On International Women’s Day, let’s celebrate women who’ve set an inspiring example in breaking down frontiers in the male dominated world of business and especially that of finance.
Karen Jones is a prime example. She’s the founder and CEO of Citywealth, a publishing and events company that connects Ultra High Net Worth individuals and private wealth professionals.
Women setting up business in the finance sector, especially in the wealth management sector, have a particularly tough time when trying to secure funding. This was even more the case fourteen years ago, when Karen set up her company.
She had no alternative but use her credit cards initially to raise £60,000. Along her journey, she had to overcome many hurdles, objections and discouragement especially from male members of the industry before she eventually achieved success and recognition.
Karen never forgot her own struggles and is now a keen champion of helping women up the career ladder and helping them to gain recognition. She registered the trademark name #Powerwomen to highlight those women who are trailblazers in their own field and launched the Citywealth Powerwomen Awards.
These awards, now in their seventh year, started with a lunch presided over by a panel of speakers that included such diverse characters as Diana Abbots MP, a proud descendant of Jamaican slaves, and Lady Edwina Grosvenor, daughter of the late Duke of Westminster, a man of immense wealth. They were united in their aim to inspire and encourage women to achieve their goals whatever their backgrounds might be.
These awards have grown significantly since their launch. Karen can be particularly proud of achieving the involvement of men in leading positions who can make a real difference to women’s careers. Getting a Citywealth Powerwomen Award for a company has now become a coveted mark of distinction in the City and beyond.
Amongst the proud award winners are such multinational giants as Barclays and UBS, multinational accountancy firms such as Price Waterhouse Coopers and Ernst & Young, just to name but a few. By entering and accepting these awards, these large and highly respected corporations set a global trend in giving women equal chance and recognise their achievements in the work place.
In addition to the awards, Karen also set up the Citywealth Powerwomen Club, a networking club for women in the wealth management sector, to allow them to forge important connections and be motivated by mentor speakers.
Karen’s achievements in helping and mentoring women have been recognised by the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the world’s prime business awards based in the USA. She has won multiple awards in the categories Women Helping Women, Female Entrepreneur of the Year and Innovator of the Year.
Karen has also been granted the prestigious Freedom of the City of London. As a freeman, Karen has the right to vote for the Lord Mayor of London, one of the world’s oldest elected offices, and whose main role is to support businesses in the City, and promote London’s financial services abroad.