Women in Finance winners: the formula to success in the industry

In the first of two interviews, we speak with eight inspirational winners of the Women in Finance Awards, on what it takes to be at the top of their game.

The third annual Women in Finance Awards took place last month, a celebration of the strides that have been made by exceptional women across a broad range of sectors within financial services. 

Once the celebrations had died down, and the news of their win had sunk in, DiversityQ asked the 17 Women in Finance winners to share authentic advice on how their careers within the finance industry had led them to where they are today.

In a bid to encourage the future women of the finance industry, we also asked the winners to share the advice they would give to young women beginning their career in such a male-dominated sector. The importance of ‘staying true to yourself’ came across loud and clear. This is what they had to say:

Louise Jack 

Chief Operating Officer at Macquarie Group

Finance Team of the Year

“My advice to women would be to have a bias to say yes. To say yes doesn’t mean to work all hours; saying yes means to think about what opportunities lie in front of you. Ask yourself whether it ticks these three boxes? Does the opportunity excite you? Does it tick the box that you’re going to be working with people you respect and will enjoy working with? Does it tick the box that you will be learning something new? If it does, then it’s right to say yes and take the opportunity.”

Rebecca Robertson

Financial Advisor at Evolution Financial Planning

Financial Advisor of the Year

“Find a mentor. Find somebody that you like. Be yourself. Be authentic. Be confident in yourself. You’re all perfect the way you are. You don’t need to change or do anything different.”

Lucianna Raffaini C Costa

Accountant of the Year

 “My advice for women is to have big dreams and pursue them regardless of any challenges and milestones. Don’t give up! Be you and believe in yourself. You’re going to achieve them.”

Chloé Chambraud

Gender Equality Director at Business in the Community

Disruptor of the Year

“My advice to women starting out in the industry is to stay as you are. Our research shows that women are ambitious and want to lead teams but do not always feel supported by their employers to do so. We need to fix the system and the culture, not the women.”

Susanne Chishti 

Chief Executive Officer at FINTECH Circle Ltd

FinTech Champion of the Year (Funding)

“My advice to women starting out in finance or in fintech is really to be authentic. Be aware of your strengths. Just to go for it. Be ambitious, the sky really is the limit. To ask for the pay rise every year. To ask for promotions. To not sit quietly and expect that you get recognised. That you are visible. That everyone can see how well you’re doing and how important your role is for the whole organisation. Just make sure that you get seen and heard and that the company realises they could not do it without the 50% female workforce.”

Esther Law

Senior Investment Manager at Amundi Asset Management

Fund Manager of the Year

“My advice to women starting in the industry is to keep persevering and don’t give up. Be yourself. Prepare to work hard, and be patient.”

Juliette Souliman

FinTech Venture Capitalist Investor at Octopus Ventures

Rising Star of the Year

“My advice is to go for it and be bold. Finance is a great industry to be in. It’s very dynamic, innovative, an industry that is moving forward and that needs a more diverse crowd of people. So just go for it.”

Shazia Azim 

Chief Operating Officer at PwC

Insurance Leader of the Year

“Just keep at it. Keep focused, try and do the jobs that you really enjoy and see the ones you don’t as a good learning experience. Please do not be afraid to ask. To ask for a promotion and your right to the next step.”

>See Also: Women in Finance awards 2019: winners announced

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