Camilla Sut­ton,

The new head of Women in Cap­i­tal Mar­kets is well po­si­tioned to pro­mote greater equal­ity within the in­dus­try

Investment Executive - - FRONT PAGE - BY LEAH GOLOB

the new pres­i­dent and CEO of Women in Cap­i­tal Mar­kets, hopes to make last­ing change in the in­vest­ment in­dus­try. Her de­sire to see more women play­ing key roles in that busi­ness mo­ti­vated Sut­ton to take the po­si­tion in Jan­uary. “All women in this in­dus­try face a host of bar­ri­ers,” she says, “from un­con­scious bias to an in­dus­try that has been struc­tured with a strong male pres­ence.”

for camilla sut­ton, re­cently ap­pointed pres­i­dent and CEO of Toronto-based Women in Cap­i­tal Mar­kets (WCM), the time has never been more favourable to cre­ate real and last­ing change in the in­vest­ment in­dus­try.

Sut­ton’s de­sire to see more women play­ing key roles in this busi­ness was a key mo­ti­va­tor for tak­ing the top job at WCM in late Jan­uary — es­pe­cially as the rise of the #MeToo move­ment has thrust the topic of women suc­ceed­ing in tra­di­tion­ally male-dom­i­nated work­places to the fore­front.

“All women within the in­dus­try face a host of bar­ri­ers, from un­con­scious bias to lack of men­tor­ship to an in­dus­try that has been struc­tured with a very strong male pres­ence,” Sut­ton says.

“[But] the civil cli­mate in Canada re­ally is quite pro­gres­sive and quite his­toric, so to be part of that seemed like an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity,” adds Sut­ton, who suc­ceeds WCM’s in­terim pres­i­dent and CEO, Jean­nie CollinsArdern. (Collins-Ardern had filled the role af­ter Jen­nifer Reynolds left the po­si­tion to be­come CEO of the Toronto Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Al­liance in Au­gust 2017.)

WCM, which has more than 1,400 mem­bers, is ded­i­cated to at­tract­ing, de­vel­op­ing and ad­vanc­ing women work­ing i n cap­i­tal mar­kets. The or­ga­ni­za­tion ex­e­cutes its mis­sion pri­mar­ily through ad­vo­cacy, net­work­ing and pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment.

WCM is a not-for-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that of­fers pro­grams that pro­vide men­tor­ship and ex­ec­u­tive coach­ing. WCM also has the pop­u­lar Re­turn to Bay Street ini­tia­tive, which helps women who have taken an ex­tended leave from the cap­i­tal mar­kets busi­ness to re-en­ter the in­dus­try.

In the short term, Sut­ton’s goal is to con­tinue grow­ing the ini­tia­tives WCM has de­vel­oped, such as its events and net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. But, in the long term, she fore­sees ad­vo­cacy play­ing a more crit­i­cal role in pro­duc­ing change within the in­dus­try.

One way WCM is en­gaged in ad­vo­cacy is by work­ing closely with spon­sor firms that sup­port the or­ga­ni­za­tion fi­nan­cially and, in re­turn, are ad­vised on how to reach their goals for achiev­ing greater di­ver­sity and in­clu­sion in the work­place.

“What I’ve seen from work­ing in a spon­sor firm — and also be­ing close to many of them — is that there is a real de­sire for change,” says Sut­ton, who most re­cently was global head of for­eign ex­change with Toron­to­based Bank of Nova Sco­tia. “But, some­times, the steps to make those changes are cloudy.”

For some firms, WCM presents re­search that it con­ducts within the in­dus­try. For ex­am­ple, WCM has data on men’s and women’s sat­is­fac­tion with their ca­reers; what they think of their man­agers and men­tor­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties; and if they see progress to­ward equal­ity within the in­dus­try.

Some data can be sur­pris­ing to firms. For ex­am­ple, the rea­sons a siz­able num­ber of women leave the in­dus­try be­tween their fifth and ninth years of work has less to do with fam­ily and chil­dren and more to do with how they re­gard their man­agers and their own value within their firms.

Ide­ally, firms can use these data to cre­ate in­ter­nal men­tor­ship pro­grams, take mea­sures to deal with un­con­scious bias and en­hance net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties that en­cour­age the re­cruit­ment, pro- mo­tion and re­ten­tion of women.

“The re­al­ity is that hav­ing a team that looks and sounds dif­fer­ent is hard,” Sut­ton says. “It re­quires man­agers and lead­ers who are able to lis­ten ac­tively and con­tin­u­ally.”

