R&C: Could you outline the key developments in recent years that have shaped the role of women within the sphere of corporate compliance?

Roitman: Technology has made it easier to complete discreet risk and compliance tasks, which, in turn, has increased flexibility around risk and compliance roles. While this flexibility may have initially drawn more women to compliance, the explosion of regulation has kept them there. This avalanche of new regulations has led to more sophisticated, rewarding and commercially challenging risk and compliance roles, which is drawing a diverse set of candidates. Regulators have also helped push the needle by bringing into focus the need to create a culture of compliance. Starting with a ‘tone from the top’ meant that in many organisations compliance was moved out of legal and operation departments into newly-created roles, reporting directly to founders and boards. This shift created new senior roles, as well as opportunities for women to step up as leaders with a voice in the ethical culture of an organisation. I think firms are starting to see the benefit of having a more diverse set of decision makers, especially within compliance departments.

Allen: Recent developments that have encouraged women to enter the field of compliance include the broadening of skill sets beyond legal to regulatory and public policy experience, the pressure on firms to hire more women professionals, especially in the C-suite, and research indicating that women see risk in a different way than men. According to Catalyst and Credit Suisse research, women approach risk from a more holistic and multidimensional perspective. For example, a versatile skill set, agile thinking and a deep understanding of the identification and use of metrics are essential for today’s compliance leaders. According to the research, women often have a strong capacity to provide thought leadership around what the data is saying about risk and, importantly, provide credible challenges to stakeholders at all levels in a way they can then action.

Jul-Sep 2018 Issue

Bloomberg L.P.

Nomura Asset Management U.S.A. Inc


The Santa Fe Group