Overview & Contact
Steering Committee
Overview & Contact


An international network for women in capital markets

The ICMA Women’s Network (IWN) provides a global, impartial and open forum to encourage, support and inspire women at all stages of their career and to further the aim of gender equality within the bond markets.

Through a combination of live events and online content, the IWN delivers practical workshops focused on skills for career progression and hosts discussions on relevant issues between influential industry stakeholders. Networking is central to the offering, supporting links between colleagues of different generations and levels of seniority, helping to foster inclusion throughout the industry.

The IWN supports gender equality at a global level: all employees of ICMA member firms are welcome to join, and international connectivity is achieved through active IWN committees operating worldwide. The IWN also actively welcomes participation from all genders and ethnicities, acknowledging that broad participation is essential in achieving positive, sustainable change.



IWN news

ICMA Women’s Network (IWN) announces new Chair of the IWN International Steering Committee

View the latest edition of the IWN newsletter


ICMA Women's Network Q&A

Highlighting the profiles of ICMA industry leaders

Heleen van Rooijen

ICMA Board member & Chair of ICMA's Audit, Compliance and Governance Committee, Heleen van Rooijen, answered our questions about gender equality in the industry. Heleen is also Head of Finance & Control at Nederlandse Waterschapsbank (NWB Bank) in The Hague.

IWN: What do you consider the greatest enabler for gender equality?

HvR: We know that we are still influenced by biases. Being aware of that and push ourselves to find out and act against unconscious bias will help improve gender equality.

IWN: Could you provide an example of how you’ve actively made efforts to address gender inequality at your firm?

HvR: We have actively recruited female candidates at senior management and executive level. Both the Chair of the Managing Board and the Chair of the Supervisory Board are female and more women have seats at senior management level. It is important to set examples in an organisation to encourage others to follow in the footsteps.

IWN: What do you see as the main challenges for women in the period ahead?

HvR: A challenge is to break the bias, but I am confident that this is still improving.

IWN: What is your biggest passion outside of work, and why?

HvR: I like productive work with visible result, like gardening, because it is contrary to our daily brain work.

IWN: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

HvR: A good piece of advice I received is to look further than the initial judgement on peoples’ capabilities and you will be surprised of what one is capable of. Mostly, a lot more than you initially think. This also reflects on women’s judgement about themselves. Just go for it!

IWN: In your opinion, what further actions can ICMA take to promote and support gender balance in the capital markets?

HvR: Keep on going! IWN is doing a great job. I hope one day – in the near future – it will no longer be necessary to have IWN in place to promote gender equality. Then we are there!


Event spotlight

Highlighting events from the IWN’s vast archive

Sustainability: the perspective of influential women in the rapidly growing ESG market
This event held at HSBC in 2018 assembled a number of senior influential women in sustainable finance, those who provide thought leadership and are at the centre of innovation. They explored the impact of green bonds, social bonds, sustainable bonds and other innovative financing solutions on the finance industry and the workplace as a whole, as well as by reference to their own career paths.



The Women in Finance Charter

ICMA’s commitment to gender balance

Monday Motivation

Join IWN on LinkedIn to follow the Monday Motivation series



Further reading



Get in touch 

Join our mailing list E-mail us at ICMAWomensNetwork@icmagroup.org
Follow the ICMA Women's Network LinkedIn page Follow ICMA Women's Network@ICMAWomensNet

Upcoming events

AI and Tech innovation in capital markets, an opportunity for female leadership

Date: 17 September 2024
18.30 - 21.00 CEST
Auditorium Natixis Investment Managers, 59 Av. Pierre Mendès-France, 75013 Paris

Hosted by:


Networking reception sponsored by:


*Please note that this event will be held in French


''The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.”
Winston Churchill

ICMA Women’s Network (IWN) France is pleased to invite you to an evening intended to take stock of the role of women in technological innovation, more particularly innovations linked to financial markets. The representation of women within this ecosystem remains marginal. However, since the future of technologies should not be the one of inequalities, we proposed to various stakeholders to discuss about the impacts of innovation on gender equality: Why are so few women represented in jobs with strong innovative or technological component? How can we make these areas an asset for gender equality?

Valérie FASQUELLE, deputy General Director of the Information System (DGIS) and Sponsor for Innovation at Banque de France will present the Innovation Lab of Banque de France that has been granted in 2023 the label "Gender Equality European & International Standard AI".
A panel will bring together people whose activity already consists of working in new technologies, innovation and digital. They will share their personal experience.

Hélène DECKX VAN RUYS, Co-pilot of the “Women and AI” working group at the French Laboratoire de l’égalité will talk about the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on equality between women and men .'

