SPAN Event - Women in Business and Finance

SPAN’s Women in Business and Finance networking event was held last Tuesday. Guests ranging from current students and teachers to Old Girls were privileged to hear from Sally Auld, Chief Economist and Head, AUS/NZ Fixed Income and FX Strategy at JP Morgan.

Sally Auld JOW 190402 0902 2Sally Auld

Year 7 student Catherine Park provides an account of the evening below:

Dr Sally Auld is clearly a woman ahead of her time. She holds a distinguished position in the male-dominated field of economics, yet she doesn’t work in the industry because she believed it would give her a stable job; she does so because she has a passion for economics. And this enthusiasm is what makes her a truly remarkable person.

Last Tuesday, she delivered an insightful SPAN talk to an appreciative audience. The topics included the nature of the economics industry, her ideas about leadership, her life experiences and female representation. And yet, she still managed to provide countless take away messages all in ten minutes.

When she talked about her experience at JP Morgan, she provided a rather surprising fact. Women there make up only 20% of the workforce, and not many hold high-ranking positions. More hopefully, she discussed opportunities for women such as scholarships or looking for competent women in the industry and inviting them in.

As a natural SCEGGS feminist, I held a glass of orange juice in one hand and a microphone in the other and asked a pressing question; how will organic change come about so that women can feel comfortable joining male-dominated industries such as STEM or economics?

Dr Auld replied with a truthful, insightful response – organic change is happening, but it is not happening fast. She said that people are hired based on ability, not gender, yet women are sometimes intimidated by the male-dominant workforce or are not recruited based on their ability. She then offered a very notable piece of advice; if you want something, you must ask for it.

As the talk ended and the mingling began with an excess of snacks, tea and coffee, I began to think. I personally aspire to work in the Science industry which is, however, male dominated. And I now know that when I leave the school gates for the last time as a student at the end of 2024, the door-knocking will start for me.

These SPAN talks are one of a kind. They are home to a range of inspirational speakers who are unique, and these nights are a time to share tips, tricks and experiences. For me, they inspire, educate and entertain, and give me a new-found insight into industries outside of school.

And I will definitely be attending the next one!