As part of this year’s Women’s History Month celebration, Citihub Consulting talked to some of its consultants about the space they occupy, as women, in the traditionally male-dominated finance technology industry. This week, we focus the spotlight on Rose Ritchie, Associate Partner, Toronto.
Over the years, what changes have you seen in finance technology industry relating to women’s contribution, roles and leadership? What do you think were the drivers?
I’ve been working in this industry for over 25 years and it’s very encouraging to see that gender diversity has become a mainstream topic. When I started my career, there were not as many women in my field. I was the only female programmer in the department. As time passed, I saw the staffing profile change with an increase in women hires as well as more women in leadership positions.
“Women are asking more questions, sharing their experiences and seeking advice from other successful women in leadership”
There are many contributors to this, but from my perspective, women now have more platforms for conversations about this topic (Thank you Sheryl Sandberg for the Lean In movement). Women are asking more questions, sharing their experiences and seeking advice from other successful women in leadership.
I consider networking and mentorship as critical success factors to career management. An important change that I’ve seen over the years is that there are more networking and mentoring opportunities for women. Many organizations are supporting and hosting forums, such as, Women in Technology (WIT) networking groups, to bring women and men together to network, share their experiences and present important topics that raise awareness and empower women.
How has Citihub Consulting supported diversity and inclusion in the workplace?
I have been very fortunate to work for Citihub Consulting who has been a tremendous supporter of diversity and inclusion. They have sponsored the Businesswomen of Toronto Networking Group (BWTNG) since 2015; which grew from 20 members to over 200 members over the years. It is very evident that there is an appetite for these types of events. The common feedback that I receive from participant surveys is that they found the events motivating, energizing and empowering.
What’s the biggest challenge professional women face today?
While the numbers show us that progress has been made at the entry and mid levels, women continue to be underrepresented in the upper levels of financial services firms. There is still work to be done.