The ICMA Women’s Network (IWN) provides an impartial and open forum to encourage, support and inspire women at all stages of their careers and to promote the goal of gender equality within the financial markets. This network aims to foster connections between colleagues of different generations and seniority levels, thereby helping to drive inclusion across the sector. The IWN also actively welcomes participation from all genders and ethnicities, recognizing that broad participation is essential to achieving positive and lasting change.


« Un pessimiste voit la difficulté dans chaque opportunité, un optimiste voit l’opportunité dans chaque difficulté. »
Winston Churchill

L’ICMA Women’s Network (IWN) France vous invite à une soirée destinée à faire le point sur le rôle des femmes dans l’innovation technologique, plus particulièrement les innovations liées aux marchés financiers. La représentativité des femmes au sein de cet écosystème demeure marginale. Toutefois, l’avenir des technologies ne devant pas être celui des inégalités, nous proposons de nous interroger sur les impacts de l'innovation sur l'égalité des genres : Pourquoi si peu de femmes sont présentes dans les métiers à forte composante innovante ou technologiques ? Comment faire de ces domaines un atout pour l’égalité hommes femmes ?

Valérie FASQUELLE, Directrice Générale Adjointe du Système d’Information nous présentera le laboratoire de l’innovation de la Banque de France qui a obtenu en 2023 le label « Gender Equality European & International Standard AI ».

Un panel réunira des personnes dont l’activité consiste déjà à travailler dans les nouvelles technologies, l’innovation et le digital. Elles viendront témoigner de leur expérience personnelle.

Enfin, Hélène DECKX VAN RUYS, Co-pilote du groupe de travail « Les Femmes et l'IA » au Laboratoire de l'Egalité nous parlera de l’incidence de l’intelligence artificielle (IA) sur l’égalité entre les femmes et les hommes.

L’IWN offre un forum impartial et ouvert pour encourager, soutenir et inspirer les femmes à toutes les étapes de leur carrière et pour promouvoir l’objectif d’égalité des sexes au sein des marchés financiers. Ce réseau a pour objectif de favoriser les liens entre collègues de différentes générations et niveaux d'ancienneté, contribuant ainsi à favoriser l'inclusion dans l'ensemble du secteur. L'IWN accueille également activement la participation de tous les genres et de toutes les ethnies, reconnaissant qu'une large participation est essentielle pour parvenir à un changement positif et durable.


More information and to register


Past events

Female leadership: a duty to support upcoming generations

This IWN Belgium event was held at the Royal Museums of Art & History just before the Welcome Reception of the 56th ICMA AGM & Conference. Senior female leaders led an interactive discussion on how best to harness their influence as role models to halt the decline of female representation at all levels; from encouraging a culture which supports female advancement, visibility and return to work at various stages, to maintaining momentum in an environment which can be inherently unsupportive and prone to unconscious bias. Audience members were encouraged to contribute their own thoughts, experiences and suggestions in this collaborative session.

Leadership, career progression and gender equality through a sustainable finance lens

ICMA Women's Network was in Copenhagen where our speakers from the sustainable finance industry shared experiences and best practices to help encourage leadership, career progression and to create a long-lasting, meaningful culture of gender equality.

Keynote speaker Lisa Ekstrand, VP Sustainability at Vestas and one of Time100's 2023 Climate Leaders, referenced her own lived experiences sharing insights into her leadership journey, and describe how she retained prominence in the sustainable finance industry. 

The keynote was followed by a panel discussion on the opportunities presented by the ESG agenda for career progression and gender equality, with industry experts discussing these developments through the lens of their firms' sustainability agendas.

The event concluded with a fireside chat to discuss the importance of creating a lasting, meaningful culture that aligns with a firm’s vision, purpose and goals, and how to manage difficult situations within it.  

Connecting to inspire

The ICMA Women's Network was established to further positive transformation by offering a platform for women from diverse backgrounds and professions – banking, technology, legal and education - to impart their experiences, wisdom, and insights to support and inspire the upcoming generation. This event which took place in Madridhosted by IE, established a lasting network to help foster connections and to create a supportive community where women can continue to exchange ideas, mentor, learn and be encouraged.

What does the future of work in finance look like?

At this joint event of the IWN and IFL, the potential future of work was explored. As we are on the cusp of a potentially seismic change in the way we work, with competing forces such as AI and technology accelerating at an unprecedented rate, a keynote delivered by Nicki Wakefield of PwC explained how we can keep pace with these influences and future-proof our own career prospects. Then, a panel of expert speakers considered the importance of making educated decisions for our careers while maintaining flexibility, and the benefits of undergoing supplementary education and learning additional skills.

