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Women in Treasury: from insight to action

Fearless girl at the Silicon Valley WiT SSGA Roadshow

State Street Global Advisors and Treasury Today’s Women in Treasury Roundtable Series launches on the West Coast.

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On May 17th in Palo Alto, California, Treasury Today, for the first time, brought its collaboration with State Street Global Advisors to the West Coast. This Silicon Valley-focused lunch gathering enabled a new network of corporate treasurers to hear from State Street Global Advisors and Treasury Today about their partnership on the 2018 Women in Treasury Study as well as to join a discussion group focused on the most recent Study results. Guests arrived at the beautiful Garden Court Hotel to enjoy a sunny lunchtime roundtable event, joined by a replica of State Street Global Advisors’ inspirational ‘Fearless Girl’, a statue that has come to represent the indomitable strength of women worldwide.

Sharing the results of the most recent Women in Treasury Annual Global Study with the array of attendees based in the Bay area was a real privilege. The ensuing dialogue around flexibility, representation and broader topics of inclusion and career advancement was so well received by this new community that the conversation is sure to continue well beyond that awesome afternoon.

Woman speaking into microphone during the lunch
Two women networking
Another woman speaking
Woman having her photo taken with the Fearless Girl

There was an intimate and trusting atmosphere that allowed those in the room to really open up about their experiences, both good and bad, in the workplace and to learn from one another as we debated the merits of various approaches to finding the career path we are best suited to. Raising your hand, being heard and knowing what you want were some of the recurring themes of the day.

Yeng Butler, Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Cash Business at State Street Global Advisors opened the discussion. Setting the tone for the afternoon Yeng said, ‘This is about action, action for yourselves in your professional lives, and also about action for each of your organisations. We’re looking forward to learning from your advice and personal experiences along with sharing data driven information from Treasury Today’s Women in Treasury Study.’

The future of work was an overarching topic of discussion, somewhat naturally given the fact that Silicon Valley is leading the way in terms of automation, robotics, discussions of Universal Basic Income and the impact that all of these advancements will have on people around the world. This narrative thread was highlighted in the expert session led by Louise Watts, co-founder of HPC Global, a boutique firm of international executive coaches located in Sydney, as she made a second guest appearance at our co-hosted roundtables to lead the day’s expert session.

Watts is working on a new people-focused future of work solution, Transition Hub, which will launch in Australia this October and is designed to help individuals develop their unique soft skills that they can apply to their future professional journey. This made her perfectly placed to help the treasury professionals in the room find their presence and focus on their personal development. Louise’s expert session featured implementable takeaways for everybody and galvanised the guests as they left for the day and went back to their professional lives.

The technology sector was heavily represented amongst attendees and the lunchtime discussion was peppered with talk of the specificities of gender equality not just in treasury but in the broader technology space, a unique marriage of two sometimes problematic industries. Also mentioned was the lack of a strong treasury community in the San Francisco area, which can make sharing best practice and personal career journey stories hard. It was therefore a heartening experience to bring these various companies and individuals together for the afternoon and to create a new community focused around mutual support and promoting diversity and inclusion in the industry.

As we dispersed into the sunny California afternoon there was a real sense of a dynamic new network having been created. The male attendees had volunteered to become inclusion ambassadors in our industry, spreading the message that it is important for everyone to come together and recognise diversity and inclusion as a core foundation of the best and brightest companies and leaders. We all learnt of the power of collaboration and collective action and we feel sure this West Coast community will grow in number and in spirit.

The Women in Treasury Global Study roadshow events with State Street Global Advisors will continue throughout the course of the year in various locations across the world and the Women in Treasury Global Study 2018 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