The Countess of Wessex is visiting New York and Toronto this week as Global Ambassador of 100 Women in Finance’s (100WF) Next Generation Initiative. The initiative aims to support and encourage young women to consider a career in finance by creating more pathways into the industry.
As Global Ambassador since 2015, The Countess champions increasing female representation in the industry, which forms part of Her Royal Highnesses's wider work in promoting gender equality in the workplace.
Her Royal Highness joined panel and roundtable discussions with young women and professionals at 100 Women in Finance’s First Impressions event in New York.
The evening brought together 77 young women aged 12-18 and female industry professionals, to equip and inspire the next generation to explore finance as a career path. Discussion centred on the different pathways taken into the industry, and the visibility of female role models.
Her Royal Highness spoke with Morgan and Giselle about their experiences of work so far.
“Be brave, speak up”
The Countess spoke to the assembled young women as part of the panel discussion and encouraged them to ask questions as they embark on their careers.
Her Royal Highness also attended a 100 Women in Finance breakfast meeting at Winston & Strawn LLP, and participated in conversations with men and women on reaching gender parity in the workplace
Her Royal Highness has also met representatives from the Awareness Foundation whilst in New York. The Countess is Patron of the Foundation, which empowers people of faith to become peacemakers in their communities.
Her Royal Highness met the Foundation’s Syrian ‘Ambassadors for Peace’ in Lebanon earlier this year.
The Ambassadors are supported by the Foundation to develop their own peace building projects and to promote reconciliation within their communities.
"We know we cannot achieve gender balance and diversity alone...we need everyone, male and female, to support this mission"
At the end of her trip in New York The Countess of Wessex made a speech at the 100 Women in Finance 18th Annual Gala. The Gala celebrated the organisation’s work to invest in the next generation of female finance professionals. Read Her Royal Highness's speech from the evening here.
The Countess is Global Ambassador of 100 Women in Finance’s Next Generation Initiatives.
Her Royal Highness also invited those present “to become more visible, to be great examples to young women and, if you aren't already - to become champions and mentors.”
Toronto - Day 1
The Countess of Wessex is visiting Toronto for the second part of her visit to North America. In her position as patron, Her Royal Highness made a visit to both Toronto Western and Toronto General Hospitals. Both hospitals specialise in cardiology, the treatment of strokes, and transplants. She first made a visit with The Earl of Wessex in 2005.
At Toronto Western Hospital The Countess of Wessex met 88 year-old Murray Rubin recovering in the stroke unit at Toronto Western.
The Hospital is home to both surgeons and scientists working to prevent problems of the brain and spine. Her Royal Highness learnt about the Hospital’s use of technology and innovation, including robotic surgery.
This month, doctors at Toronto Western performed the first robot-assisted brain surgery - allowing them to operate remotely on stroke and aneurysm patients.
At Toronto General Hospital, Dry Barry Rubin, Director of the Hospital’s cardiac centre, demonstrated holographic heart technology to The Countess.
The technology allows doctors to see inside the heart during surgery, without making an incision.
Toronto - Day 2
On the final day in Toronto, The Countess of Wessex attended a 100 Women in Finance business breakfast. At the event, The Countess took part in a Q&A session with local students Katherine and Anjana, and discussed the development available for young women in the workplace as they embark on their careers.
“...take every opportunity that comes your way.”
The Countess has long-supported gender equality in the workplace and is founding Chair of the Women’s Network Forum. Established in 2014, the Forum brings together industry leaders to discuss best practice, with the aim of achieving gender balance.
Her Royal Highness also met Duke of Edinburgh International Award participants and partner charities in Toronto, to explore how the education framework can help young women reach their full potential.
At the end of the visit, The Countess met with the Governor General of Canada, Julie Payette. The Governor General is the Monarch’s representative in Canada and carries out both ceremonial and constitutional duties on behalf of The Queen.