Giverny van Heemstra (MSc Finance & Accounting 2019) is a Senior Analyst at Goldman Saachs based in Amsterdam. After studying MSc Finance & Accounting at in Imperial in 2019 she worked at EY in Audit & Assurance.
How have you faced bias in the workplace?
Finance is still a male dominated sector, but I am seeing interesting new initiatives from my organisation to unite women. I am a part of the Women’s Network and it’s an interdivision network that I can connect with other employees from across the organisation and share experiences. We look at different topics, biases or current issues facing women in the workplace and in general. We look at how we can drive specific recruitment events aimed at women and community work that we can align with.
One thing that has been interesting to see in the Private Wealth sector is more diversification of our clientele. As the world is developing, we have seen an increase in more women expanding their portfolios. There have been internal initiatives to support these potential female clients, which is fantastic.
What does Break the Bias mean to you?
Break the bias means having role models in positions of leadership. I am lucky to have strong female leadership at the organisation I am now. When I was at EY, my team worked with a female partner who was quite young and had children and it was a great example for us to see this. It was so inspiring to see this and to work with her. It’s so important to see representation.
Where the whole sector can take some steps, is to acknowledge that female communication is different than male communication, and to create awareness around this.
How has Imperial equipped you with tools to deal with gender bias?
I was looking to study in London as it’s a financial hub and I felt it was a city that could really broaden my horizons. I wanted to meet lots of interesting and international people. The whole culture at Imperial was so inclusive and positive. I’ve met so many strong and inspiring women whilst I was at Imperial, from my classmates to staff members. I was empowered by the support offered to students on an individual basis to ensure you are confident to apply for jobs and go out in the workforce. In the Netherlands, I was often the only woman in the classroom in my courses, as time this changed, but at Imperial my programme was so diverse and talented.