Podcast #31 International Women’s Day Special: If you can’t see it you can’t be it in financial services

by | Mar 9, 2023

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As part of our celebrations for International Women’s Day (IWD), this hugely powerful edition our IFA Talk podcast focuses on why, if you can’t see it you can’t be it, when it comes to working in financial services. And it’s well worth a listen regardless of which gender you identify with. 

What is IWD? 

You’ll probably know this bit, but just in case you don’t, International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. As the theme for this year’s campaign is #EmbraceEquity, we’re going for it- big time here at IFA Magazine! And when we consider that the FCA revealed in 2022 that 84% of financial advisers are men and only 8% of all advisers, male and female, are under the age of 30, we think that this is the perfect time to get in touch with our inner ‘girl power’ and focus on the benefits of boosting diversity and inclusion more broadly. So, today we’re flying the flag for just some of the women working in our profession to celebrate the great work they do and also to discuss important issues around the benefits of gender diversity – and D&I more broadly – in this fantastic profession of ours. 


Two special guests – inspirational and motivational 

We’re excited to introduce you to Sue and Brandon’s TWO fabulous guests on the pod today. Both are ideally placed to comment not just on the role of women in finance but also on matters of diversity and inclusion more broadly. As you’ll hear when you tune in, both guests are walking the walk as well as talking the talk in their own careers. In our opinion (ok, we might be a bit biased!!) they are not only an inspiration to all of us working in financial services but also incredibly motivational too ( spoiler alert: one of them is even a former winner of BBC’s The Apprentice!!). 

Click here to listen on Spotify 


Click here to listen on Apple Podcast


About Hanneke Smits 


Hanneke Smits is CEO of BNY Mellon Investment Management and a member of BNY Mellon’s Executive Committee. She is also the newly appointed Global Chair of the 30% Club, a global campaign led by Chairs and CEOs taking action to increase gender diversity at board and senior management levels of the world’s biggest companies. 

Throughout her career, Hanneke has been a long-time champion of improving gender diversity in the workplace. In 2015, she co-founded Level 20, a not-for-profit organisation established to inspire women to succeed in the private equity industry. Hanneke also serves as Chair of Impetus, a venture philanthropy organisation that backs charities to transform the lives of disadvantaged young people. 

With over 30 years of investment experience, Hanneke was previously CEO of Newton Investment Management, a BNY Mellon Investment Management firm, from 2016 to 2020. Prior to Newton, she served on the Executive Committee at private equity firm Adams Street Partners from 2001 to 2014, having been Chief Investment Officer from 2008 to 2014. She joined Adams Street in 1997 to build out its global investment capabilities, and successfully launched its presence in Europe and Asia. Before joining Adams Street, she was an investment manager at Pantheon Ventures, and worked for Philips China Hong Kong Group. 


Hanneke is the Executive Sponsor for PRISM, BNY Mellon’s LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group, and serves as Chair of Impetus, a venture philanthropy organization which backs charities to transform the lives of disadvantaged young people. As part of her role with Impetus, she is Trustee of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), founded in 2011 by The Sutton Trust in partnership with Impetus. Hanneke was also a Non-Executive Director to the Court of the Bank of England, and a co-founder and first Chair of Level 20, a not-for-profit organization set up in 2015 to inspire women to join and succeed in the private equity industry. 

Originally from the Netherlands, Hanneke has a BBA from Nijenrode University and an MBA from the London Business School. 

About Yasmina Siadatan 


Yasmina is Sales and Marketing Director at Dynamic Planner, and part of their Executive Management Team and Board. She is an integral contributor to decision making in the business, working in tandem with the senior team at Dynamic Planner to lead and deliver on its marketing-led growth strategy and further build the Dynamic Planner brand. 

She and her team are responsible for Dynamic Planner’s marketing and sales strategy which includes understanding market requirements and successfully matching them to UK advice firms. Previously, as Creative Director of Start Up Loans, Yasmina headed marketing and communications for the government’s flagship scheme which provided access to finance for small businesses. 

She worked for Lord Sugar in 2009 having won the fifth series of BBC One’s The Apprentice, heading up his flagship tech and digital media organisation and overseeing product marketing and advertising sales to blue chip organisations. Following that, she was headhunted by James Caan of Dragons’ Den fame to help run his private equity organisation. She graduated in economic history from the London School of Economics. 


And there’s plenty more… 

IN FOCUS: IFA Magazine is running a special campaign throughout Wednesday March 8th, celebrating women in finance to mark International Women’s Day. Check out all our IWD coverage HERE .

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