She picked up the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) First Woman in Finance prize, one of the First Women Awards, for her encouragement of other women in the business arena.
Kirsty McManus, assistant director of CBI Northern Ireland, said: “Ellvena, who is the first woman to be appointed as executive director in the Ulster Bank, has been championing other women in business. She founded Ulster Bank's Women in Touch network aiming to inspire other women in managerial roles.”
Ellvena Graham has also won the Women in Banking and Finance (WIBF) Champion for Women Award.
Role models for young women
WIBF president Sylvana Caloni said the complexion of the financial services sector is changing: “We congratulate Ellvena and hope her success today offers positive role models for younger women joining the industry in the future.”
Ulster Bank Chief Executive Jim Brown said the double win is a clear signal of the calibre of top management now in position in the Bank. “I am very proud of Ellvena’s achievements – she has always inspired other women in managerial roles and this award showcases her talent, hard work and determination to succeed,” he said.
Ellvena Graham was appointed to the new position of Head of Ulster Bank Northern Ireland in March 2013, while continuing her role as Chief Operating Officer for the Group as a whole.
Business Women Can
In addition to the Women in Touch network, Ulster Bank initiated the Business Women Can scheme which provides direct access to professional guidance, advice and information to women entrepreneurs from specially trained branch officials.
Ulster Bank also became a sponsor this year of the Women in Business Northern Ireland organisation which now has more than 1,000 members.