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« Dare! » : Monaco Women In Finance, a year of advice and goodwill

Monaco Women in Finance Institute

An inspiring women’s think tank that could also benefit men.

On Thursday, May 12 the Maison des Associations was the venue for the penultimate conference of the season on “The Reality and Challenges of Female Leadership”, an opportunity to talk about this excellent initiative by Monaco Women in Finance (MWF), which promotes women in the world of finance.


It has been nine months since the Think Tank was officially launched. The initial aim was to help and support women in the very masculine financial industry, to have done with impostor syndrome and to introduce women to the financial and entrepreneurship sector.

If the number of people present at the conference is an indication, it has clearly been a successful venture. The assembly was made up of a very large majority of women, but there were still a few men present.

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Before the event starts, there is an icebreaker exercise, where everyone chats with the person next to them, exchanging business cards if they don’t know each other, or catching up if they do. This creates a calm and pleasant atmosphere that puts newcomers at ease from the outset.

© Monaco Women in Finance Institute – left, Johanna Damar Flores. Right, Sophie Saurini.

The conference itself is short, lasting only about fifteen minutes. Efficient, each speech provides the foundation for the participatory exchange that follows.

This Thursday, Sophie Saurini, Head of Private Banking at CMB Monaco, was the guest speaker, sharing her experience as a woman in a financial sector where only 16% of employees are women.

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In response to a question by Johanna Damar Flores, she first explained what a leader is in her view: “someone who is  inspiring and unique” but without wanting to pit men and women against each other. For her, “there is a complementarity between men, who are more direct, and women, who are more attentive”. She adds that she loves “working with men”, precisely because of this complementarity.

© Monaco Women in Finance Institute

A pool of ideas to provide insights and practical advice

Patricia Cressot

Advice that is as valuable for women as it is for men

This is what emerges from the whole conference: there is no conflict between men and women. In fact, the advice, even if it is intended to help the female gender, can also be applied to men and young people. Sophie Saurini’s final recommendation, “Dare!”, applies to everyone. As do the following tips: ‘don’t feel you have to justify yourself all the time’, ‘don’t be afraid of failure, try’ and ‘think positive’, as thoughts determine our actions.

Patricia Cressot, co-founder of the MWF, agrees. Men have their rightful place at the  conferences: “we advocate an egalitarian society. It’s not about feminism or masculinism.” The MWF is “a pool of ideas to provide insights and practical advice”.

The last conference of the season is scheduled to take place on June 24 at 6 pm, and the guest speaker will be Laurence Jenk, the artist who is known for her giant candy sculptures, who will talk about NFT.