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Women in Treasury: from insight to action

Fearless girl statue – Sculpture by Kristen Visbal, commissioned by State Street Global Advisors

On March 8th in New York on International Women’s Day, State Street Global Advisors and Treasury Today hosted the first of a series of global roundtables dedicated to diversity and inclusion in corporate treasury. The launch session was both a networking opportunity and a lesson in personal development, focusing on the data derived from the 2017 Treasury Today Women in Treasury Global Study.

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March 8th 2018 marked the one year anniversary of the unveiling of State Street’s Fearless Girl, a sculpture erected overnight in New York of a ten year old female child, her hands placed firmly on her hips facing down the iconic bull on Wall Street. The sculpture came to symbolise the indomitable strength of women and instantly garnered worldwide attention. A social media frenzy swiftly followed its unveiling as people from across the world flocked to have their photograph taken with the sculpture. Originally intended as a temporary installation, the popularity of the sculpture will see the Fearless Girl become a permanent feature in the city. All this made March 8th the perfect day to launch the first in 2018’s roundtable events with State Street Global Advisors.

Treasury Today’s Women in Treasury initiative was created five years ago and has been driving the diversity dialogue in the corporate treasury space ever since. The initiative now incorporates an annual Global Study into the corporate female experience along with global Forums, regular profiles of female corporate finance professionals, a dedicated LinkedIn networking group, and now, this new series of intimate focus group sessions dedicated to discussing the study findings.

Photos from the Women in Treasury New York roadshow

The inaugural session was hosted above the heady heights of Times Square in New York City and brought a group of 20 industry professionals together for a lunchtime discussion of key findings from the 2017 Women in Treasury Global Study. The event began with a networking coffee session where guests arrived at the Convene on the 23rd floor towering above Midtown Manhattan and were photographed with a resin replica of the Fearless Girl statue.

This was followed by an introductory speech from Yeng Butler, Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Cash Business of State Street Global Advisors as guests enjoyed a sumptuous three course lunch. Pia McCusker, Senior Managing Director – Global Head of Cash Management added sound bites around her personal professional journey and the work that State Street Global Advisors are doing in this space. Said Yeng, ‘It is about action. Actionable ideas for yourself, as senior leaders in your organisation, actionable ideas for your organisations in driving diversity of thought and inclusion. Let me leave a compelling example of this action and reaction resulting from Fearless Girl arriving exactly a year ago. As part of our asset stewardship role at State Street Global Advisors, as a result of Fearless Girl coming on March 8th of last year, 152 companies have now committed to add a female in their board. To me, there isn’t any more compelling evidence that there is a reaction to the action, I think that is just something that I want to leave you with as we have this vibrant discussion this afternoon.’

Over lunch Treasury Today’s Joint Publisher & Head of Strategic Content, Sophie Jackson facilitated a dialogue around the key findings from the Women in Treasury 2017 Annual Global Study with particular attention to the topics of flexibility, representation, mentorship, parity and driving change in organisations. The lively dialogue these statistics provoked was incredibly eye opening and the findings really came to life as corporate treasurers outlined in real terms their experiences of these statistics and their unique personal journeys to the careers that they enjoy now.

Our diverse group shared advice with the other treasurers in the room and there was an enthusiastic and supportive atmosphere on the day, built on a keen awareness of the challenges female professionals currently face. We sought insight from the corporate treasurers in the room in advance of the launch of the Women in Treasury 2018 Global Study on April 3rd 2018, proudly supported by State Street Global Advisors, which we invite all female corporate treasury professionals to complete.

Photos from the Women in Treasury New York roadshow

Discussion of the Women in Treasury 2017 Annual Global Study was followed by an expert session interview with Louise Watts, co-founder of High Performance Coaching based in Sydney, who works extensively with organisations on the future of work and with individuals on their personal brand building, development and coaching. Louise shared some great insights from her own journey with actionable takeaways for attendees to encourage taking charge of ones’ professional presence and destiny.

The Women in Treasury Annual Global Study roadshow events with State Street Global Advisors will continue globally throughout the course of the year in various locations and the 2018 Women in Treasury Annual Global Study results will be released in September.

To learn more please contact Lisa Bigley, Global Head of Events – lisa.bigley@treasurytoday.com

Join our Women in Treasury community on LinkedIn where you can be part of the discussion around the findings of this study, contribute your insights and engage with a unique professional network. Simply contact our Head of Circulation, Sarah Arter – sarah.arter@treasurytoday.com to join our Women in Treasury community and be part of the dialogue today.