Sarah Bartram-Lora Reina, trustee at Stonehage Fleming and president of Jersey Association of Trust Companies (JATCo), feels there is more to be done to address the loss of intellectual capital in Jersey. She explains why this International Women’s Day should be a watershed moment.
The theme of IWD is embracing equity. What does that mean to you?
To achieve true equity, we must look beyond simply believing in equality. I think equity is striving for inclusion, from nursery all the way through to the workplace. It should not matter whether someone attends a state school or a private school. Diverse skillsets, built in different environments, make a huge contribution to a broad sector such as finance. I am constantly looking for someone who has the motivation, excitement, and initiative to be part of my team and learn. This transcends ethnicity, age, and religion. Moreover, it requires collective nurturing and support.
Who are some of your inspirations that have made a positive impact on your career?
When I look back on my career, I can see how much of an impact mentors have had on who I am today, both professionally and personally. An early example that comes to me is the head of banking at this big retail bank who gave me advice while preparing for my banking examinations. She pushed me to apply for various positions within the organisation. Having said that, it was a male ally, later on in my career, who spotted potential in me and brought it to the attention of another influential person in my life. Your champions can be male or female.
I also received invaluable learning and experiences from the Jersey Association of Trust Companies. When I inquired about opportunities for advancement in my career, a senior male colleague whom I worked with, strongly recommended that I join. These connections have enriched my career in a variety of ways, including my current position as a trustee at Stonehage Fleming.
For Jersey, what are some of the solutions for the future of promoting equity?
Education. Many young people, in my opinion, are left to assume that the financial sector is a generic, closed-off, one-size-fits-all industry. This contributes to brain drain. You can be as creative or as analytical as you like. In general, we need to nurture Jersey’s talent pipeline. Be aware of today’s digital solutions. Covid 19 has driven acceptance of digital in finance, which is great. However, in order to make equity a reality, we need to be less afraid of change and embrace it.
What else can help in terms of promoting equity?
Understanding equity entails more than just making structural changes in the public sphere. There is room for the private sector to do more with the Jersey Employment Trust, which helps individuals with various disabilities and long-term health conditions boost their confidence and get into the workplace. We also require changes in areas such as affordable robust childcare arrangements and division of parental responsibilities. Change in these areas can help us reach equity in the years to come.
Sarah Bartram-Lora Reina is a judge for the Citywealth Powerwomen Awards 2023 and has over thirty years of expertise in the financial services industry. She recently joined Stonehage Fleming, one of the world’s leading independently owned multi- family offices and the largest in Europe, Middle East and Africa.