March is Women's History Month celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The month also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity, celebrating women's achievements, raising awareness about women's equality, lobbying for accelerated gender parity and fundraising for woman-focused charities.
But advancing women leaders and championing female employees is not just a one-day event at DTCC. It is an ongoing priority for DTCC and DTCC takes a proactive stand in women advancement and representation in the organization.
In line with this commitment, in 2020, DTCC announced its Advancing Women Leaders (AWL) program, which focuses on the development and growth of woman leaders in the organization.
Lynn Bishop, DTCC Managing Director and Chief Technology Officer, and Keisha Bell, DTCC Managing Director and Head of Diverse Talent Management, share their thoughts on advancing women leaders. In recognition of her leadership and focus efforts in building a diverse and inclusive workforce, Keisha Bell was named to the World Federation of Exchange’s (WFE's) Women Leaders 2021.
Reflecting on the recognition received from WFE, Keisha said, “The best piece of advice I have for women is to focus not on being perfect, but instead, giving your best performance every day. It can often be easy to get caught up in trying to be the perfect friend, boss, colleague, partner and parent, but these are unrealistic goals that can take a significant amount of time and energy. Over the course of my career, I’ve learned to focus on the bigger picture, to be kinder to myself and to strive to make a positive impact in everything I do. This mindset has enabled me to prioritize better, build greater confidence and grow in my career and achieve success.”
She added, “The shift to remote working and home schooling has exacerbated the challenge of juggling jobs and parenting and, in many cases, women continue to bear the brunt of the pandemic’s impact. However, the pandemic has also prompted businesses to take a more flexible approach to work– a positive result during such a challenging time. This has also created opportunities for businesses to take a creative approach to fostering collaboration and inclusivity through virtual training, webinars and other activities that foster engagement, build relationships and create a more supportive environment – all of which will pay dividends now and in the future.”
Last year, Bishop was honored with a Markets Media 2020 Women in Finance Award. She was presented with the Trailblazer award, which recognizes high-performing women who broke the gender barrier in career advancement. Bishop serves as the senior sponsor for DTCC’s partnership with Girls Who Code, a national non-profit that concentrates on closing the gender gap in STEM education. In her role with Girls Who Code, Bishop connects with students with an early interest in STEM, coordinates programming between DTCC and the organization, and is an advocate for future female leaders in the field.
“There is a significant gender gap within the technology field, and while change doesn’t happen overnight, there are actions that we can and should be taking now. First, it is critical that we continue to encourage young women and girls to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects to ensure a diverse pipeline of tomorrow’s talent. Second, these efforts should be supplemented by programs and initiatives within firms that help women to reach their full potential. These efforts can include delivering career development opportunities and cultivating an environment where women have broad support across an organization, enabling them to build a network of sounding boards and sponsors,” said Lynn.