300 young women join City firms to explore careers in business

On Thursday 13 February 2020 300 young women will be spending a day learning more about why the City is a viable career choice for them.

It’s all part of She Can Be…, an initiative run by The Lord Mayor’s Appeal which aims to improve gender equality in business and empower young women to pursue careers in business.

She Can Be... opens up the City to untapped talent through a one day event in which groups of young women visit City firms and meet role models to learn about how their skills are valuable to the workplace, the diversity of backgrounds of the City’s employees, and why the City wants to recruit them.

At a time when 67% of 11 - 21 year old young women believed that they do not have the same chances as men (Girlguiding Girls’ Attitudes Survey 2018), She Can Be... aims to change this perception by empowering young women to make informed decisions about their careers - framing the City as not only a viable, but an exciting option for them.

She Can Be... is a full day event, where young women (aged 15 – 18) from networks across OnSide Youth Zones, Place2Be and Teach First, will visit different corporate organisations in small groups to learn about their business in the morning, taking part in an immersive fictional transaction that illustrates how that business functions.

They will spend the afternoon together at East Wintergarden, joined by City employees both from companies that they visited in the morning and a few further organisations keen to show their commitment to the gender agenda for an exciting afternoon intended to inspire them to consider roles in the City.

Although She Can Be... operates with inclusivity at its heart, the initiative formally falls under The Lord Mayor’s Appeal’s ‘Skills’ pillar which targets the barriers that contribute to the skills crisis. Throughout the day, organisations will profile the key skills to show the young women that these skills are enablers to roles in the City, advising on how to develop them and where to seek new skills.

Companies taking part and hosting young women are Albourne Partners, Allianz Global Investors, Aon, Artemis, AICPA, Aurum, Barings, Canary Wharf Group, Capgemini, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Euromoney, Fidelity International, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Gulf International Bank, M&G Prudential, Mercer, Polar Capital, Quilter Cheviot, Rabobank, Rathbones, Schroders, Smedvig, Smith & Williamson, Standard Chartered or TP ICAP.

Why this matters

  • 51% believe the City is more a place for boys to work than girls (She Can Be... benchmark survey)
  • 67% of young women (11 - 21 years old) believe that they do not have the same chances as men (Girlguiding Girls’ Attitudes Survey 2018)
  • 73% of young women (11 – 21 years old) agree that women have to work much harder than men to succeed (Girlguiding Girls’ Attitudes Survey 2018)
  • 52% (aged 11 – 21) of young women are worried about getting a job after they leave education (Girlguiding Girls’ Attitudes Survey 2018)
  • 10 girls to every 1 boy believe that they will face discrimination at some point during their career (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors 2016)


Our 2019 survey showed:

  • 88% of young women felt empowered to make decisions about their careers after She Can Be...
  • 86% of young women would consider a career in the City after the event
  • 90% of employees felt more confident about the tangible action they can take to empower women in the workplace
  • Before the event, 51% of young women agreed that a career in the City is more for boys than girls. After the event, this fell to 8%.
  • 74% of young women felt confident in their abilities as a result of taking part in She Can Be...
  • 82% of young women had a good understanding of the different City careers available immediately after She Can Be...

Quotes from participants

“I really thought that people that worked in investment were mostly men, but it was all women that we worked alongside.”

“I pledge to have confidence in my abilities and remember to take every opportunity.”

Case studies

“At TP ICAP we are committed to ensuring that our culture and workplace are inclusive. We aspire to be an employer of choice for people from all backgrounds, including those under-represented in the City. We were delighted to take part in She Can Be..., hosting a group of young women who participated in a ‘Beginner Broker’ technology simulation. Inspiring young women in this way is immensely rewarding for colleagues at TP ICAP and we hope this kind of activity will attract the next generation of brokers by providing insight into the different career opportunities available in the City.”

Tina Christou, Global Head of CSR & Charity Day, TP ICAP plc

“Everyone at Polar Capital who participated agreed on the importance of promoting such initiatives, recognising our social responsibility to future generations to encourage candidates of any gender and social background to consider a career in finance, to help break down both visible and invisible barriers that may hinder a young person in contemplating investment management as a career option.

For me personally, it was a reminder to look beyond the quotidian responsibilities to the long-term legacy we can individually and collectively as a company establish for future generations by supporting young people as they embark on their professional lives and to be a part of their journey of discovery.

Su Park, Managing Director, Regional Sales Director – Europe, Polar Capital

Key Contacts

Katie Yates, She Can Be… Project Manager, 07780 672699, katie.yates@thelordmayorsappeal.org

Francesca Baker, Marketing and Communications Manager, 07877746155, francesca.baker@thelordmayorsappeal.org

The Lord Mayor’s Appeal

The Lord Mayor’s Appeal exists to have a transformational impact on people’s lives. We are working to create A Better City For All.

Our work brings together businesses, employees, neighbouring communities and charities to find solutions to some of London’s most pressing societal issues.

Our six strategic aims are –

  1. Raising funds to support charities/projects that address at least two of the pillars
  2. Showcasing successful initiatives implemented in companies addressing the pillars
  3. Providing companies with tools and initiatives to enable them to tackle specific diversity topics eg: gender, disability, social mobility
  4. Enabling collaboration across the City to tackle specific issues under each pillar
  5. Leading City-wide campaigns and initiatives during a year to address a challenge under each pillar
  6. Incubating concepts and initiatives through a collaborative approach that tackles an issue to provide a solution/intervention that can be replicated, rolled out, or become mainstream.

We offer four exciting thought leadership initiatives to change workplace cultures, the impact of which we are building on year on year. These are to create a city that is inclusive, healthy, skilled, and fair.

Useful Links

Website - https://www.thelordmayorsappeal.org/a-skilled-city/

2020 Impact Report - https://www.thelordmayorsappeal.org/about/impact-report-2020/





She Can Be…





The Lord Mayor’s Appeal




The Lord Mayor’s Appeal

East Wintergarden



East Wintergarden

East Wintergarden





Anticipated Use

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Website and printed content in relation to the initiative.

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The Lord Mayor’s Appeal Logo


Website and printed content in relation to the initiative.

Please ensure that the logo does not have a white background unless it is placed on a white space. You may need to use the PNG or AI format of the logo to avoid this.

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of The Lord Mayor's Appeal, on Wednesday 15 January, 2020. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/

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The Lord Mayor

The Lord Mayor's Appeal
020 7332 1582
Francesca Baker 07877461555
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