Thursday, May 01, 2014 at 1am

Power Shift Forum Focuses on Challenges of Women in Finance: MBA News

Power Shift Forum Focuses on Challenges of Women in Finance: MBA News main image

This year’s annual Power Shift Forum for Women and Finance at Saïd Business School, to be held May 27-29, will focus on the pressing issues and challenges women in finance face: “For thousands of years, women have been excluded from the money system. It’s not just that their labor is often unpaid, but that laws and custom mean that they are consistently unable to inherit, forbidden to make contracts, to get credit, and to open financial accounts,” reflected Linda Scott, professor at Saïd Business School.

The first ever forum was held in 2013 and focused on how best to support women entrepreneurs through the developed and developing worlds. After a positive response from participants, Scott, the DP World Chair for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, has decided to dedicate the 2014 forum to women in finance: “A range of leading academics, investors, financial institutions, advisers and entrepreneurs will share their expertise and challenge us to think differently both about women as investors and women as the beneficiaries of investment.”

The Saïd Business School forum will feature many influential women in finance, such as Jeanne M. Sullivan, co-founder of StarVest Partners and a venture capitalist listed on Forbes as one of the five most powerful women in the world. Melanne Verveer, the former US ambassador for Global Women’s Issues and founding partner of Seneca Point Global, will set the agenda with the opening speech at Power Shift. Many other influential speakers, including Musimbi Kanyoro, President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, Walt Macnee, Vice Chairman MasterCard Worldwide, Joy Anderson, president of Criterion Institute and Katherine Collins, Founder & CEO, Honeybee Capital, will also be in attendance.

How will the forum help women in finance?

The forum will focus on the economic empowerment of women in government, and the role this will play in economic development. It will also cover various critical issues for women in finance, such as the financial status of women around the world, the role of women in economic thought and how this has evolved, and how perspectives on investment value would change if we understood gender better.

Those attending the forum will also benefit from an interactive, engaging approach. Participants will take part in a case study that focuses on the difficulties women face when conforming to cultural expectations. One example in the big cities in China, for instance, is the pressure to participate in long evenings of drinking alcohol which often strains relationships at work and home.

The case, written by Linda Scott and Jiafei Jin of the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, will be presented by three senior Saïd Business School faculty members. On top of this, three workshops will be held by Katherine Collins, Joy Anderson and Madeleine Evans to introduce participants to Criterion’s ‘Value Gender’ technique, which encourages participants through thought experiments and role play to evaluate financial investments by incorporating a ‘gender lens’.

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