ICAEW.com works better with JavaScript enabled.

Women in EU Finance Network

A conversation for women working in the EU financial services and investment policy arena.


About the series

The “Women in EU Finance Network” is an ICAEW Europe initiative to bring together professionals interested in gender equality in the EU financial services and investment policy arena. We organise regular events to help share success stories, discuss persistent challenges and drive change by strengthening the connections between women (and men) working in financial services in Brussels and beyond, irrespective of seniority.

If you would like to know more about this initiative, please do get in touch via europe@icaew.com.

Upcoming events

Gender mainstreaming in practice: lessons from the EU budget

1 June 2021, 10.30 – 11.45 CET

Gender equality is one of the EU’s fundamental values and a significant driving force behind economic growth. The EU is committed to enhancing gender mainstreaming by “systematically including a gender perspective in all stages of policy design in all policy areas” (EU 2020-2025 Gender Equality Strategy). Incorporating a gender perspective into fiscal planning and budgetary processes, a practice known as gender budgeting, can be an essential tool to assess and target the effects of policy actions and public spending on different genders, promoting greater accountability and transparency. But is gender budgeting achieving its desired aims? What has been the experience of the EU with regard to its own budget? Is international best practice being applied in Europe? A forthcoming audit on gender mainstreaming in the EU budget by the European Court of Auditors will provide insight into whether and how EU gender equality goals are reflected in key EU budget-spending areas. Join our next online conversation to gain first hand insight into the findings and recommendations of the Court’s report, due to be published in late May, with Dr Katharina Bryan (European Court of Auditors), Alfrun Tryggvadottir (OECD), Janja Kaker Kavar and Bojan Kraut (Permanent Representation of Slovenia to the EU) and Alison Ring OBE FCA (ICAEW).

Past events


Conversation with Ms Evelyn Regner MEP

On 2 February, the Women in EU Finance Network hosted an online conversation with Ms Evelyn Regner, Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality and member of the Economic and Financial Affairs Committee. The wide-ranging discussion with participants calling in from around Europe discussed women in financial leadership, how to mainstream gender into policy-making as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on gender equality and what steps can be taken to ensure a gender smart recovery.


Conversation on gender smart recovery spending

On 9 October, the Women in EU Finance Network hosted an online meeting with a select number of representatives from the European Commission and senior professionals from different parts of the financial industry to exchange views on what could be done to ensure that women do not miss on out COVID-19 recovery spending. Participants considered ways of addressing existing barriers which might limit the ability of women – as investors, entrepreneurs and business leaders – from fully participating in European and national programmes.

Addressing the gender gap in financial well-being

On 19 February, the Women in EU Finance Network breakfast took a closer look at how financial well-being differs by gender – and why a better understanding of this gap is a critical step towards ensuring that potential policy responses are appropriately designed. The event brought together Bróna Ní Chobhthaigh, author of the recent DG ECFIN discussion paper, Understanding the Gender Gap in Financial Well-Being, alongside Frances Fitzgerald MEP and Aleksandra Mączyńska, Executive Director, Better Finance. The breakfast was kindly hosted by the Permanent Representation of Ireland with the support of Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI).


Women in finance: Perspectives from across Europe

On 21 November, ICAEW Europe and the City of London Corporation Office co-organised a special afternoon panel discussion with women leaders from across the continent to discuss gender-related trends in financial services. The event brought together Vivienne Artz (Chief Privacy Officer at Refinitiv and President of Women in Banking and Finance), Mara Catherine Harvey (Head Global UHNW Germany, Austria, Italy at UBS), Julia von Buttlar (Deputy Head of Division, Directorate for Securities Supervision at BaFin), Milda Dargužaitė (Group CEO, Northern Horizon Capital) Valérie Derambure (Deputy CEO, Ostrum Asset Management), Véronique Nejman (Chief Operating Officer, ING France) and Fiona Wilkinson (ICAEW President). It also marked the centenary of Mary Harris Smith, the first woman ever to become a chartered accountant and a member of ICAEW, in 1920.

Is sustainable finance gender neutral?

