Personally, I’ve never been particularly interested in entering any of the financial modelling championship competitions – I suppose I never felt the need to prove anything and it all seemed rather high-stress and hyper-competitive, with the questions being released at all hours of the night. When the new Financial Modeling World Cup launched last month with a small entry fee and a two-hour commitment, I entered more out of curiosity than anything and found it actually quite stimulating and challenging. Being my first attempt and not taking it seriously (admittedly taking a phone call and then making myself tea and toast during the allotted time probably wasn’t wise). I completely bombed, and was rather relieved to see the names are not shown publicly for those who do poorly. Despite my pitiful results, I did find the challenge quite addictive and I took it far more seriously in the second round. I actually made it onto to the leader board at #34, although I am not sure if this rank takes into account my first attempt. I do hope so, as it means I’ll have a better chance at improving!
However, I was rather dismayed to discover that from what I could see, mine was the only female name listed on the leader board. Now, I’ve been whining for a while about the lack of female representation in the industry, so this time, I’m going to do something about it.
Last weekend I launched a new “Women in Financial Modelling” Online Meetup group. It complements the virtual meetup sessions I’ve been running since the COVID shutdown put a stop to the face-to-face meetups I’ve run since 2015. The idea is to get together via zoom at least once a month to discuss various topics relating to financial modelling. The aim is to support and encourage women to become more involved in the financial modelling industry, either through competing in championship events or gaining a qualification. Other event suggestions are welcome of course, but my initial idea is that having someone like myself provide a bit of guidance and coaching on techniques and strategies for how to approach the questions will serve to increase female participation in championship events like the Financial Modeling World Cup. I’ve also scheduled a Zoom Cocktail Party for December which has proven to be the most popular event so far!
If you’re a woman who build financial models in Excel for your work, or you’re interested in getting into the financial modelling space then we’d love to have you. Join the group here.
PS – and thank you for all the wonderful comments and expressions of support I’ve already from men in the financial modelling community, it means a lot. Blokes, here’s how you can help; please share the group on social media, and forward this or tag to any fabulous female financial modellers you know!