Society Showcase: UCL Women in Finance & Edinburgh Napier Feminist Society
Here at The Hype Collective, we love showcasing the awesome
stuff that societies do to make positive change, whether this be on campus or
on a wider scale. In honour of Women’s Equality Day (which falls on the 26th
August this year), we contacted two societies,
asking them what they do to help women succeed in a world
where the gender pay gap exists, and how they start important conversations
We chatted to Niharika at UCL’s Women in Finance society and Ester at
Edinburgh Napier’s Feminist society, to get to know more about what they do.
Hype: Hi guys, thanks
for talking to us today! To begin, can you give us a quick intro to your
societies’ history, and why it was set up?
in Finance Society: We were founded in December 2012 by two students
who recognised the challenges of breaking into the financial industry as young
women. It’s clear that there is a shortage of women in this sector, and we
believe that with a little guidance and info, we can help decrease this gap and
lay the right stepping-stones for women to realise and enact their potential!
Napier’s Feminist Society: Napier’s feminist society (recently titled the
Gender Equality Society) was founded by a group of students in 2017, because
they shared the values we have built our activities around – all people of all
genders, sexuality, race, ethnicity and abilities are worthy and deserve the
same rights as everyone else. We decided to change our name as although it made
us more welcoming to male students, it also became exclusionary to students
with multiple identities intersecting different ‘isms’, so this change reflects
more accurately the work we do and the stances that we take. Everyone is
welcome, as their full, multifaceted selves.
That’s fab, so what are the main events/activities that you run as societies?
UCL Women in Finance Society: We try and do as much as we
can. We run talks, workshops and networking events, which often feature
successful women in fields such as consulting and banking, to inspire
confidence in fellow students. Additionally, we run a number of Outreach
initiatives to aid sixth form girls with University applications. Finally, we
have our own female mentorship program we use to help first years with their
Edinburgh Napier’s Feminist
We run weekly sessions, consisting of small lectures on a specific topic. These
range from gender and medicine, the patriarchy and capitalism, women in the
media etc. We also run workshops on themes such as activism, and enjoy inviting
guest speakers from other organisations to come and talk to our members. Socialising
as a society is crucial, as feminist discourse often involves a lot of
vulnerability, sharing personal experiences and thoughts. We also raise
awareness of feminist discourse through running a weekly podcast called ‘A
podcast of one’s own’, which you can find on Youtube.
Hype: What are your goals as a
UCL Women in Finance Society: We aim to educate, equip and
empower female students by creating a supportive environment where they can
confidently fulfil their career aspirations.
Edinburgh Napier Feminist
place dedicated to feminist activism should be available in any institution,
especially universities. Therefore, simply establishing the society was an
accomplishment to us. Our second goal was, and still is, to create an
environment where members can investigate, analyse and become more confident in
challenging the patriarchal system, learning how it affects us in so many ways.
Our final goal is to have an impact, however small or large. We are attempting
to create a network of activist groups that organically interact and enforce
Hype: In the UK, women statistically
earn 18% less than what a man in the same role would. Does your society engage
in discussions about equality in the workplace?
UCL Women in Finance Society: Our society’s very purpose is
to ensure that this number declines, consciously working towards a future where
gender inequality ceases to exist.
Edinburgh Napier’s Feminist
We absolutely do! The discussions we have in our sessions almost always venture
in to this aspect of inequality. It is so relevant, and the pay gap only
increases with complex intersectional identities. Black, Asian and Hispanic
women suffer from several oppressive forces at once, and earn less than white
women. Finance isn’t just tied to quality of life, but becomes a
trans-generational issue which perpetuates wealth for men and exclusion from
financial security for ALL women.
Hype: To end, in three words, can
you sum up your society and your members in a nutshell?
UCL Women in Finance Society: Diverse, supportive and
Edinburgh Napier’s Feminist Society: Fun, nurturing, and anti capitalist!
If you’re a university society and interested in working with brands to bring great benefits to your members, please contact us at Hype Collective so we can work with you. You want to talk to Helene Bentsen: firstname.lastname@example.org