Witad Awards 2021: Vendor professional of the year—Zara Pratley, Tradeweb

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Tradeweb’s unofficial motto is, “Move first. Never stop.” And when faced with the challenges of working from home, isolated from colleagues, that’s exactly what its Women’s Network did, under the guidance of Zara Pratley, head of European sales at the trading platform provider, who won the vendor professional of the year category.

Pratley was involved in creating Tradeweb’s Women’s Network about three years ago, and today serves as co-chair of the group, which numbers some 100 staff. With the Covid-19 pandemic forcing office closures, Pratley and her colleagues took the network’s activities virtual, engaging members over videocalls, and featuring guest speakers who focus on topical issues. 

“Ultimately, the network is to support women and give them access to opportunities within the firm, but also to network, mentor each other, and sponsor each other,” Pratley says. “We get a lot of autonomy, and also a lot of support.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic, meetings have included a former BBC TV presenter teaching Zoom meeting etiquette—a meeting that also attracted plenty of clients from Tradeweb’s external Women’s Network—and former athlete Dame Kelly Holmes, who discussed topics including mental health and resilience. One result has been more people within the company coming forward to actively participate in sponsoring and mentoring colleagues.

“Tradeweb is already a great place for diversity and inclusion. We have a committee raising awareness and promoting diversity and inclusion. And the Women’s Network at Tradeweb is very important,” she says. It also contributes to a London-wide “network of women’s networks” comprising members from around 15 companies including asset managers, brokers, and other trading platforms, among others, which aims to promote best practices and share suggestions across companies’ individual women’s networks.

Pratley joined Tradeweb in 2015 as head of client solutions. A couple of years later, when the company merged that area, client services and European sales, she—having already run large business areas in previous roles at Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan—was that natural choice to lead the combined team, which numbers more than 40 staff. She also sits on Tradeweb’s operating and managing director committees.

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