Women in Finance: 6-10 revealed!

Women in Finance: 6-10 revealed!

On day three, here are the five women who have been named in positions 6-10 – based entirely on your votes

Our inaugural Women in Finance ranking spotlights influential women across various sectors, including government, business, finance and accountancy, who are all leaders, trailblazers and transforming their respective fields.

Earlier this month, we put forward a longlist of female leaders to an audience vote. This week we’ll be announcing the results of the vote – listing five women each day ahead of the full ranking release of the Top 20 Women in Finance 2018 on 29 March.

So, on day three, here are the five women who have been named in positions 6-10 – based entirely on your votes.

10. Sacha Romanovitch, CEO, Grant Thornton

When Sacha Romanovitch was appointed CEO of Grant Thornton in 2015 she became the first female to lead a top accountancy firm.

She rose to the top job after spending 27 years with the firm and as CEO has rolled out several programmes aimed at fostering innovation and empowering employees.

Early into her tenure as CEO she implemented the shared enterprise business model in the style of the John Lewis partnership–  sharing ideas, responsibility and profits across the entire workforce of the organisation and capping her own salary at 20 times the firm’s average. The decision was supported by 99% of partners in a vote.

It is no surprise then that in 2017 she was the highest rated CEO on Glassdoor.

She also introduced Grant Thornton’s Vibrant Economy initiative, which has seen the firm holding forums across major UK cities to cultivate growth and communication across sectors.

Under this initiative the firm launched a Vibrant Economy Index, which assesses economic progress in areas of England using six metrics beyond just prosperity, in an aim to give a more nuanced understanding of the country’s economic landscape.

Romanovitch has also been selected to co-chair the government’s Inclusive Economy Partnership initiative, which aims to foster a more inclusive economy by identifying solutions to challenges faced by low and middle-income households in today’s society.

9. Emma Walmsley, CEO, GlaxoSmithKline

Walmsley is the first woman to run a major pharmaceutical company and is one of only seven female CEOs of FTSE 100 companies. Upon her appointment in April 2017, she stated that her priority was for GlaxoSmithKline to become better at developing and commercialising new drugs.

In January 2018, she replaced 50 of the company’s top managers and created a number of new roles, hiring Karenann Terrell from Walmart as chief digital and technology officer.

Walmsley looks to take the company to new heights in the coming year following a successful 2017 with growth across all three businesses and sales reaching over £30 billion for the first time.

8. Sarah Willows, CFO, KPMG

In 2016 Sarah Willows was appointed CFO and head of operations at KPMG and joined the firm’s executive committee.

In this role Willows is responsible for managing the finances, the financial strategy and business planning and lead the Information technology, facilities and resourcing teams.

Willows has been a KPMG partner since 2000 and held many client-facing and internal leadership positions. She has advised numerous CFOs of major international companies with 20 years of experience in audit and transaction services.

She chairs KPMG’s investment review board, which authorises and controls cash commitments greater than £1m, and is also a member of a number of the firm’s global steering groups such as the global chief operators and the global IT steering group.

7. Michelle Quest, Head of Tax, Pensions and Legal Services, KPMG

Quest leads the tax relationship with some of the firm’s most significant corporate clients, advising on tax governance, process and reporting; international business and operating models; transfer pricing and M&A.

She is a member of executive committee and part of the Global Tax Steering Group, and leads the firm’s thinking on the changing tax landscape and tax strategy.

Since 2001, Quest has specialised in providing tax advice on corporate transactions, reorganisations and reconstructions.

Quest is also a member of Tower Hamlets Education and Business Partnership Board, and a founding member of the Agile Future Forum, a business-to-business collaboration designed to maximise the competitiveness of UK businesses.

6. Melanie Richards, Deputy Chair, KPMG

Melanie Richards was appointed deputy chair of KPMG in October 2017 and works with the chairman and board to set KPMG’s strategic direction and determine major policy positions. She is also a member of the KPMG UK board.

Richards is a champion of diversity and gender equality and is a founding member of the 30% Club Steering Committee – a pioneering campaign focused on increasing female representation in FTSE boards and leadership.

In 2015-2016 Richards sponsored GROW at KPMG, a leadership development initiative which identifies barriers facing under-represented groups, including women, and uses training and internal programmes address them. The programme resulted in 15% of GROW delegates receiving promotions in 2016.

She joined the Harvard Women’s Leadership Board in June 2014 and is a trustee of two charitable organisations, The Eve Appeal and Orbis UK.

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