On 10 September, ICAEW Europe and Accountancy Europe co-organised a Women in EU Finance breakfast with a view to taking a gender lens to the EU Sustainable Finance Agenda. At the centre of discussion was the question of whether the focus on green finance, given the urgent need to tackle climate change, limits the attention paid to social and governance considerations as they impact women. Following keynote remarks by Mario Nava (Director, DG Fisma, European Commission), reflections were shared by a panel of speakers including Dawn Slevin (Managing Director, Environmental Liability Solutions Europe), Burçak Inel (Head of Financing Growth, European Banking Federation) and Eleni Kanelli (Head of Advocacy, Accountancy Europe).

Supporting women’s careers in the EU financial services arena

On 4 July, our Women in EU Finance Network met to discuss what can be done to help women get ahead in the EU financial services and insurance policy arena. With the kind support of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Federation of European Securities Exchanges (FESE), participants engaged in lively conversation on recruitment policies and talent management while sharing best (and worst) practices. Conversations continued over networking drinks with our expert panellists; Anne-Sylvie Catherin (Director General for Human Resources, European Central Bank – ECB), Louise Harvey (Non-Executive Chair, FTI Consulting), Constance Kann (Director, Institutional Relations and Public Affairs, European Investment Bank – EIB) and Maria Demertzis (Deputy Director, Bruegel).

Is there a financial literacy gender gap?

On 19 June, ICAEW Europe and Intrum co-hosted the fifth Women in EU Finance breakfast exploring how adequate financial literacy underpins the ability of individuals to be effective participants in the economy and how it enables them to make informed financial choices. The discussion was informed by contributions from Anne-Françoise Mélot (Head of Unit – Free movement of capital and application of EU law, DG FISMA), Anna Fall (Chief Brand & Communications Officer, Intrum), Raymond Frenken (Head of Communications & Financial Literacy, European Banking Federation) and Diana Filip (Deputy CEO, JA Europe).

Closing the pension gender gap

On 26 March, ICAEW Europe and AGE Platform Europe co-hosted a Women in EU Finance breakfast focused on the role of the financial services sector in addressing the pension gender gap in Europe. Reflections on the scale of the challenge and potential steps to start tackling the gap were shared by Nathalie Berger (Head of Unit - Insurance and Pensions, European Commission), Anne-Sophie Parent (Secretary-General, AGE Platform Europe), Michaela Koller (Director General, Insurance Europe), Goedele Van der Linden (Director, Government Relations for Europe, Marsh & McLennan Companies) and Elisabeth Ottawa (Deputy Head of Public Policy, Schroders).


Exploring gender issues in Fintech

On 27 November, ICAEW Europe and EY co-hosted a third Women in EU Finance breakfast exploring the role FinTech can play in fostering gender parity and making women part of the gender equation. The discussion was informed by contributions from Felicia Stanescu, Head of Unit, Financial Services Policy and International Affairs, European Commission, Ilona Gattung, Executive Director - EY Belgium, Patricia Boydens, Chief Commercial Officer, Harmoney / VP of FinTech Belgium and Christine Kiefer, Founder, Fintech Ladies.

The female voice in financial communication

On 17 October, ICAEW Europe hosted the second meeting of the “Women in EU Finance Network”, bringing together women working in the EU financial and investment policy are to discuss gender issues in financial communication. The discussion informed by contributions from Letizia Lupini, Press Officer for Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, European Commission, Rebecca Christie, Writer/Journalist and Lynn Nicholson, Communication Director, Invest Europe.

Women in EU Finance – inaugural meeting

On 10 July, ICAEW Europe launched the first discussion in a new light-touch initiative to bring together women working on EU finance and investment policy. Following a debate during last year’s Invest Week on how to encourage greater gender representation and awareness in financial policy, we hope the network will provide an informal platform to discuss related trends and regulatory developments while exploring the contributions made by (primarily) women in this area. The inaugural discussion was joined by Paulina Dejmek-Hack, Financial Adviser to the President of the European Commission, Kay Swinburne MEP, Vice-Chair of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, and Chris Muyldermans, Counsel Regulatory Affairs, Corporate Public Affairs, KBC.