Meet the Sponsor and Speakers Featuring in the STEM Women Virtual Financial Services Event!

Sep 15, 2020 Events 9 minutes read

We are so excited to start off our autumn event season with the STEM Women Virtual Financial Services Event on Tuesday 22nd September.

We’ve invited a range of companies from the industry to share their personal career journeys, offer advice to attendees, and give an insight into what it’s like to work in financial services.

Ahead of the event, we caught up with the keynote speaker from our event sponsor NatWest Markets, and some of the women who will be taking part in our speaker sessions. We hope this will give you a sneak preview of what to expect on the event day!


NatWest Markets

Caroline Haas, Head of Sustainable Finance, Managing Director

Caroline Haas from event sponsor NatWest Markets will be kicking off the day with an insightful keynote speech. She will discuss the vast amount of roles available in the financial industry and how there are opportunities for people from diverse academic backgrounds, alongside tips on how to cope with career ups and downs, and how to learn from the past and grow in the future.

Why are NatWest Markets excited to sponsor the event?
“We look forward to supporting STEM Women because it connects talented women with a passion for STEM subjects who may consider professional opportunities in the financial industry.”

Why do you think it is important to get more women working in financial services?
“Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” seems to sum this up in a simplistic manner. It is imperative to have diverse opinions and approaches in the workplace to achieve the best outcomes.  Diversity can come in many different forms; however, gender is significant given the demographic mix.  Women tend to incorporate an enhanced element of empathy to problem-solving, which is a large part of financial services.”

Do you have any tips for attendees before the event?
“Come with an open mind about the financial services industry.”

The event will begin in the ‘Live Presentations’ area at Noon, with a welcome talk and presentation from NatWest Markets. Be sure to catch Caroline’s inspiring keynote speech.


Achint Mann, Associate HR

Following the welcome talk and keynote speech from Caroline, there will be a short networking session followed b the start of the insightful speaker sessions. Starting the talks will be Achint from GIC. She will be giving attendees an HR and recruitment perspective of the company.

What type of topics can attendees expect to hear from you on the event day? 
“I will give a broad overview of the company and the different areas GIC covers, and also give more details on our Internship and Graduate Programmes.” 

What do you like most about your role?
“I like how diverse my role is, everyday brings something new which makes my role really interesting. I also love the culture at GIC, as it is such a friendly and collaborate environment to work in.”

Do you have any tips for attendees before the event?
Please visit our career’s website beforehand to understand more about the different programmes we offer and what would be best suited to you, depending on your previous experience.”

Look out for Achint’s speaker session, starting promptly at 1pm.

NatWest Markets

Sekyi Darko, Currencies Analyst EMEA, Analyst

 Sekyi Darko from NatWest Markets will be giving attendees an insight into navigating the early stages of a career in investment banking and debunking investment banking myths! She will cover the highlights and challenges of maintaining a balanced lifestyle as a young woman while dealing with the challenging requirements of financial markets and investment banking.

What do you like most about your role?
“I enjoy the challenge of having clients that require me to be just as well versed in their businesses as them themselves. In order to do this, I have to foster strong relationships with clients and build trust and confidence within them in my professional capabilities, which keeps me on my toes and ensures that I am constantly expanding my own skillset. It’s the best of both worlds; you develop great relationships with clients with the chance to focus on your personal development.”

Why do you think it’s important to get more women working in financial services?
“Just as important as diversity of thought is diversity of experience. There are an incredible number of unique experiences that many people go through by virtue of being female. Depriving an industry of adequate female representation is actively saying no to creating a work environment that replicates the real world, rather than being a microcosm of one identity groups’ culture and preferences. Depriving an industry of adequate female representation is actively preventing organizations from developing well-informed strategies that are considered disparate and unintended effects on multiple communities around the world.”

What you’ve learnt during the pandemic?
“The biggest lesson I have learnt during the pandemic is the value of being adaptable. The pandemic threw many challenges at us all – working remotely, distancing from friends and family, not being able to buy your groceries normally! In order to navigate the dramatic changes in my personal and working environments, I needed to be agile and dynamic. This meant having to completely break down pre-existing habits and routines that were specific to my surroundings, by merging various aspects of my life to ensure that as a young professional woman, my career continued to be my top priority.”

What are you most looking forward to on the event day?
“I am looking forward to interacting with the many different women attending the event; hearing about experiences and career aspirations and offer what advice I can to help them make an informed decision on their careers.”

Do you have any tips for attendees before the event?
“Come armed with questions, be confident in yourself and know what you want to get out of it. Listen and take notes; you’ll be surprised at the little gems that may come your way!”

Sekyi will be taking part in the speaker session at 1.30pm. Be sure to log on and hear what it’s like to work as an investment banker!


Victoria Didilica, Campus Recruitment

Victoria will be taking part in the speaker session and the Q&A. She will be delivering an overview of the BlackRock early career programs and recruiting process, plus offering hints and tips on how to do well during the assessment!

What are you most looking forward to on the event day?
“I’m excited about meeting and speaking to these bright students who I am confident will become future leaders!”

What do you like most about your role?
“No one day is the same, although the people I work with at BlackRock inspire and motivate me every day.”

Why do you think getting more women working in financial services is important?
“Diversity of thought is at the core of everything we do in financial services.”

Do you have any tips for attendees before the event?
“Ask as many questions as you can!”

What have you learnt during the pandemic?
“The importance of being part of a firm that cares about its employees and supports their well-being.”

We can’t wait to welcome Victoria to speak at our event! Her session will begin at 2pm.


Lisa Woodward, Head of Operations, Managing Director

We’re so excited to have Lisa, Head of Operations MD at Mizuho, joining us for our event. Her speaker session will focus on her career to date, covering her 35+ year experience in Investment Banking, and offer top tips on how to have a challenging yet fulfilling career, while balancing a family.

What are you looking forward to most on the event day?
“I signed up to speak at this type of event as I am passionate about making Investment Banking accessible to all – breaking down perceived barriers which might put off those who might not think they are the right fit for these roles.”

What do you like most about your role?
“Every day is different and while there are plenty of routine tasks to be done, we are constantly facing challenges from our clients, business partners and the regulators that we need to break down and solve. Also, we need to constantly evolve to stay ahead which means we must challenge the status quo to be faster, cheaper, better. “

Why do you think getting more women working in financial services is important?
“Men and women think and work differently so to get the best outcomes for our clients and the Firm as a whole we need a wide range of views to ensure we end up with the best solutions.”

Do you have any tips for attendees before the event?
“Don’t worry if you know nothing about Investment Banking or if you don’t think banking is for you – you may be surprised just how diverse the opportunities are for everyone in our industry.”

What have you learnt during the pandemic?
“While the technology has been vital to our success working from home, communication and teamwork have been the number 1 priority for us to ensure all the members of our team feel connected and supported while we are all scattered.  Regular daily calls – 1:1 and team meetings – keep spirits up and ensure good understand continues so we avoid unnecessary confusion or individuals losing motivation.”

Lisa’s employer talk will begin at 2.30pm, with the Q&A session taking place afterwards.


Alongside our event sponsor and speaker, Barclays and MJ Hudson will also be exhibiting, with more companies to be announced.

If you’re interested in starting your career in financial services and would like to attend this event, there are still tickets available. Visit to register for your ticket today!

There are also still a few spaces available for employers looking to exhibit at this event. Get in touch with Lauren at for more information.