LONDON, May 21 /PRNewswire/ -- It's time to move beyond the Lehman Sisters would have survived argument, which suggested that if women had been in charge, the banks would not have fallen into crisis in 2008, says Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, CEO of the consultancy 20-first, author and publisher of the new business website,

Yes, women do have a right to be angry. The leadership teams of the banks that failed to judge the risks they were taking properly are dominated by men, she says.

But, she says, the most important question for all those concerned about the future robustness of the financial sector is what is the risk of not having a more equal gender balance on the top teams of the banks?

And what is the cost of squandering talent among women graduates (an ever increasing majority) and high-potential people within their companies?

There is a 'carry-on as before' attitude, with more fix the women programmes. Only occasionally do we come upon CEOs determined to change things in a more fundamental way, she says.

Piyush Gupta, CEO of South East Asia Pacific, Citibank told WOMEN-omics that: At the end of the day, it is not about creating processes to change women; it is about creating processes to change the company.

So, amidst all the talk about what went wrong and all the effort to cope with the present difficulties, we need the issue of gender balance to be up there as one of the top priorities of the financial institutions.

Shareholders should be raising the issue at their meetings and companies should be reporting on their progress, providing metrics on their gender diversity, adds Wittenberg-Cox.

To paraphrase Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest: To lose one bank may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose another would look like carelessness.

For more information about WOMEN-omics and 20-first or if you would like to speak with Ms. Wittenberg-Cox, please contact Morice Mendoza at +44 (0)786 3344865 or

For the full article go to: Banks Must Make Gender Balance A Priority To Avoid Another Fall (

About WOMEN-omics

WOMEN-omics ( ) is the website of 20-first, and is a portal that presents and delivers the latest business thinking from around the globe on how to optimize both halves of the talent pool and both halves of the market - the female and male halves.

About Avivah Wittenberg-Cox

Avivah Wittenberg-Cox is CEO of 20-first, one of Europe's leading gender consultancies. She works with progressive companies to develop more inclusive leadership styles, promote more gender-balanced management teams. She is the co-author of the bestselling Why Women Mean Business: Understanding the Emergence of Our Next Economic Revolution (Wiley Sons, 2008).

Contact: Morice Mendoza, Editor of WOMEN-omics +44(0)786-3344865

Contact: Morice Mendoza, Editor of WOMEN-omics, +44(0)786-3344865,