POWER Up, a leadership program recently hosted by Regions Women of Risk (WOR), began with some startling statistics.
- Only 5.8% of S&P 500 CEOs are women.
- 75% of talking in a meeting is done by men – regardless of the number of women present.
- Men are three times more likely to have a sponsor. Women are three times more likely to have a mentor.
- 66% of women receive negative feedback on their personal style, such as “You can sometimes be abrasive,” compared to 1% of men.
- Nearly 3 out of 4 women have experienced workplace micro-aggressions.
That may not be startling to many, unfortunately, but it got everyone’s attention and jumpstarted a productive, actionable session to encourage women to “live, lead and inspire authentically.”
The program’s title, POWER Up, is actually an acronym, urging women to …
Own your career
Widen your network
Elevate your communication
Realize your purpose
Each of these five letters and phrases represents a segment of the day-long program.
Regions Chief Risk Officer Matt Lusco provided opening remarks and reminded the group how important diversity, equity and inclusion efforts like this are to Regions. “I appreciate all the contributions from the Women of Risk network,” Lusco said. “They are a critical component in recruiting, developing and retaining women risk managers and strengthening the entire Risk organization.”
The Women of Risk group formed last year with the purpose of promoting diversity in Risk Management and providing professional growth and networking opportunities. WOR is co-chaired by Caitlin Barre, head of Non-Financial Risk Strategy and Programs, and Regan Liggins, head of Third-Party Risk Management.
The POWER Up program is their second WOR event and was organized by Christa Pecce, Corporate Compliance Officer at Regions, and co-hosted by EY. “We were thrilled with the turnout for this event, with 82 attending in person and an additional 50-plus tuning in via Webex – including several men,” Pecce said. “And we appreciate their allyship!”
Pecce explained that the POWER Up program was developed by EY to provide women and their allies “an open environment to learn from each other and feel comfortable being vulnerable while discussing careers, personal brands and behaviors.”
The discussions helped me understand the importance of communicating clearly, building relationships and identifying behaviors that can help grow my career.
Grace Anne Joseph, governance analyst in Enterprise Risk
Attendees had the good fortune of hearing from four Regions senior leaders who shared insights, experiences and inspiration. Speakers included Ashley Garrison, head of Human Resources Strategic Delivery and Talent Management; Martha Raber, head of Financial Risk; Kate Danella, head of Consumer Banking Group; and Kristin Julbert, head of Consumer Strategy and Customer Experience.
Those in attendance at Regions Center in Birmingham, Alabama, were seated at tables to encourage open dialog and easy conversation during breakout sessions. Topics included power-building strategies, how to support others in their journey and challenges with working from home.
“The discussions helped me understand the importance of communicating clearly, building relationships and identifying behaviors that can help grow my career,” said Grace Anne Joseph, governance analyst in Enterprise Risk.
Event organizers received similar positive feedback from participants. “It was an exciting day with a lot of productive, inspiring messaging,” Liggins said. “We’re grateful to EY for collaborating with us and sharing this content with our Risk group. And we look forward to providing more programs in the future to help support and develop women leaders in Risk Management.”
Bring Your Whole Self to Work
We have a passion for creating an inclusive environment that promotes and values diversity of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sex, pregnancy, and many other primary and secondary dimensions that make each of us unique as individuals and provide valuable perspective that makes us a better company and employer. More importantly, we recognize that creating a workplace where everyone, regardless of background, can do their best work is the right thing to do.
OFCCP Disclosure: Equal Opportunity Employer/Disabled/Veterans