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London Stock Exchange celebrates Jewish businesswomen

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The London Stock Exchange (LSE) celebrated the contribution of Jewish women in business by launching the Jewish Women’s Business Network (JWBN) at the LSE’s headquarters in London on 21 and 22 January, providing a platform for the promotion of Jewish businesswomen across the globe.
by JORDAN MOSHE | Feb 07, 2019

The event and ceremony celebrated “the ambitious and innovative spirit Jewish businesswomen bring to the global economy as female entrepreneurs and business leaders across the world”, according to Diane Côté, Chief Risk Officer of the LSE and Chair of its Women Inspired Network (WIN), a group-wide network aimed at nurturing female talent and developing their careers.

Invited on the merit of their professional achievements, Jodi Lynn Karpes, Monica Singer, and Kate Kuper were some of the South African women that attended. Singer was the founder of Strate, South Africa’s Central Securities Depository, 21 years ago, and successfully transformed a completely paper-based financial market into a fully digital one. Karpes established public relations business GreenQueen Communications, while Kuper operates at the intersection of philanthropy, innovation, and business as the president of the Moshal Scholarship Program.

Held in collaboration with WIN, the forum included an evening conference and market open ceremony. Bringing together leading businesswomen, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, entertainers, and politicians of all ages from South Africa, the United States, Israel, and Gibraltar, the hallmark event featured public and private industry leaders in the fields of hi-tech, law, medicine, finance, and philanthropy.

Among several others, these included Côté; recognised property lawyer Lady Ruth Morris of Kenwood; and Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, the Deputy Major of Jerusalem.

Having worked closely with the LSE before, Singer is excited at the prospect of being part of a network of Jewish businesswomen from around the world connected to financial markets.

“I was very happy to see the LSE, one of the biggest stock markets in the world, take such initiative,” she says.

“The LSE is taking a stand in support of Jewish businesswomen, and encouraging more of us to do business in the UK and among ourselves, no matter where we are. This is a formidable initiative that sends a message to politicians that business should not be hindered by political views.”

Says Karpes, “As a ‘solopreneur’, it is imperative for me to be part of networks of like-minded individuals. When asked to be part of the committee organising the JWBN, it was an opportunity to be part of something meaningful and global. The network represents many pillars that are important to me: women, Judaism, global networks – with the credibility of the LSE.”

Although great strides have been made in empowering the previously disempowered in the workplace, Singer believes events like this can address the fact that the business world still has unconscious biases against women, including Jewish women. “This opportunity offers so much healing to many past experiences that had been dismissive towards many of us – as women and as Jews,” she says.

“There is still a high level of anti-Semitism in the world, and only through co-operation and transparency [regarding] the issues facing Jewish businesswomen around the world will we be able to rise above the misconceptions that are prevalent in society,” Singer says.

Given the current global political and economic environment, along with an increase in blatant anti-Semitism, Karpes believes in shining a positive light on Jewish women from across the world. “There is no risk in pinpointing these Jewish personalities,” she says. “Quite the opposite. The LSE is a trailblazer in its industry, and a progressive thinker. It shows great strength and leadership, and that an enlightened world is emerging. I hope this marks a new era in business by bringing heart into the work place, across all industries.”

All three believe that the experience will enable them to reach out to more professional Jewish women, and empower them to harness the potential the network has to offer. “Forming a network that other businesswomen can join will make it easier for Jewish women to venture into this world of entrepreneurship,” says Singer. “We all share similar stories and value systems, and we should be able to contact and find ways to help each other achieve our goals in business and philanthropy. Across all ages, we will all benefit from each other’s experiences and interactions.

Karpes agrees. “The world is already moving towards flexible work hours and working from home,” she says. “This will automatically attract more women into entrepreneurship as it is adaptable to our current lifestyles. I want more good people in business, people who bring heart, compassion, and balance into the work environment. The network will encourage and facilitate mentorship. Together, we will inspire, nurture, network, and mentor.”

Kuper says conferences and networks like those created by the LSE enable women, including Jewish women, to explore in a safe and supportive environment how to leverage their tremendous skills, tacit knowledge, wisdom, and networks to have a greater impact in business and social spaces.

She says, “This is good for us all as women who are each-other’s best cheerleaders, and also important in a world confronted by ongoing misogyny and anti-Semitism. I am a strong believer in the power of collaborative impact and demonstration effects.”

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