FWA Salutes Women's History Month: First-Ever Study Finds Women's Internal Networks (WINS) Can Impact Corporate Bottom-Lines & Careers


March 31, 2015


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Financial Women’s Association finds 76% of women at firms without a WIN would join; 39% say WINs impact job satisfaction

New York, NY -- A report issued today by the Financial Women’s Association (FWA) finds that although women’s networks within companies might initially be launched to provide networking opportunities or meet corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals, female employees and diversity leaders are finding another surprising result: impact to the bottom-line.

That’s because WINs increase interaction among female employees, creating synergies that can play an instrumental role in advancing business objectives, say top diversity and HR leaders. These networks also increase employee engagement and reduce attrition: In fact, 39% of employees surveyed believe their firm’s WIN might be a factor in staying with the firm.

Other key findings include the role of men – both as business leaders and hiring managers in partnering with WINs ‑ and employees’ desires to see their firms use social media for communication, a channel not utilized by corporate respondents.

The report, based on surveys of 21 women in financial services leadership and, separately, female employees (583), was designed to help understand women’s internal networks (WINs) and offer best practices for corporate leaders. The report is believed to be the first of its kind focused on women’s networks in financial services companies.

“The surprising finding is that WINs can have a positive impact on the bottom-line,” said FWA executive director Jennifer Openshaw. “Businesses may view them initially as a socially responsible initiative when, in fact, successful ones are idea-generators and can be profit-producing for business areas.”

Key Findings – Key findings include the following:

  • 77% of respondents at firms without a WIN would join if their organizations had one.
  • 39% of respondents believe these groups could contribute to their reasons for staying with their current firm.
  • WINs are falling short in three key areas: a connection to compensation or performance reviews, new business, and external networking opportunities.
  • In terms of content, women want education over personal topics, placing emphasis on new work and career skills (e.g., new software, social media) and trending technology.
  • 40% of respondents agree that men should join a WIN. The key reason cited was to increase men’s understanding of women’s needs for advancement
  • Nearly 10% of WIN members prefer to receive info about their WIN from social media (Facebook/LinkedIn groups), yet none of the corporate leaders surveyed are actually using social media to engage with their members.

The FWA advances the success of leadership in the financial community.

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Jennifer Openshaw, FWA

(212) 533-2141 x303