Acadia University’s Finance Society recently hosted a conference to bring awareness to the underrepresentation of women in finance. The inaugural Women in Finance Conference was hosted in Patterson Hall, and students were joined by two incredibly accomplished alumni, Leslie Lewis (’10) and Shannon Lynch (’05).
Ella Murphy, President of the Acadia Finance Society, is aware of the stereotypes surrounding finance, and as one of only three female students majoring in finance in her year, she has been determined to do her part to break down the stigma. Murphy said all speakers she approached were thrilled that Acadia was looking to support female students in finance, and they were excited to do their part to help.
Leslie Lewis (’10) travelled from Toronto to join students in Wolfville and share her experiences on how Acadia helped her get to where she is today.
Acadia is an incubator to realize your full potential and it was where I realized mine. As a small school, it has a limitless number of diverse opportunities for students to standout, contribute, and challenge themselves in a special community built on mentorship and support. I seized these opportunities, and I left a more well-rounded, thoughtful and capable person because of it, explained Lewis.
While Lynch was unable to be in Wolfville, she joined us over video conference from British Columbia. Her genuine and honest account of her experience in finance helped students realize that there can be barriers for females in the industry, but that with hard work those walls can be broken down.
After Lewis and Lynch shared their stories, students were left truly inspired. Many had not realized the advantage their Acadia experience would give them, and just how many opportunities are out there for them, regardless of their gender.
Fourth-year business student, Payton Wood, attended the event, and explained the influence the speakers had on her.
As a young woman in business, having female role models to look up to and learn from is so important. Hearing the experiences of Leslie Lewis and Shannon Lynch inspired me to work hard and to have courage to go after whatever I want to do, in finance and beyond! she said.
Senior finance students in attendance also had the opportunity to share their Acadia experiences, focusing on independent studies, honours theses and co-operative education.
It was really nice to see how supportive the finance society was, including the guys on the society. Most of them came and participated in the conference, explained Murphy of the support she received from her society and peers.
When asked what advice she could give to current students who wish to follow in her footsteps, Lewis replied by encouraging students to get involved.
Do everything you can while at Acadia, and give everything your best. You don’t have to graduate with a perfect sense of what you want to do, but set a goal to leave Acadia with a better understanding of who you are. Hard work will take care of the rest. The harder you work the truer this will be and it will materialize in ways you never thought possible, explained Lewis.
Acadia University’s Fred C. Manning School of Business is located in the town of Wolfville in the beautiful Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. Home to over 600 undergraduate students it offers a four-year Bachelor of Business Administration program with majors in six areas including accounting, finance, marketing, entrepreneurship and innovation, employment relations, and technology management. Students enrolled in our program may also take advantage of international study and co-op education opportunities. More information can be found on the Fred. C. Manning School of Business homepage.