ICMA Women's Network: Turning the tables

At this event, the younger, upcoming generation asked questions of a panel of more seasoned professionals from the investment banking and corporate industry. Taking account of the younger generations’ concerns and real life testimonials, moderator Annalisa Monfreda encouraged the panelists to respond candidly by reference to their lived experiences, gained over the years in financial services. The event also featured a session by Francesca Tumiati, who introduced the potential of astrology in our lives, both to help guide career choices and to help navigate the more challenging aspects of our professional lives.

ICMA Women's Network: Moving the goalposts

In this event, a panel featuring relevant professionals considered how the financial services and sporting worlds collide. By reference to their own lived experiences, they assessed the similarities between sustaining a successful career in each, including how to train and motivate women to remain in their chosen field, and how to retain women who are at the top of their game. The panellists reflected on the skills required for both, such as self-belief, preparation, resilience, determination, and sheer hard work, and offered advice to the audience on how to enhance their performance at work.

Réussir sa carrière dans un environnement masculin : celles qui ont osé !

The capital markets have a reputation of being predominantly male; nonetheless, many women have had brilliant careers in the financial, banking and economic sectors, and the “glass ceiling” was no impediment to their skills and qualities. This event in Paris in 2023, hosted by Oddo and supported by Euronext, comprised a panel of just such women, discussing their motivations, the challenges they had to overcome and how they managed to achieve their success. They shared their experiences of facing both resistance and support in the context of their professional careers, and tips on managing the balance between very demanding jobs and the ups and downs of family life.

Security, sustainability and inclusive recovery

Hosted by Nordic Investment Bank in Hesinki in June 2023, this event saw experts discussing the nexus between security, sustainability and the rebuilding of war-torn countries.

Hanna Smith, Senior Strategic Advisor to the Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, delivered a keynote on the current security environment in Europe. Following this, our panel of industry and market experts discussed how sustainable finance is keeping pace amid turbulent financial and geopolitical climates. To conclude, Antti Kuronen, foreign news correspondent at the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle, discussed the situation in Ukraine, and the challenge of rebuilding through the lens of the economy, infrastructure and human capital.

The Generation Game

This event, hosted by Ashurst in London in 2023, comprised a keynote presentation from Victoria McLean of City CV, on practical solutions for the five biggest challenges that all generations face in their careers, from imposter syndrome to personal branding and beyond. Following this keynote, industry speakers considered how the workplace has changed over the generations, by reference to lived experiences of women and men. They discussed whether enough progress has been made in terms of workplace gender equality and specifically, how to ensure there are more women on boards, and how to smash gender and cultural taboos, such as menopause and menstruation. The panel also highlighted the importance of ensuring that younger generations – including our sons and daughters – are aligning with the gender equality agenda.

Challenges for the future: value proposition for attracting diversity and young talent in the financial and technological sector

This 2023 event, hosted by Insituto de Crédito Oficial in Madrid, featured speakers from the financial and technology industries (including Google, Eniax, eBay, BBVA and Santander) discussing the role of diversity in establishing best practice and value for the future of those industries.

Diversity and inclusion in a multi-cultural environment

Financial markets have ever been multicultural, multilingual and intergenerational, but our professional interactions have multiplied the opportunities to be confronted with practices whose social acceptability could differ. In this event hosted by Moody’s in Paris in 2022, the panel addressed how misunderstandings can arise when what may be considered appropriate behaviour for one culture is inappropriate for another, leading to misinterpretation, misunderstanding or even unintentional insult.

Speaker Spotlight: An audience with Clare Cole

Clare Cole of the UK FCA gave a powerful keynote at Allen & Overy in 2022 on the FCA’s efforts on diversity & inclusion, with a strong focus on neurodiversity, social mobility and educational diversity, including by reference to her own career experiences.

Tackling obstacles in women’s careers

This French webinar in 2021 focused on the role of the spouse in women's careers; reconciling motherhood and career progression and ensuring a salary equivalent to men for identical responsibilities. Tips and tricks to help women who want to climb the corporate ladder were shared in a roundtable which also discussed whether companies have developed a real inclusion strategy, and the effects of the health crisis and remote working.

Speaker Spotlight: Connecting the generations - a conversation with Allegra Berman

A virtual inter-generational conversation in 2021 exploring how the challenges facing women in finance have changed over time, citing shifts in culture and expectations, the importance of adaptability and resilience, and what the future may hold as the different generations weather the storm together and prepare for what’s next. 

