In a historic moment, Alison Rose has become the first-ever female CEO of one of Britain’s top four banks.  As of September 2019, Rose has succeeded MacEwan as CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). This is a big win for women around the world. This is said to be the first time a woman has reached the highest and toughest position in banking. As the CEO of RBS, Alison will now be the first woman to lead the firm. Her journey is indeed inspiring for every woman in the world of banking, business or even otherwise.

IMPORTANT MILESTONES:

  • Appointed a member of RBS’s executive committee – 27th Feb 2014
  • Appointed as deputy chief executive of NatWest Holdings – November, 2018
  • Launch of Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship – March, 2019
  • Appointed CEO of RBS – September, 2019

Her Early Years

Alison Rose’s growing up years were spent abroad in a military family. Consequently, this stirred hopes and aspirations in her of being involved in diplomatic services. However, that was not the path she walked. After having completed her bachelor’s degree in History from Durham University, Rose started her career. It all began at National Westminster bank which she joined as a graduate trainee in 1992.

The big break came in February of 2014 when Alison Rose was appointed a member of RBS’ executive committee. A few months later, in April, she was given the responsibility of looking after commercial and private banking.

Career – Trajectory

NatWest came under RBS in the year 2000. By that time, Rose was working in the investment banking department. As a result, she was given the duty of handing leveraged finance in Europe and the United Kingdom.

Also read: How Empathy And Other “Feminine” Traits Make Women Ace Leadership

The big break came in February of 2014 when Alison Rose was appointed a member of RBS’ executive committee. A few months later, in April, she was given the responsibility of looking after commercial and private banking. This gave her the power to announce plans that would champion the cause of women.

Rose was appointed the position of the deputy chief executive of NatWest Holdings in November 2018.

As A Champion Of Woman

Rose acknowledges that being a woman in a male-dominated industry is not easy. Her dreams for the future are not only to see more and more women in executive positions but also at the board level. She talked about her first meeting as a senior executive at RBS in an interview to The Telegraph UK.  “I looked around and thought ‘Gosh, I’m the only woman in the room’,” she said.

“I’d always worked in quite male-dominated environments but was never really conscious of it till then. I’m very lucky to be at this level, but it’s crazy that there aren’t more women around me, because there are so many hugely talented, amazing women around.”

In October, 2014, Rose launched a plan to bring in more female employees at the bank in decision-making and board levels. This was one of the first signs that she showed of being heavily interested in making a change in the business world for women. Following this step, she has continued to support women in business. The government of the United Kingdom invited her to work on a review of the barriers that women face while starting a business. The Alison Rose Review Of Female Entrepreneurship was launched in March, 2019.

RBS has a Women in Business (WiB) program which has about 300 managers. This program has reportedly helped more than 10,000 women since it was set up in 2016.

RBS has a Women in Business (WiB) program which has about 300 managers. This program has reportedly helped more than 10,000 women since it was set up in 2016.  Among many other targets, Rose is aiming to raise the number of WiB managers to 500 by the end of this year. At a WiB conference in Edinburgh, Rose spoke at length about female entrepreneurship. She stated that she wanted RBS to be the bank women come to because they know that they will be supported in their endeavor to set up a business.

As A CEO

As of September 20, 2019, Alison Rose is the new CEO of RBS. After a long career at RBS spanning 27 years, Rose will now be holding the highest seat in office. This is a moment for women in business everywhere, opening new ideas and possibilities about how far women can go.

Alison Rose’s journey from a History graduate to the CEO of one of UK’s top banks is an inspiration for women everywhere.

Image credit: Business Matters Magazine UK

Prapti is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

Also read: Here’s Why India Needs More Women In Leadership Roles

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