Connect Women in Pensions

Wed Jul 17 2019

Who are CWIP:

The network is a not-for-profit group (NFP), open to all who support our aim of improving opportunities for women in Financial Services (Pensions, Investments and General Insurance) and other related industries (Legal, Compliance, Marketing, and Professional services etc.).

Connect Women in Pensions (CWIP) is the brainchild of Emer Kirk, Associate Director at Harvest Financial Services, and is now in its 6th year of operation. Working within the pensions industry, Emer identified the need for a network like CWIP, and with the help of several volunteers from within, and indeed outside the industry, the idea was successfully converted into a continually expanding network and platform for women.

CWIP’s vision is to provide; support, encouragement and information, to help women to invest in their personal and professional growth. The network aims to provide a platform for discussion, for sharing ideas, understanding different perspectives and influencing business practices. The group is also a forum to meet, network and share experiences with interesting and inspirational people that members may not come across in their day-to-day work. Creating a forum for women within the industry to network in an open, friendly and un-intimidating environment.

Additionally, the group aims to raise awareness regarding the need for women to have sufficient pension provision – to highlight the ‘Pension Gender Gap’ and the potential financial dis-empowerment that some women could face in retirement if trends continue as they are.

‘As a NFP, CWIP relies solely on the generosity of the committee volunteers, industry sponsors, hosts and speakers to enable our events to operate. There has been strong support from across the industry, with a willingness from various firms, individuals and organisations, to get involved. This support stands to reassure us our cause is a worthy one. While we have partnered with far too many organisations to list, a special mention to 360 Search, who have sponsored the network since 2015 and also Zurich Life and Kristen Foran who have generously hosted CWIP’s Annual Summer Social Event for the past 6 years. Their unwavering support is invaluable to the network.’ Emma Doolin, current CWIP Chair

Speaking about these topics Kristen Foran (Sales Director & WIN Chair, Zurich) noted:

The increasingly strong case for diversity, not only encouraged Zurich to drive company culture in this field, but inspired Zurich employees to form an internal network for business women; Women’s Innovation Network (WIN). By providing a professional network for inspiration and development WIN maximises women’s contribution to Zurich’s success.

‘The establishment of business networks has always been a strong positive within the Pensions Industry and the Connect Women in Pensions group has gone from strength to strength in their achievements of helping people to reach their professional and personal goals. I was, therefore, delighted to be asked to join the committee of Connect Women in Pensions’.

Holly Railes – 360 Search, Emma Doolin – EY, Kristen Foran – Zurich and Lynda Barnes – 360 Search

The network has been kindly sponsored by 360 Search for the last number of years. The ongoing support from 360 Search allows the committee and network to continue to operate whilst increasing the awareness of the network among women working within the relevant industries. It also allows CWIP to promote the need for women to have a sufficient pension provision. Lynda Barnes, Managing Director of 360 Search has been key to the success of the ongoing sponsorship which is an invaluable way for 360 Search to support women in their quest for further career recognition and advancement. In addition to their sponsorship, 360 Search has also spoken at numerous events over the years, they have imparted their abundant industry knowledge to help the network to empower its members to fulfil their potential and reach their career goals.

With the aim of improving opportunities for women in the Pensions and wider financial services industry, Connect Women in Pensions and 360 Search are actively encouraging women to network regularly, share and discuss relevant topics and encourage pension participation among the female population.

“Connect Women in Pensions offers women in insurance and financial services the opportunity to network, learn and mentor each other. The events are useful, insightful and current and they raise visibility of the need for better savings and pension provision for our latter years”

Lynda Barnes, Managing Director, 360 Search


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