Gender Lens Investing: A fresh perspective

At this event, hosted by White & Case in 2019, speakers from the asset management and investment industry gave their insights on a panel into how the diversity agenda is impacting investment strategy and business practices. They addressed how altering investor behaviour has the potential to effect meaningful change in the financial markets and discussed how this can drive forward diversity and inclusion in the economy.

Mental health in the city

This fireside chat hosted by Freshfields in 2019 focused on mental health in the challenging environment of financial markets, discussing the stigma which still exists around mental health in city workplaces, explaining the resources and support that are available and how to maintain mental wellbeing.

Sustainability: the perspective of influential women in the rapidly growing ESG market

This event held at HSBC in 2018 assembled a number of senior influential women in sustainable finance, those who provide thought leadership and are at the centre of innovation. They explored the impact of green bonds, social bonds, sustainable bonds and other innovative financing solutions on the finance industry and the workplace as a whole, as well as by reference to their own career paths.

Embracing change: future proofing your career with Fintech

Allen & Overy hosted this event in 2018. It set out to illuminate the world of FinTech, with a panel of female FinTech experts addressing questions such as: what does FinTech actually mean for the way debt capital markets will function in future? And what do we need to do now to position ourselves for career advantage in this exciting new environment? What are the barriers to entry to a FinTech-based career for women? Can we repurpose skills that we already have to be part of the revolution?

Challenging perceptions: Unconscious bias – how it affects networking & career progression

This event which took place at UniCredit in 2017 took a practical look at how unconscious bias may be subtly influencing our ability to make and maintain the contacts that we need to help us progress in our careers. Unconscious bias training has become a standard feature of workplace diversity programmes, but outside the formal office environment, is our tendency to make snap judgements based on stereotypes affecting the way we network? 

Getting noticed – a masterclass in using social media to build your personal brand

Howard Kingston shared his expertise at this event hosted by EBRD in 2017 on social media, explaining the importance of building a truly representative personal brand, raising personal profile and increasing visibility among colleagues, peers and across the industry. Howard demonstrated how to navigate the world of professional social media to maximum effect, imparting practical tips to get started and equipping the audience with the tools to effectively build a personal brand by way of social networking, LinkedIn, blogging and creating content.

Negotiation skills for women

Negotiation is a tool which we all use every day, without even realising it. In this negotiation workshop held in Paris in 2017, Vincent François, former crisis and hostage negotiator, explained negotiation techniques to ensure we don’t become destabilised at the first step.

Bouncing back – developing resilience at work

Resilience is often cited as the key attribute of successful businesspeople, and it has never been more important than in the current market environment. At this event, held in the Barbican in 2016, professional resilience coach, psychologist and author Jane Clarke explained the importance of resilience in a professional context, how it can help one to handle difficult situations and setbacks and, most importantly, how to develop resilience.

Speaker Spotlight: Julia Hoggett

Drawing on her own experiences working in a number of high-profile roles in both the private and public sector, Julia Hoggett (CEO of the London Stock Exchange and former Head of Wholesale Banking, Supervision Division, FCA), shared her views at Nomura in 2016 on the visibility and role of women in financial services, the importance of recognising the contribution made by women and how firms can develop a culture in which women can succeed and fulfil their potential.

Impact coaching

This event, hosted by Barclays in 2015, focused on practical tips for getting yourself and your ideas noticed at work and for making a positive impact when interacting with colleagues and clients, all in the context of career development in capital markets. A panel discussion with senior industry figures drawing on their own experiences and successful strategies was followed by an interactive session with Impact Coach Esther Stanhope. Esther demonstrated how to ooze confidence and upgrade our communication skills, sharing practical tips on how to craft content for the right audience and use body language, eye contact, gestures, vocal emphasis effectively. 

The current composition of the ICMA Women's Network Steering Committee is as follows:


Desirée Sumilang

Crédit Agricole

Nadia Zubairi
Bank ABC
Magali Moonen Belgium

Magali Moonen

Bank Degroof Petercam SA/NV

Angela Brusas
Nordic Investment Bank and chair of the ICMA Women’s Network

Caroline Derocle
Euroclear Bank S.A./N.V.
South Africa

Mosidi Vilakazi

South African Reserve Bank

Cristina Freudenberger

White & Case LLP

Susana de Pablo

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A.

Sinead O'Connor
A&L Goodbody

Representative TBC

Nicole Della Vedova

Snam S.p.A.

Jennifer Cresswell

A&O Shearman

Isa Ribeiro

Clearstream Banking SA
West Africa

Sunmbo Olatunji
Access Bank
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