How the hEDGE Conference elevated women’s voices

hEDGE inspired me to believe in myself

As a current student at the University of Waterloo who has joined the hEDGE executive team, the process of planning this year’s virtual conference was a fun and memorable experience that I will never forget. Despite being unable to meet in person, the mentorship and support that I received from both my current team as well as past hEDGE members is something that I will always be grateful for and can use going forward to further my career. 

gloriahEDGE is a student-run conference that aims to inspire and educate the next generation of leaders in global capital markets. Pivoted from in-person to online, the 2021 hEDGE conference offered students with a passion for finance and change the opportunity to listen to distinguished keynote speakers, attend exclusive workshops, and network with industry leaders and 12 corporate sponsors. The conference also featured a panel of five guest speakers who are currently breaking the glass ceiling as women working in capital markets. My biggest inspiration from these women was the confidence and determination they showcased. Their motivation resonated with my future outlook in this profession, as elevating women’s voices in finance has proven to be a powerful way to make a difference in society, especially in a field in which women are under-represented. Although the events hosted by hEDGE are mainly finance-focused, it still encourages a wide variety of students to participate, ranging from both STEM and non-STEM students. hEDGE prides itself on following through with its commitment to diversity and gender inclusion at every event and will continue to do so in the future.

One piece of advice that was given during the conference that stood out to me was, “to always believe in yourself and to never question your abilities.” Oftentimes, we tend to doubt ourselves and pass up opportunities when we’re of the mindset that we’re not good enough or that someone else can do the job better — which may not always be justified. There’s no harm in hearing “no” or facing rejection. We should never give up before trying.

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