Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Women in Banking

So Ana Botin is tipped to become the CEO of Santander in the UK. Robert Peston blogs that this is a cultural revolution and that there aren't women in senior positions in the banks. The reality is that there are fantastic people in senior positions in banks who happen to be women. Is Robert living in the dark ages where we have to draw attention to the gender of the person? Just some of the examples of fantastic bankers are: Deanna Oppenheimer who runs Barclays Retail bank across the UK and Western Europe. Deanna when she was at Washington Mutual virtually designed how retail banking is seen across the globe with the modern open plan branch design.Her COO also happens to be a woman as well. If you move over to Lloyds Banking Group the head of the Retail Bank (and seen as a potential candidate for the CEO role until that was filled today) is the very talented Helen Weir. Running the Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland branch networks is Joy Griffiths, a  banker who has made her mark in Australasia and America before bringing her talents to the UK, and running the integration of the two retail banks is Helen Rose. I could go on, but Robert having women in powerful positions in banks is not news and neither is it worthy of mention.

If anything the story about Ana Botin is how long she has been groomed by her father, the Chairman of Santander, for the top job. The legend goes that as a young child she would sneak into the board room at Santander, hide behind the curtains and listen to the board meetings. Ana is a very bright, intelligent and articulate banker - there is no doubt that she has what it takes to be the CEO of Santander UK.

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