Un­con­scious bias is an im­por­tant chal­lenge WCM is work­ing to ad­dress. This con­cept refers to peo­ple’s ten­dency to act more favourably to­ward oth­ers who most re­sem­ble them­selves. An un­con­scious bias can de­velop based on gen­der, race and even univer­si­ties at­tended.

Firms can avoid un­con­scious bias through train­ing and im­ple­ment­ing stan­dard pro­to­cols, Sut­ton says. For ex­am­ple, man­agers should se­lect a group of job can­di­dates that vary in race and gen­der, and pro­vide each can­di­date with the same ques­tions dur­ing an in­ter­view. The hir­ing panel also should be a di­verse group. Sim­i­lar cri­te­ria would ap­ply when pro­mot­ing from within.

Sut­ton has a long his­tory with WCM: her mem­ber­ship dates back to 1999. She joined as a mentee within the men­tor­ship pro­gram, and later be­came a men­tor her­self.

In 2010, Sut­ton was awarded the WCM’s Ex­ec­u­tive Coach­ing Award, which is part of a pro­gram that aims to ad­dress the lack of women at the se­nior man­age­ment level by pro­vid­ing one-onone coach­ing to award win­ners.

Sut­ton pre­vi­ously sat on the di­ver­sity and in­clu­sion com­mit­tee in Sco­tia­bank’ s cap­i­tal mar­kets arm. That com­mit­tee works to­ward elim­i­nat­ing bar­ri­ers for women and cre­at­ing a more egal­i­tar­ian firm.

In ad­di­tion, Sut­ton was part of Sco­tia­bank’s ro­ta­tional re­cruit­ing com­mit­tee, which re­quired her to spend time on uni­ver­sity cam­puses speak­ing about the op­por­tu­ni­ties for women in cap­i­tal mar­kets and de­bunk­ing myths con­cern­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Sut­ton had a lengthy ca­reer at Sco­tia­bank. In her for­eignex­change po­si­tion, she was re­spon­si­ble for man­ag­ing sales, train­ing and strat­egy within the divi­sion in 2015-17. She ran al­most 20 trade floors glob­ally, and worked with clients in­di­vid­u­ally to help them mit­i­gate risk.

Be­fore that, Sut­ton spent nine years as chief for­eign-ex­change strate­gist with the bank. She also has ex­pe­ri­ence as port­fo­lio man­ager of eq­ui­ties, for­eign ex­change and de­riv­a­tives with Toron­to­based OMERS’ cap­i­tal mar­kets divi­sion and as an eq­ui­ties re­search as­so­ciate with Toron­to­based BMO Cap­i­tal Mar­kets Ltd.

Sut­ton says her ex­pe­ri­ence pre­pared her well for the role as head of WCM be­cause she knows first­hand what be­ing a woman in the in­dus­try is like. She points out that she was the only woman run­ning a global busi­ness in Sco­tia­bank’s cap­i­tal mar­kets arm.

Now, Sut­ton is keen to play a lead­ing role in one of WCM’s mis­sions: cre­at­ing greater gen­der par­ity among cor­po­rate boards of di­rec­tors, ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cers and other lead­er­ship po­si­tions.

How­ever, data from the On­tario Se­cu­ri­ties Com­mis­sion pub­lished in 2017 re­veals how far these goals are from be­ing met, as 74% of new board of di­rec­tors po­si­tions went to men.

“It’s great that 26% [of these po­si­tions] went to women,” Sut­ton says, “but we’re still miles away [from WCM’s goal].”

To en­cour­age hir­ing more women for mem­ber­ship on cor­po­rate boards, WCM is putting to­gether a list of women who are ca­pa­ble and ready, so that when firms are seek­ing new board mem­bers, they have some rec­om­men­da­tions at their dis­posal. In ad­di­tion, WCM posts open di­rec­tor po­si­tions within its net­work.

A more di­verse board of di­rec­tors leads to a more di­verse or­ga­ni­za­tion, Sut­ton says: “The board­room is crit­i­cally im­por­tant be­cause it’s what holds the CEO ac­count­able.”

WCM works closely with firms by ad­vis­ing them on how to achieve greater di­ver­sity and in­clu­sion in the work­place

DANIEL ALEXAN­DER

DANIEL ALEXAN­DER

Camilla Sut­ton, the new pres­i­dent and CEO of Women in Cap­i­tal Mar­kets, wants the or­ga­ni­za­tion to play a more crit­i­cal role in pro­duc­ing change within the in­dus­try. “The re­al­ity is that it’s hard to have a team that looks and sounds dif­fer­ent,” she...

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