Panelists were …
Åsa Skogsfors, VP Head of Treasury, Nordic Entertainment Group, and board member of the Swedish Association of Corporate Treasurers,
Christina Wik, Head of Treasury Operations and Corporate Finance, Telia Company,
Helene Cardelli, Solution Consultant, Nomentia, and
Ulrika Christensen, Head of the Central Government’s Internal Bank, Riksgälden
… under moderation by Beatrice Wassing, Head of Transaction Banking Sales, Handelsbanken.
The discussion came to range across many current treasury topics – the broadening role being one.
“10 years ago, the treasury department of Telia was well known by other treasuries and by the banks in the city but no one knew about us internally, really,” says Christina Wik.
“Today, it’s very, very different. Sustainability is a good example of how our role has become much broader: now we work very close with the sustainability team, we need to talk with operations about capex plans so we know where the funds are going, we need to do a lot of work with the sourcing team, with the supply chain, we talk with controlling about measurement and follow up of everything … So currently, we have a much broader role and we collaborate a lot with many internal stakeholders, and still all the external parties as well. So I would say we are still experts. We are still specialized in our field. But the role is much broader and so much more fun today.”
Åsa Skogsfors added how the purpose of the treasury has shifted from profitable trading to cross-group coordination.
Gender still matters
The session was labelled Women in treasury – and while it focused mostly on current treasury issues as such, it also featured some discussion about the importance (or non-importance) of gender in the profession. While the panellists agreed that it shouldn’t have to be an issue, statistics indicate it still is.
”My first thought was that I don’t think about it too much because we have so many other things to think about. But then I started thinking about whether we have a good gender balance in treasury or not,” says Christina Wik. She could then note that by sub-function, there are still notable differences, with men still dominating the corporate-finance, market-facing and top leading roles, while Helene Cardelli saw a dominance of women in the cash management space.
“Among 84 mid- and large-cap companies in Sweden, 26 percent of heads of treasury are women,” said Åsa Skogsfors, who had looked into the numbers.
“So on the top level, as you say, we are not equal. I hope it grows because it should be an un-interesting question if you are a woman or not in this kind of work.”