The New Jersey Bankers Association hosted close to 400 women at its 11th annual Women in Banking conference on June 14 at The Palace in the Somerset section of Franklin.
The event, which celebrated the important role women play at all levels of the banking industry, featured informative keynote sessions, topic-driven workshops and networking opportunities.
The keynote presentation was delivered by Wells Fargo’s Chief Information Officer and Head of Chief Operating Office Technology, Sharon Murphy. Murphy discussed the path and decisions she made that enabled her to achieve success, and the importance and value of mentors and coaches.
Ellen Lalwani, executive vice president and chief banking officer at Lakeland Bank, was awarded the association’s inaugural “Woman of Impact Award,” in recognition of her leadership and commitment to the advancement of women in the banking industry. Lalwani has mentored countless female banking professionals and participated in numerous formal mentorships through the Lakeland Bank Leader Engagement and Development (L.E.A.D.) program and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking program.
Workshop topics included building a personal brand, charting a path to the C-suite and trends in retail banking. Workshops were led by top female banking executives and renowned speakers.
The conference concluded with a keynote presentation by Carolynn Johnson, CEO of Diversity Inc., on why diversity matters in the workplace. Using a series of insightful data points, Johnson demonstrated the positive impact a comprehensive DEI strategy can have on an organization’s bottom line. She encouraged attendees to use this information to enhance their organizations’ DEI initiatives.
“After the last few years of being so isolated, it’s great to finally have the opportunity to get together and discuss these important women’s topics in-person,” said Jenn Zorn, NJBankers executive vice president and director of education and business development. “As the association representing New Jersey’s banking industry, we feel it’s important for us to be leading the charge on issues like diversity and equality in the workplace.”