1# Women’s Finance Insight Programme – “exceeding expectations”, see why

10-03-2022 09:00

In the wake of International Women’s Day 2022, we'd like to put spotlight on our Nordea Women’s Finance Insight Programme 2022. We’ve held the first of 6 sessions of our tailormade programme - and got off to a flying start, with feedback like: exceeded expectations, great insight, very interesting. This is why.

We were pleased to welcome 48 ambitious students, joining us at our four local headquarters or over Teams – all keen and excited to learn more about finance, and grabbing the opportunity to chat with the attending Nordea colleagues in informal settings over a drink and a bite.

Students mingling at the first session of the Nordea Women’s Finance Insight programme at Nordea’s headquarter in Stockholm.

So, what was the first session like? In this first blog of a series, we follow some of the participating students. Tag along, and meet Julie (DK), Elise (NO), Ormia (SE) and Essi (FI), and hear about their reflections of the first session, and their motivation to apply.

Before meeting the students, a bit of information about why we’ve set-up the Nordea Women’s Finance Insight Programme.

“The aim with the programme is to offer a platform for education, mentoring and networking among female students to increase awareness of career opportunities and the working environment, and thereby attract more female candidates to the banking and finance industry,” says Lisa Andersson, Management Partner in Investment Banking & Equities and programme coordinator – adding that we also hope to identify future talents through the programme.

Diversity and inclusion is highly prioritised in the bank, and closely aligned with Nordea’s business strategy. As such, the initiative to set up and run a tailored programme like this has been greatly supported by our management, and they encouraged the idea of expanding the programme to run in all four countries.

“The Nordea Women’s Finance Insight Programme, which runs during spring, was initially launched in Sweden last year. Based on feedback both from the attending students and internally, it was a clear-cut case to launch the programme across the Nordics this year,” Lisa tells.

Now, let’s meet Julie, Elise, Ormia and Essi and hear about their expectations, impressions and take-aways from the first session of the programme:

Julie attended at HQ in Denmark, 17th Feb.

My name is Julie Rieland Hansen (24). I am currently studying MSc. Economics and Business Administration – Applied Economics and Finance at Copenhagen Business School.

Why did you apply to this programme?

Women in finance are still underrepresented. With this six-week programme, I saw an opportunity to contribute by pursuing my interest in Investment Banking & Equities (IB&E).

What are your expectations to the programme? 

To gain a unique insight into Nordea’s IB&E area, and meet inspiring employees from Nordea who can provide me with appreciative knowledge about what it means to be in this industry and all of its different aspects.

How was the first session?

This WFIP session exceeded my expectations. The programme is very well structured, and as a participant, you can feel that this agenda lies at the heart of Nordea and all the participants.

Did anything surprise you during the meeting, or do you have any key takeaways? 

All participants are very passionate and engaging. I am therefore very much looking forward to a forum where we can share our interests and promote women  in finance. An important takeaway from the first WFIP would be that Nordea makes themselves available, making it much more than ‘just’ an insight programme. The Nordea people here also act as role models, which I think is lacking for many women who dream of making a career in finance.

Ormia attended at HQ in Sweden, 17th February

My name is Ormia Abdullah M (24), I am a student in KTH’s master programme financial mathematics (Royal Institute of Technology).

Why did you apply to this programme?

I applied to gain insight to the world of finance, as the name suggests. Since I soon will be graduating, I found it important to explore all options available, which is why I applied.

What are your expectations to the programme? 

My expectations are, amongst others, to get an intensive crash course of all the different specialisations of investment banking and increase my professional network.

How was the first session?

The first session gave me a great insight of how a day at the office can look like. That no day is the same as the previous, and that you even as a junior is allowed to take on interesting cases and work directly with clients from day one, which was a surprise to me.

Did anything else surprise you during the meeting – any key takeaways?

Just from the first meeting, I learned that this is an industry for people who like to work with fun and challenging concepts, and work hands-on from the start – the sky is not the limit.

Elise from Norway attended via Teams on 15th February

My name is Elise Naalsund (21). I’m a third-year student at The Norwegian School of Economics (NHH).

Why did you apply to this programme?
I applied to this programme to get more knowledge of how women can make an impact in finance, and to see what job opportunities there are – and to get to know Nordea better.

What expectations do you have of the programme?
I expect this programme to be educational, and it will give me new perspectives on the financial industry. I also think it will be a great opportunity to network and connect with other female students in a fun yet educational setting.

How was the first session?

The first lesson was very interesting. I am already more excited and inspired to dive deeper into finance and explore the different possibilities.

Did anything surprise you during the meeting – any key takeaways?

I was not aware that the Norwegian capital market was as fragmented as it is, and that Nordea still can remain profitable because of its position in the Nordic market.

Essi attended at HQ in Finland, 24th Feb.

My name is Essi Helminen (20). I’m a student, majoring in Finance at Aalto University.

Why did you apply to this programme? 

I thought it was a unique initiative since similar insight programmes are not very common within the Finnish financial sector. I was particularly impressed by Nordea’s commitment to empowering women in professional settings, and wanted to utilise this opportunity to meet other ambitious, finance interested individuals.

What expectations do you have to the programme? 

I am excited to learn more about various aspects of finance and banking, from topics such as equities and debt-side to sustainable finance. I also look forward to networking with all the other participants and Nordea’s representatives.

How was the first session? 

It was insightful as we got an introduction to Investment Banking, as well as to Diversity & Inclusion at Nordea. Specifically, it was interesting to hear how Nordea is committed to providing equal opportunities to both current employees and new applicants.

Did anything surprise you during the meeting – any key takeaways? 

I was positively surprised by how diverse the group of women participating in the programme was. There were students of different ages from all over Finland. Some had already completed their degree and gained experience from work-life whereas others were in the beginning of their studies.

Attentive students listening to Equities presentation during the first session at headquarters in Stockholm.

In the upcoming five sessions during spring, the students will deep dive into Corporate Finance, Debt Capital Markets, Equities and Leveraged Finance. They will hear various presentations, practice financial valuation, present cases as well as discuss how ESG is reflected in the daily job of our teams and in the transactions they work on. And much more.

Stay tuned for more insight in the upcoming blogs covering the next sessions.

Meanwhile don’t miss out on our blog marking International Women’s Day, written by Malin Carlsson, analyst in Markets Derivatives Coverage, sharing her career journey and thoughts on gender diversity, breaking bias and much more.

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