Women in Capital Markets event signals importance of diversity in business
Date Published: March 15, 2019
On Friday, March 15, 2019, the Sobey School of Business hosted Women in Capital Markets, a morning of presentations and networking designed to explore and discuss how the fields of finance and capital markets can become more welcoming to women and minorities. A stock market simulation competition for high school students rounded out the day.
“More women are needed in finance,” said Dr. Najah Attig, Canada Research Chair in Finance, who originally proposed the event. “We know that businesses benefit from diversity of thought, from different approaches to risk-taking. Sometimes women don’t see themselves in the world of stocks, but they contribute so much.”
Dr. Attig is the Academic Director of the IMPACT Fund, a student-run investment fund that manages real money. IMPACT team members Charlotte Mawer and Ashley Leblanc helped run the event, along with Clair Cai, Master of Finance student and vice president of the Saint Mary's Investment Society.
“A more diverse and inclusive finance field means that companies are tapping in to the full talent pool,” said event co-organizer, Karn Nichols, Graduate Career Services manager at the Sobey School of Business. “More women are graduating from university than ever before, and more are showing interest in these traditionally male fields. It is crucial that we open the conversation about how companies can make women welcome, and extend that welcome to other diverse work populations.”
Sobey School Dean Harjeet Bhabra addressed the nearly 100 registrants with opening remarks. “It is my sincere hope that this event is the first of many that will serve to elevate the conversation around diversity, inclusion, equality and change in finance.“
The luncheon keynote address was delivered by the engaging and dynamic Bethany Moffatt, a vice president at Scotiabank. Mélanie Dussarrett, director in Foreign Exchange Electronic Trading with CIBC Capital Markets, delivered a candid and insightful talk via video conference.
A panel comprising women from a wide range of career paths and stages discussed some of the aspects of incorporating gender equity and diversity into today's workplaces. The overall consensus was that while a lot has been accomplished, there is more work to be done to address opening opportunities and closing the wage gap. The speakers were:
- Shirley Lee, QC, Vice Chair, NS Securities Commission
- Beste Alpargun, CFA, VP - Portfolio Manager and CCO, SEAMARK Asset Management Inc.
- Basia Dzierzanowska, Regional Lead Partner, McInnes Cooper
- Stephanie Fitzner, Alumni, Former IMPACT Student, Consultant, Deloitte
The event was sponsored by MUFG Capital.
Six teams were registered for the afternoon High School Trading Challenge, with cash prizes on the line for competitors. Dartmouth High emerged victorious, taking top place.