Estienne d'Orves Highschool 2023 Action
Too few female students decide to head towards a career in the financial industry, resulting in an overrepresentation of men. As an example, in 2019, only 21.9% of management positions in major financial services companies were held by women. Therefore, our goal is to introduce greater social equity in access to higher education, especially concerning the selective branches of finance.
Fight against self-censorship
Broaden orientation perspectives of students
Educate high school students about the main problematics of the finance
Intervene in high schools all over France by organizing sessions to inform, present, answer questions and do workshops, etc.
Hosting students on EDHEC Nice Campus
On February 8th 2023, EDHEC WinFin’s High School Project team intervened for “Estienne d’Orves” Highschool, Nice, and met with French “classes préparatoires” students on EDHEC campus.
In accordance with our guiding principles - promoting both personal and professional growth for women within the financial sector, two WinFin members first toured the EDHEC Nice campus. Then, they gladly shared insights and actively debated with hosted students around hot topics, such as the most selective financial branches, for an hour.
Tips for Successfully Landing an Interview
First things first, how to concretely land an interview in finance ? What are the ins and outs of the French and English systems ? their differences ?
We for instance spotted that during the interview process of spring and summer internships, emphasis was higher on soft skills, as motivation and strengths, rather than experience. Hence, we highly encouraged students to create a LinkedIn account, build up their personal brand, and connect with people currently working within fields of interest, to test the waters.
LinkedIn is especially important as :
building an online professional identity can serve as an online resume, a basis for showcasing one's experience, skills, recommendations, and education to potential employers. And as experience is gained, recruiters will be then more inclined to directly contact the candidate if the profile is well thought out, presented and up-to-date.
By following people and companies in their targeted field, students can stay freshly informed of industry latest news, trends, and job postings – do not overlook checking websites directly. Precious and relevant guidance from seasoned professionals can be harnessed, and expressing interest through comments can help with expanding one’s network.
All things considered, it is always vital to know how to present oneself, share one’s passions and hopes for the future to ultimately feel fulfilled.
Opportunities in Finance
After agreeing on the necessary qualities to exert in finance, as rigor, seriousness, and curiosity, WinFin and students then explored the top differences between the two main financial branches, being Corporate and Market Finance.
In turn, they deliberated on the various entities composing the financial world, including corporations, budget brackets, elite boutiques, credit rating agencies, or audit firms. Where financial analysis, modeling, budgeting, forecasting, or reporting could be performed.
Interestingly, WinFin have noticed an ever-increasing number of students attentive to climate finance and issues, compared to previous interventions. This can be explained as awareness of the impacts of climate change is growing stronger, demand for sustainable investments is skyrocketing, as well as for experts, educated on climate concerns – see EDHEC's MSc in Climate Change and Sustainable Finance.
Women in Finance
According to McKinsey’s 2020 study, only 19% of C-suite executives in financial services are women. The pipeline from entry-level to the top is still leaky, even though more support was noticed. The latter’s efficiency can be questioned at multiple levels, on different timelines.
For now, dedicated spring programs at entry-level, networking events, and associations for students from non-traditional backgrounds do exist.
In parallel, we were delighted to witness the clear interest expressed by the students, and respond to their questions on jobs, financial words’ definitions, salaries, or diversity programs offered by banks. More young female students raised their hands when asked if they were now more interested in evolving within finance compared to the beginning of the session.
All in all, both students - preparing their entrance exam - and the faculty body shared positive feedbacks with us. The intervention was an opportunity for interested students to further connect with WinFin and stay in touch through email, by phone, or thanks to LinkedIn. We wish them best of luck !