The finance industry has been a male dominated industry for quite some time. While it has become more balanced as of late, there is still work to be done. For example, the Financial Times found that just one in four senior roles are filled by women and not one of the companies they investigated achieved gender equality in senior roles. While progress is being made, it is painstakingly slow.
However, it’s not all bad. There is progress, and there are women in some of the most senior and sought after roles in the finance industry.
So to celebrate International Women’s Day, we are going to look at 7 trailblazing women in finance;

Joyce Chang – Global Head of Research at JP Morgan Chase & Co

After graduating from Columbia University she studied at Princeton, gaining an MPA in Development Economics and International Development. Joyce Chang was Managing Director at JP Morgan Chase before becoming Global Head of Research, in which she oversees 950 analysts around the world, covering more than 3,700 companies. Since her time at JP Morgan Chase, she has pushed for the investment banking unit to invest in AI and big data strategies.

Cary Grace – CEO, Global Retirement and Investment Solutions at AON

As CEO of global retirement and investment solutions, Cary Grace leads a team that serves clients with more than $4.2 trillion in assets. Last year, she oversaw the shift of Aon’s retirement solutions group to an externally reported business, all while achieving a 3% growth in organic revenue. Before joining Aon, first as President, Cary Grace was Managing Director of the Bank of America for 14 years.

Sacha Romanovitch – CEO, Grant Thornton

Sacha Romanovitch became the CEO of Grant Thornton in 2015 after being partner for 7 years. Before she joined Grant Thornton, Sacha Romanovitch studied at the University of Oxford achieving an MA in Chemistry. She then joined Grant Thornton in a variety of roles before being made partner. Before becoming CEO, Romanovitch was the leader of the firm’s advisory practice in London. She is also chair of the Patron Group for Access Accountancy, an initiative to increase diversity.

Tracy Blackwell – CEO, Pension Insurance Corporation

Tracy Blackwell was one of the founders of Pension Insurance Corporation, joining in 2006 before becoming CEO in 2015. Prior to this, she spent 10 years at Goldman Sachs, including as the Head of Risk Management. She is also an Advisory Council member on the Diversity Project and Trustee and Honorable Treasurer of the Elton John Aids Foundation.

Juliet Estridge – Director of European Equity Research, Morgan Stanley

Juliet Estridge is the first woman to lead a top-tier research department in Europe. Joining Morgan Stanley in 2000 as an analyst, she had roles as Associate Director of European Research and was later promoted to Managing Director in 2012. Estridge is also in charge of Morgan Stanley’s sustainability research. She studied a BA in English Literature before getting an MBA in Business Administration, Accounting and Finance from Columbia University.

Luba Nikulina – Global Head of Manager Research, Willis Towers Watson

Luba Nikulina is a Russian-British national who grew up in Soviet Lithuania. Before joining Willis Towers Watson she worked for a Russian private equity in the late 1990s and ran her own timber company. She currently oversees 100 analysts, and provides investment advice to clients with a combined $2.3 trillion of assets. She also has driven the introduction of gender diversity data, and is a member of the 100 Women in Finance network and Level 20, which promotes women in private equity.

Maria Pinelli – Global Vice Chair of Growth Markets – EY Global

Maria Pinelli speaks English, French and Italian and has led more than 20 IPOs across three continents. Not only is she Global Vice Chair of Growth Markets at EY but she is also Advisor to Global Fortune, advising several of the world’s most successful Consumer Products companies. Maria has been EY’s advisor at the G-20, the World Economic Forum, the European Commission and the White House, to name but a few. Along with her colleagues, Maria founded EY’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women in 2008 and the EY Global Women in Business Advisory Council in 2013.
There are hundreds of women in finance that are paving the way for young women looking to go into finance in the future. This list could have been 100 names long, but hopefully the 7 we have picked will inspire you to pursue your dream career in finance. We also have plenty of intern, graduate and senior profiles featuring women pursuing hugely successful careers in finance.

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