s network campaigns, strategies, events and gender initiatives
• Provide a forum for our members to meet other network leaders
• Provide opportunities for organisations to support charitable initiatives
• Provide opportunities for network to network mentoring
• Provide an online resource platform to house templates, gender research papers and video recordings of all previous meetings and speakers.

Gender Networks also provides free consultancy and guidance to charities and not for profits who are looking to set up D&I/gender related networks/employee resource groups within their organisations.

Over the past few years, Gender Networks has engaged speakers and supported campaigns such as the London Mayor’s,Behind Every Great City  campaign and Dr Helen Pankhurst’s centenary activities, celebrating 100 years since some women were able to vote. They have welcomed speakers such as Brenda Trenowden CBE, Global Chair, 30% Club & Head of FIG Europe, ANZ Bank, Denise Wilson White OBE, Chair of the Hampton Alexander Report and Jude Kelly CBE, Curator of the Southbank’s, Women of the World festival. Through Gender Networks meetings, they also provide the opportunity for charities to share their work with our network members. To date they have provided a platform for over 20 charities, most of which have benefitted from connections and support for their various fund raising initiatives. 

Each year, Gender Networks members also contribute to a company-wide survey which details their strategic objections, how they are engaging men and the governance of their networks. This year, WeAreTheCity partnered with EY’s Women’s Network and Women. Fast Forward to conduct our survey and to produce their 2018/19 results. The launch event was opened by the Rt Hon Nicky Morgan who also spoke about her support for the work of Gender Networks alongside her views on the world of work for women.

Vanessa Vallely OBE, founder of Gender Networks, said: “The Networks of Networks has always been an amazing platform for network leaders to share best practice, learn about wider gender initiatives and make connections. We have seen so many successes over the years, such as joint member events, cost savings for our member’s networks, successful sharing of best practice as well as the opportunity to focus on topical issues such as women on boards, pay gap and how our networks support the female pipeline. I am delighted to be celebrating our 10th Birthday in such an iconic setting. My sincere thanks to the LSE for their support and for providing this opportunity to celebrate our 10th birthday alongside all of our members and special guests”.

Today’s 10th birthday celebration will be hosted by Diane Côté, Chief Risk Officer and Chair of WIN at London Stock Exchange Group, Vanessa Vallely OBE, Founder of Gender Networks and WeAreTheCity, Baroness Goudie, Member of the British House of Lords and Birgit Neu, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, HSBC. The event will also be attended by over 100 network leaders from FTSE firms such as Barclays, Bloomberg, PwC, Lloyds Bank, EY and Commerzbank.

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