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Innovative Leadership: Celebrating Women's Impact in Finance and Tech

March 2024

An elegantly dressed businesswoman sits confidently in an office chair, working on her laptop amidst a dreamlike setting with books and plant pots floating in a serene, cloud-filled blue sky. Bold text ‘Shared Strength, Shared Success’ weaves around her, symbolizing unity and achievement.

As International Women's Day unfolds, Nova Advisory joins the global celebration of the extraordinary contributions women make to the ever-evolving landscapes of finance and technology. This day transcends mere recognition; it's a vibrant celebration of the collective power and transformative impact of women who are shaping the future of these industries.

While we acknowledge and celebrate the progress made, with the number of women in C-suite positions rising from 17% in 2015 to 28% today, the journey towards true gender equality in leadership roles continues. Despite significant gains at the top, progress in the middle rungs of the corporate ladder continues to lag, highlighting the work that still needs to be done.

 "We all have important women who are a part of our lives due to circumstance or luck, but it is exceptionally special to be a part of the team of female colleagues here at Nova, because it is a choice.  Every day, we choose to work together, inspire each other and recommit to sharing perspectives that help create a culture of inclusivity in the future of finance and technology." - Susan Maron, Chief of Staff at Nova

In this article, we will explore the historical impact of women in finance and tech, highlight Nova's commitment to excellence and diversity, and provide guiding principles for aspiring women in these fields. 

The Historical Impact of Women in Finance and Tech

Throughout history, women have made significant contributions to shaping the finance and technology sectors. From Ada Lovelace, the pioneer of computer programming, to Marie Curie, the groundbreaking scientist, women have displayed their brilliance in these fields.Their collective ingenuity and dedication have driven advancements and fostered positive change throughout history. This collective legacy serves as a powerful reminder of the essential role women play in these industries and inspires us to continue working towards a future where their contributions are fully recognized and celebrated.

Building upon this rich legacy, we continue to witness the increasing participation and success of women in finance and technology. According to recent statistics, the number of women holding executive positions in finance has steadily increased in recent years. However, challenges still remain, particularly in ensuring gender diversity throughout all levels of corporate hierarchies.

Initiatives like OneStream's OneStream’s Women in Finance play a crucial role in fostering greater gender diversity and representation. This program creates a thriving, interactive community of professional women leaders (and aspiring leaders) in accounting, finance, and technology roles through career development, peer networking, and mentorship. By providing resources and support, initiatives like these empower women to navigate the challenges they may face and break barriers in their respective fields.

Nova's Commitment to Excellence and Diversity

At Nova, we believe that building a diverse and inclusive team is fundamental to achieving excellence. We recognize the collective value and unique perspectives that individuals from different backgrounds, experiences, and skill sets bring to the table. This commitment to diversity fosters innovation, enriches our company culture, and enables us to deliver exceptional customer service and drive successful financial transformation. Research has demonstrably shown the positive correlation between diverse leadership teams and higher financial returns, further validating our belief in the strategic importance of inclusivity.

As a dedicated OneStream implementation partner, Nova Advisory shares OneStream’s commitment to fostering an inclusive environment within the financial services industry. We actively support initiatives like OneStream’s Women in Finance initiative, which has grown to over 6,000 members since its inception in 2019, and believe that empowering women to reach their full potential is essential for driving positive change and innovation across the sector. 

Our core values, including accountability, a bias for action, respect, and a commitment to excellence, guide us in fostering an inclusive environment where diverse perspectives and leadership are celebrated.

Guiding Principles for Aspiring Women in Finance and Tech

"Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained." - Marie Curie

For aspiring women in finance and tech, embracing certain guiding principles can significantly influence their journey towards leadership and innovation. Nova's ethos—centered on accountability, action, respect, motivation, and curiosity—provides a robust framework for professional growth in these dynamic fields. Below are five core principles that reflect this ethos, serving as a roadmap for navigating the complexities of the industry while striving for excellence and transformation.

  1. Accountability in Personal Growth: Own your career journey. Set clear goals, actively seek feedback, and take responsibility for your professional development. Accountability means being your most significant advocate and critic, driving forward with purpose and precision.

  2. Bias for Action: Embrace the courage to act. In the world of finance and technology, being decisive and proactive opens doors. Learn from every outcome, whether it's success or a valuable lesson, and let these experiences refine your path.

  3. Respect for Diverse Perspectives: Innovation thrives on diversity. Approach every interaction with an open mind and respect for other viewpoints. Collaborative environments enriched with varied perspectives foster creativity and lead to better solutions.

  4. Staying Motivated Amid Challenges: The road to leadership can be demanding. Maintain your motivation by celebrating small victories, staying connected to your 'why,' and visualizing the impact you aim to make. Let passion be the fuel that drives you.

  5. Cultivating Curiosity: Never stop learning. The finance and tech landscapes are ever-evolving, with new challenges and technologies around every corner. Cultivate a habit of curiosity, seeking to understand the 'new' and 'next,' and apply this knowledge to innovate and lead effectively.

By embracing these principles, all of us in finance and technology can navigate our careers with confidence, making strides toward leadership roles and contributing significantly to their fields.

Championing Women in Finance and Tech

International Women's Day serves as a powerful reminder of the immense contributions women have made and continue to make in shaping the landscapes of finance and technology. At Nova, we are deeply committed to fostering an inclusive environment that celebrates diverse perspectives and empowers women to thrive. We believe that building a diverse and inclusive team is not just the right thing to do, but also strategically essential for achieving excellence and driving positive change.

As we reflect on the importance of fostering an inclusive and empowering environment this International Women's Day, we also look forward to actionable steps and lively discussions that drive change. Don't miss out on today's OneStream webinar at 2pm GMT, featuring an empowering discussion with Annika Brinck, Sarita Sewnarain, and Kimberly O'Leary. They'll share insights on leadership, self-advocacy, and supporting the next wave of women in finance. Join us for this timely conversation:


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