Diversity and inclusion are important to Smart. Both the technology and financial services industries tend to be characterised by relatively low representation of women and minority groups. Improving our organisation’s diversity and inclusion (D&I) will continue to be key to both attracting and retaining talent.
The Smart Women’s Network
We created the Smart Women’s Network (SWN) so that women across our offices around the world can connect with each other in ways that will support their own development, while fast-tracking Smart’s progress towards gender equality. This initiative is sponsored by two of our executive team members, Kate Ross, Chief Delivery Officer of Smart, and Jamie Fiveash, Chief Executive Officer of Smart UK.
According to McKinsey’s annual Lean In: Women in the Workplace study, the biggest obstacle women face on the path to senior leadership is at the first step up to manager. For every 100 men promoted and hired to manager, only 87 women are promoted and hired. This is known as the “broken rung” – and the SWN is one way we hope to avoid this at Smart.
The SWN offers women at Smart the opportunity to meet and learn from colleagues and experts, and discuss issues that are relevant to women at Smart. This includes networking and events, as well as informal mentorship and sponsorship connections. The SWN provides a sounding board for new women-focused communications and policies developed by Smart’s leadership, and fosters a culture of active allyship.
140 women attended our first session from Smart’s locations around the world. Feedback on our first session was overwhelmingly positive.