FWA’s Inaugural Intercollegiate Women Leadership Development Conference
On September 23, 2016, graduate students from various business schools in the New York metropolitan area gathered at Baruch College’s William and Anita Newman Conference Center for Shattering the Glass Ceiling – FWA’s Inaugural Intercollegiate Women Leadership Development Conference. Hosted by the Graduate School Partnership (GSP) Committee and sponsored by BMO Capital Markets, co-chairs Christine Li-Auyeung and Susy Pestana provided a forum for students to learn from professionals and build their business network as they begin the new academic year.
During an afternoon of inspiration and empowerment, students listened to a fireside chat featuring Susan Wolford, Managing Director and Group Head of BMO Capital Markets Technology & Business Services Group, and moderated by, FWA Board Member, Marietta Bottero. Susan offered a candid account of what Wall Street was like for women when she started her career in investment banking over two decades ago.
She spoke about how she overcame challenges in the male-dominated industry to advance into senior management. One piece of advice she offered to young professionals “is the importance of consistently showing enthusiasm for learning and conveying a passion for the industry to your team.”
In the second half of the conference, students participated in an interactive panel discussion moderated by Cornelia Lévy-Bencheton, Co-Chair of the FWA Marketing & Strategic Communications Committee. The panelists included Shenique Gray, Audit Senior Manager at Deloitte, Kelly Hoey, Author & Investor, Jayne Latz, CEO of Corporate Speech Solutions, LLC and Ellen Sills-Levy, Senior Vice President of Phoenix Marketing International.
The speakers shared their experiences from making successful career transitions to work-life balance. They emphasized the “importance of clear communication and positive body language.” The panelists answered many questions from the audience.
One theme, which emerged from the discussion, is the need for lifelong learning. In today’s rapidly changing world, where new innovations come about in lightning speed, one must continuously learn news skills to stay relevant and competitive.
The empowering afternoon ended with a networking reception with all participants. To ensure that students continued their learning after the conference, they all went home with an FWA swag bag filled with useful information to help them jumpstart their careers.