High Five: 5 Women Share Their Finance Career Stories

When we used to talk about pursuing a career in finance, most people would think they were going to get a job as a CFO, banker, corporate financier, adviser, trader, research analyst or portfolio manager…and that was about it! While these continue to be interesting and lucrative professions, if you have financial skills, you have many more opportunities. Are you looking for a new direction? You won’t have to look far to find a fabulous career in finance!

 

Financial Educator

Help people understand financial concepts. Communicate about financial matters in a clear and practical way.

Kiana Daniels is the CEO and Founder of Invest Diva. Kiana originally started her trading platform while living in Tokyo and she is now based in New York. She believes that “Your investment strategy must be unique to you.” She told me her story:

“I took one very big risk in trusting a manager with my money back when I had no experience in finance. It turned out very badly for me in that they took off with all of my money! I am now an advocate for women in the male dominated field of finance and every day I talk to a lot of younger women about the importance of taking care of your own money.”
 

“Your investment strategy must be unique to you.”

 

Financial Services/FinTech Marketer

Help incumbent financial organizations reposition themselves, modernize their brand, and keep pace with the constantly changing world of technology. Or help a new entrant disrupt the industry.

April Rudin is the Founder and President of The Rudin Group in New York. In 2008, April had a powerful premonition for the future direction of the financial industry:

“I felt strongly that there were three pillars that were going to intersect and change wealth management forever: $32 trillion wealth transfer, technology and the new value propositions of next generation clients. Financial services brands would be forced to evolve.

Tech was overtaking everything and I could see clearly that the industries that had been least-disrupted at that time were banking and wealth management.”

 

Data Analyst

There is a growing need for analytical talent across all areas of our data-rich society. Data analysts need to understand and interpret data and apply it to the real world. Historically this role was all about data skills, but increasingly it also requires strong business acumen and financial skills.

Daphne Kis is the CEO of WorldQuant University based in New Orleans. She explains:

“The world of finance has benefited greatly from data and data science. Right now, there are fewer women graduating with computer science degrees than in the 1980s. Nevertheless, as we move from big data to data science, doors will open for more and more women. Data science will not be exclusive to the male-dominated computer science profession, and a tidal wave of opportunity will arise for women.”
 

“A tidal wave of opportunity will arise for women.”

 

Sophisticated Salesperson

Use financial knowledge to be the best at selling in any industry. Differentiate yourself from your competitors.

Therese Wettergren is a former tech business evangelist (sales) for Microsoft in Stockholm. She said:

“To give proper advice and direction, I needed to fully understand a company as a whole: my job was to take their business to the next level. I decided to increase my financial acumen, so that I could talk directly to the C-level executives.

Today you don’t need to understand very much at all about the machine you are using – the business side is way more important – you have to understand what to do with the technology. You can have the most brilliant software but you need to know how to make money from it.”
 

“Every business needs a financial person”

 

Finance Generalist

Set yourself up as the finance generalist on a start-up team in any industry. Combine your financial capabilities with your passion for a new product or service.

Dr. Irene Fialka is the CEO of INiTS (a highly-ranked academic incubator) in Vienna. She told me:

“Just looking at my business incubator’s small ecosystem of start-ups, I see that they definitely need people with financial acumen. Whether they are working on an app to help society better manage diabetes, or a 3D printer company to disrupt the supply chain, every business needs a financial person. It is a series of critical roles: to be able to read financial statements, understand what it takes to make a profit, know how to judge the quality of a business and how to put together a business plan. It is never just about finance, you can combine your knowledge with whatever you feel as a person is a good thing to work on.”

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