Young Banker of the Year and Female Empowerment

  • Heather Marsh
  • 9 March 2022
  • Blog | Young Banker of the Year | Career Development | Blog

The Chartered Banker Young Banker of the Year 2023 Competition launched on Tuesday 21st March 2023.

The challenge set for entrants is designed to test their capacity to generate new ideas, to drive innovation and deliver sustainable growth. This year contestants have been asked to develop a proposal in response to the following question:

“What idea would you implement in your organisation to improve outcomes for customers, colleagues, and communities? Your idea should reflect your vision for the future of the banking profession and be consistent with the ethos of the Chartered Banker Institute and the UN Principles for Responsible Banking.”

The statistics from the 2021 competition entries revealed that only a third of Young Banker applicants were female. Reflecting on that Heather Marsh, Marketing and Events Executive at the Chartered Banker Institute caught up with Young Banker of the Year 2021 winner Rosie Lyon to discuss how she found the competition process and why she would encourage more women to enter the competition.

Rosie won Young Banker of the Year in 2021 with her proposal for 'A Fairer Financial Future for Sufferers & Survivors of Domestic Abuse’.

What is your background and how did you get into banking?

I always wanted to work in banking, I was inspired by my dad that worked his way up the career ladder. However, my journey wasn’t straight into banking. I finished school at 16 with 11 GCSES all between Bs and Cs. I then went to college and did a level 3 BTEC Health & Social Care which I passed with flying colours. I hated exams, I wasn’t very good at them, and I had to resit quite a few at school. And so, I opted to not attend University and went straight into work. I started working part time at Domino’s Pizza. I then moved on to full time work in a care home to use my college qualification. After 3 years I started my journey within AIB. I worked my way up from a cashier to now being a Vulnerability Specialist.

What made you apply for Young Banker of the Year?

I was already bringing the idea to light in AIB regarding a domestic abuse policy. I saw the competition advertised within AIB internally and I thought, I wonder if it fits into my idea? I wasn’t sure if it would! I was still going through financial abuse at this stage and couldn’t even leave my house due to anxiety. But when I saw Goal 5, I thought what have I got to lose?

How did you find the application process?

I found the application process very structured and easy to follow. It was a very straight forward question which I could easily answer with my idea. I updated my CV and then wrote an application about what my idea was. After draft 23, (I wanted it to be near perfect) I sent it in, very straightforward.

How has the competition impacted your career?

Words cannot describe what the competition has done for me. It has built me into a person that I never thought I’d find. A person that has passion and purpose in life. I am well known in the banking industry from the award. I have gained so much knowledge on topics such as UNEP FI’s UN Sustainable Development Goals and COP26. From being Young Banker of the Year, I have been given so many opportunities such as doing talks, blogs, webinars, events and so on. It’s given me a platform to fight for what I believe in and to inspire people along the way.

What advice would you give other females that wish to apply?

As we know, banking can be seen as a very male dominated environment, and I was the only female in the Live Final of the Competition. I’m passionate about female empowerment and women’s rights. If you have an idea, just go for it. I wasn’t going to because I didn’t feel like I was good enough. I felt that because I didn’t have the qualifications, the best background and my idea wasn’t all technical with the right jargon that I wouldn’t get far. How wrong was I! I’d love to see more females apply because we are just as equal, we can achieve whatever we want in life.

What support did you receive?

If I needed clarification or had any questions the Chartered Banker Institute was there to answer them. I was lucky, within AIB in that I had a mentor that helped me get through the competition.

She was there to help push me and I was able to run anything by her which was really helpful. I know not everyone has that, so I had a light bulb moment.

How can females get the support they need?

Here was my lightbulb moment, I won Young Banker of the Year and I’m sure there is many females out there that can win too. I have signed up as a mentor for the Chartered Banker Institute. If you need support, guidance or just someone to talk to while going through the process, come to me. I am more than happy to help. We all need support at times, especially with new things and that’s okay. I look forward to talking to you all.


As Rosie mentioned above, she is a mentor on the Institute’s Mentoring Platform. If you are thinking about applying for the Young Banker of the Year 2023 Competition and are a member of the Chartered Banker Institute you can sign up to be mentored by Rosie or any of our mentors.

If you are not a member of the Institute and would like to apply, then that’s great too! You can contact Heather or Rosie on LinkedIn and they will be more than happy to help and answer any questions you may have.

Visit our Young Banker Hub for more information, how to apply videos and many more resources.

Best of luck with your application!