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Focus on diversity, gender equity in accelerator programme

Apex Group Ltd, the Bermudian-based global financial services provider, has launched the Women’s Accelerator Programme, a development initiative designed to drive equity for female progression and diversity at all levels within the group.

The company, established in Bermuda in 2003, said the scheme focuses on elevating female talent and will provide programme members with the tools and skills to advance professionally and reach their full potential.

It added that the programme aims to accelerate the progress of high-performing female talent through the business, eroding the gender disparity at mid and senior-management levels to provide a clear path for career progression.

As part of the financial services industry, Apex said, it is taking accountability, putting this proactive initiative in place to play a part in addressing this inequity.

This merit-based programme is part of the group’s commitment to women’s empowerment and driving positive change in the industry.

Apex said women make up around 52 per cent of the workforce across the financial services industry, but that percentage declines at each rung of the career ladder resulting in representation of 37 per cent at mid-management, and just 16 per cent in the C-suite.

Sixty-two women from 16 locations across the group have been invited to join the inaugural programme in 2022.

Apex said the women’s accelerator will provide discussion forums for members to share experiences, discuss challenges and celebrate successes to nurture development and encourage peer-to-peer learning and mentorship.

Members will be offered access to monthly closed-room roundtables and community forum, invitations to hear and learn from female speakers, networking and mentoring opportunities, additional tailored training and development courses, and opportunity for fast-track career progression.

The company said the programme will equip participants with additional resources to further their careers, faster. By sharing experiences with a community of peers, individuals will better build a better understanding of their strengths and weakness, helping them to develop and evolve as professionals.

Apex Group said it recognises that this programme requires the assumption of a binary gender definitions in order to generate measurable outcomes against currently available data sets.

In 2021, Apex said, it encouraged and empowered employees to display their preferred gender pronouns in e-mail signatures as part of a group-wide inclusivity initiative and will continue to focus on inclusivity in 2022.

The company said this is the latest demonstration of Apex Group’s commitment to supporting diversity, equity and inclusion and driving positive change in the financial services industry.

It follows the launch of the group’s shadow executive committee in 2019, which culminated in the appointment of Rosie Guest, chief marketing officer, and Vikita Patel, chief human resources officer, to its executive committee.

Ms Guest, the executive committee programme sponsor, said: “This is a programme we are really proud of and is completely necessary. Women are still under represented at management and senior leadership levels within financial services and although this is not an issue unique to our business, it is important to us that we lead the charge in driving positive change.

“The programme is not about quotas, or promoting women over men, it’s about nurturing our existing female talent and driving equity in progression.”

She added: “Diverse teams perform better, and we have an excellent pool of female talent across the group so we are passionate about accelerating their progression to erode gender disparity across more senior levels of our business.”

Rosie Guest: chief marketing officer and executive committee programme sponsor at Apex Group Ltd (Photograph supplied)

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Published January 21, 2022 at 7:51 am (Updated January 21, 2022 at 9:31 am)

Focus on diversity, gender equity in accelerator programme

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