Rietumu Banka Chairman of the Board Jeļena Buraja yesterday addressed the Financial Women’s Association (FWA) Summit in New York.
Jeļena Buraja’s speech opened the second day of the Summit, which took place in person. In a discussion with FWA President Nina Batson and FWA Corporate Governance Committee Co-Chair Pawneet Abramowski, she told the Summit how the Latvian banking sector had overcome difficulties and operated in the currently complicated geopolitical situation caused by the war in Ukraine.
Jeļena Buraja shared the experience of Rietumu Banka, which in a short period of time successfully reoriented its operations towards the Baltic market and, right after the start of the war, clearly expressed its position of support for Ukraine and acted decisively not only in business, but also in providing extensive assistance to Ukrainian refugees in Latvia, for which the bank was officially thanked by the Ukrainian ambassador to Latvia.
Jeļena Buraja went on to comment on the current ESG (Environmental, social and governance) issues and said that Rietumu Banka was presently financing construction of solar parks in Latvia, which would help replace natural gas that the country had been buying from Russia before the war. She also emphasized the importance of the development of online financial services, which banks should take into consideration when planning their future strategies.
Addressing the question of gender equality, Jeļena Buraja spoke of her personal experience, building a career at Rietumu Banka, and becoming the most successful woman in the financial industry this year in Forbes Latvia ranking. She emphasized the essential role of the state and society in the future path to establishing bona fide gender equality in everyday life.
“I firmly believe that professionalism has no gender. Every person should have equal opportunities to get an education, choose their own path in life, develop professionally and build a career. Freedom of choice is no longer an advantage in today’s society, it must become a fundamental principle allowing everyone to do what they really want to do. Each of us must take initiative, responsibility, make independent decisions and defend our rights. Both the state and the entire society must continue to be actively involved in these processes because it is essential for their development,” said Jeļena Buraja.
The first day of the FWA Summit was held online. Participants in the summit also discussed other economic developments, as well as environmental, social and governance issues, gender equality, the impact of hybrid and remote working on companies’ daily operations, corporate culture, and others.
For more information about the Summit programme and participants, please go to:
The annual summit of the Financial Women’s Association will be held in New York on May 22 and 23. Jeļena Buraja, the Chairman of the Board at Rietumu Bank, will open the second day of the summit by addressing financial experts from all over the world.