Women in finance Chair

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Based on the fact that women are under-represented in the finance industry, this Chair aims to identify the reasons behind this state of affairs, as well as the best practices and pitfalls.
The objective of this Chair is to attract, retain and promote women in finance.

Almudena Cañibano, Scientific co-director of the Chair Women in FinanceMarion Festing, Scientific co-director of the Chair Women in Finance

A few words from the Scientific co-directors

The participation of women in the workforce has risen steadily over time, against a background of stability for men. As a result, in western economies, women and men increasingly begin their careers in parity. Yet, top executive roles are still predominantly filled by men, particularly in certain industries like finance. This trend is a major hinder for continued organisational growth and development. This Chair will shed light on the reasons behind this phenomenon and how to tackle it. Only by understanding the experiences of women can we develop the right tools to work towards a truly inclusive workplace.

Professors Almudena Cañibano and Marion Festing, Scientific co-directors of the Women in Finance Chair


Interest in creating work environments where diverse individuals feel included has grown exponentially in the last decades.

Under this light, the “Women in Finance” Chair seeks to create knowledge on the reasons for the underrepresentation of women in finance and develop insights to increase diversity and inclusion in this industry.

Our research explores the experiences and professional trajectories of women working in finance, with the aim to identify best practices for attraction, development, and retention.

We also aspire to make the role of women in this industry more visible to students and to spark the desire for a career in this industry amongst young female graduates.



  • Research projects
  • Articles
  • Bachelor, master and doctoral theses

  • Guest lectures
  • Case studies
  • Supporting theses
  • Best Thesis Award

  • Conferences
  • Workshops

Mentoring programme

Logo Femstory

The ESCP Women in Finance Chair partners up with Femstory, a non-profit organisation co-founded by two ESCP alumni, Julia Stadler and Cécile Defort. Together we seek to empower young women by pairing them with an experienced professional with whom they can consult on career-related topics.

All female students as well as male and female professionals in financial occupations who are interested in taking part in the programme can find more information and apply femstory.co/escp.

The closing date for our first round of applications is 15 January 2024, at 11:59 pm.
Applications arriving after this deadline will be considered for the following round.


Inclusive leadership, a cornerstone of ESCP, prompts us to reflect on the all too modest representation of women in finance.  We want to thank our six founding companies of this Chair, who, through their diversity (Investment : Private Equity, Private Investment, Asset Management, including Infrastructure Asset Management – Banking : Independent Investment Banking, M&A Advisory, Restructuring, Private Banking and Global Wealth – Advisory : Transaction, Restructuring and Transformation services), have chosen to support research on this issue and contribute to the transformation of the prevailing model.
Pascale Pernet, Chairs and Business Development Director, ESCP

Amala Partners is a fully independent investment banking and private capital advisory firm dedicated to entrepreneurs and investors in the Private Equity. We are driven by a single mission: enable shareholders and financial sponsors to attain their strategic growth, funding and liquidity goals.

Incepted in October 2020, Amala Partners is a fast-growing firm with a bold and independent mindset aligned with the projects of entrepreneurs and investors it supports. It now has about fifty professionals.

In 2023, Amala Partners acted on c.30 transactions covering all market segments (smid-, upper-mid and large cap) and all industries (education, tech, green, healthcare, services, industries, consumer). In total, the Managing Partners advised on more than 500 M&A transactions, financing operations and GP solutions.


Ardian is a world-leading private investment house, managing or advising $160bn of assets on behalf of more than 1,470 clients globally. Our broad expertise, spanning Private Equity, Real Assets and Credit, enables us to offer a wide range of investment opportunities and respond flexibly to our clients’ differing needs.

Our 1,050+ employees, spread across 19 offices in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Middle East are strongly committed to the principles of Responsible Investment and are determined to make finance a force for good in society. Our goal is to deliver excellent investment performance combined with high ethical standards and social responsibility.

At Ardian, we believe that diverse and inclusive companies are more creative, innovative, and outperform their counterparts. Promoting gender diversity is one of our key pillars of action to foster I&D within our firm. For instance, Ardian Women’s Club was launched in May 2018 by and for women of Ardian to help them develop their careers within Ardian, expand their networks and support each other to succeed as well as unite all Ardian women around common values.

At Ardian, we invest all of ourselves in building companies that last.


Eight Advisory is the European leader in independent consulting firms. Bringing together nearly 850 professionals including around a hundred Partners, in 14 offices located in France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and United States.

Eight Advisory intervenes in Transaction, Restructuring and Business Transformation situations through financial, tax, operational, and strategic advisory services. In addition, Eight Advisory is one of the founding members of the Eight International alliance which brings together nearly 4,000 professionals present in around thirty countries around the world.


Founded in 1796, Lombard Odier has strong Swiss roots and a resolutely international outlook with more than 25 offices worldwide.

For over 225 years, the Group has combined investment expertise, innovation and prudence to remain aligned with the long-term interests of its private and institutional clients, enabling it to weather more than 40 financial crises.

Solely owned by its Managing Partners, the Group has a strong, liquid and conservatively invested balance sheet. In 2019, Lombard Odier was the first global wealth and asset manager to receive B Corp™ certification. Convinced that the environmental transition represents the greatest investment opportunity of our time, Lombard Odier has built strategic partnerships with Oxford University and Systemiq, and created the sustainable investment platform holistiQ.


Founded in 2008 in Paris and London, Ondra is an independent investment bank specialising in financial advisory services for complex transactions such as cross-border mergers, transformative M&A, restructuring, etc.

Ondra’s values include discretion, a strong alignment of interests with its clients and technical expertise. Ondra provides its clients with a tailor-made service and nurtures business relationships with a deep emphasis on long-term strategic vision.


Vauban Infrastructure Partners is a leading Infrastructure asset manager focused on the core infrastructure market. Headquartered in Paris with a subsidiary in Luxembourg, it employs 75 professionals, the majority of whom have been working together for over a decade.

Vauban targets predominantly European brownfield mid-market assets pursuing a long-term yield-driven strategy matching the underlying nature of assets and long-term commitment to all stakeholders’ interests through a strong focus on creating sustainable value.

Vauban has raised over €8.4 billion across 7 funds in core infrastructure from over 100 investors within 17 different countries and has invested in over 70 assets in mobility, energy transition, social & digital infrastructure across 14 different geographies.


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