Women in Finance

“You don't actually have to love numbers to love Finance.”

Jasmin Mehrad was supposed to be an engineer, but the more she heard about Economics and Finance, the more curious she became. She is now encouraging more women to choose Finance.

Text: Ingrid Asp
Photo: Geir Anders Rybakken Ørslien

"Women in Finance" is a series of BI articles in which skilled professionals share their experiences and passion for Finance.

"You don't actually have to love numbers to love Finance," says Jasmin Mehrad. The BI student is looking forward to entering the financial industry and is doing everything she can to encourage more women to join her – through the Women in Finance student union.

"It has been documented that financial companies benefit from more diversity and more women. Now the only thing missing is that we need more women to discover for themselves how much fun this subject is!”

When Jasmin was younger, she thought that she was going to be an engineer, but it was ultimately her own curiosity that led her to study Finance at BI.

"Everyone around me was talking about becoming engineers, so I thought I was supposed to do the same. I even studied subjects that could get me into nanotechnology. But then I realised that it wasn't quite for me and that I was more curious about Economics subjects.Jasmin Mehrad

Jasmin chose to give her gut feeling a chance, and opted to do a 5-year combined degree in Business at BI. She eventually chose to specialise in Finance after becoming inspired by working for a Swiss company, SIX-Group, where she is ensuring that secure transactions are carried out when buying and selling financial products.

"When I started at SIX I had to learn a lot of new things, but I found it extremely exciting. And the more I learned, the deeper I wanted to dive into the subject. So my job definitely inspired me to choose to study Finance for my Master's degree”.

"Finance is about everything to do with value creation throughout the world and helping the business sector to grow and create jobs. There is something very fundamental about Finance and that motivates me. Through my job at SIX, I have learnt to understand, describe and manage risks in today's financial market. I feel like I'm part of something important, as we're working on the core of the financial system. It is rewarding to work for a company that combats imbalances and financial crises.”

Passionate about having more women in the financial industry

Today there are not many women who invest in shares and only 17 per cent of the CEOs of Norwegian limited liability companies are women. This made Jasmin impatient for change. Through her involvement with BI's Women In Finance (WIF) student organisation, she is hoping that she can encourage more talented women to see that financial management is fun.

"The statistics show that women are underrepresented in the financial market. This made me want to motivate more women to choose Finance. There are so many talented women out there and I hope that more of them will realise how exciting and meaningful Finance is.”

“Companies will benefit from having a varied and diverse portfolio of employees, including financially,” Jasmin points out.

"One example is Goldman Sachs which is probably the world's most prestigious bank. They discovered that female investors beat the stock market by 43 per cent by managing funds, when compared with male investors who beat the stock market by 41 per cent.”

Women In Finance will create a common platform for women at BI with an interest in Finance and help them create a network involving both other students and contacts in the industry. Jasmin works as an External Relations Manager and is responsible for bringing together the industry and students and for showing the opportunities that are available in some of the various workplaces.

A wide field with many opportunities

Jasmin strongly recommends that more people should choose to study Finance. She believes that it is an exciting field that creates many opportunities.

"If you are curious and want to participate in something meaningful and help to boost value added, then you should definitely consider Finance. This is a very wide field and you don't actually have to love numbers either. That's absolutely true! I love numbers myself, but most of the subject deals with strategy, organisation and keeping up with the market. Finance is really fun and all-encompassing. I've never been as enthusiastic about something as I am now.”

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