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Arguably, there’s never been a better time to be a woman in the finance industry. With just over 1,300 partners at financial services companies being female and new anti-discrimination laws in place, British women who want to enter this lucrative and rewarding profession can now do so with way fewer barriers than before. But with some women who work in Britain’s £119bn finance sector still unfortunately reporting instances of harassment, discrimination and more, there’s still a need to look up to successful women finance leaders and borrow from their example in order to get ahead in what can be a cut-throat world. 

Kathy Lien

The career trajectory of Kathy Lien is an amazing one to behold. First of all, she managed to graduate from the prestigious Stern School of Business at New York University aged just 18. Following that, she’s worked in the foreign exchange markets in a number of capacities – but especially in the field of foreign currency. Whether it was options or interest rate derivatives, Lien has certainly managed to succeed by employing foreign exchange market strategies  to great success. Lien is also a prime example of someone who has managed to bolster her career even further by building up her own profile: she has a popular Twitter account (with over 40,000 followers) on which she regularly publishes commentary and views on the foreign exchange markets. 

Helen Rose

As Chief Operating Officer of major brand TSB, Helen Rose has certainly managed to make it to the top of her industry. According to her official biography, she has lots of experience at all sorts of organisations including Safeway, Dixons and more. But what makes Helen Rose particularly stand out is the extent to which she has been recognised by major organisations within the financial services and investment industries. She is, for example, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. But she's also someone who has made a conscious effort to be seen as successful due to her abilities and experiences, not because of her gender – and claimed she didn't like the term "superwoman" as "it puts women off". 

Mary Callahan Erdoes 

Over at JP Morgan Chase, a woman named Mary Callahan Erdoes is making waves thanks to her stellar CV and her commitment to the organisation. According to Forbes, she has has managed to boost the amount of assets under management at the organisation's Asset & Wealth Management branch to $2.1 trillion – a rise of 8.1% on the previous year. Another hallmark of her career history is that, like Helen Rose, she’s worked at prestigious organisations before as she’s risen through the ranks. Prior to JP Morgan Chase, for example, she was employed by leading fixed income advisors Meredith, Martin & Kaye. What’s more, she’s got degrees from leading institutions as well. She attended Georgetown University and received a degree from there in Mathematics, for example, while she’s also got a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. 

From Kathy Lien to Helen Rose, there are lots of inspirational women in finance to follow the example of all over the world. And by looking at some of the hallmarks of their many diverse careers, such as prestigious degrees from top universities, it’s possible to extract the key ingredients of success which mark out women who lead in the financial sector.