Members On Their Way

Members On Their Way: Giselle Finnane

Meet the Sydney lawyer who wants to help more women build businesses.

By Natalie Cornish

Members On Their Way

Meet the Sydney lawyer who wants to help more women build businesses.

By Natalie Cornish

A brief stint in Perth aside, Giselle Finnane has spent her life in Sydney – where she’s now a Mergers & Acquisitions lawyer in an all-female corporate team at Marque Lawyers. Here, she opens up about finding Future Women at just the right time, the remarkable relative who inspires her and the book she believes every Aussie should read. Plus, why she’s launching her own podcast to share her smarts.

Joining Future Women was actually quite serendipitous. Earlier in the year I was on a mission to find content written by women, about women, for women. Partly my desire was to find inspirational and motivational stories; the other part was my wanting to do a sanity check on where women’s progress was really at. I know that I am incredibly lucky to work in such a progressive firm, but I realise that can be a bubble. I immersed myself in all the Future Women content I could get my hands on. You cannot imagine how excited I was when I found out that I would get to work with Future Women and Helen. Joining FW at that point was an absolute no-brainer, and I cannot get enough of the content, the social events, and the community.

I would say that Future Women has given me three things so far: access to topical and relevant content, an incredible community of such amazing people (men included) and a sense of hope and excitement for what the future holds for women.

I’m currently working on a legal podcast with my one of my colleagues, Fee. We have long discussed how fun it would be to get together over a glass of wine, and record some of our ramblings. It feels like the things that we are specialists in (starting businesses, raising capital and selling businesses) are still reserved for a very small part of society, and sadly that often means that women are excluded. Our podcast is about stripping away all the legal and corporate jargon, and hopefully having a bit of fun along the way. Ultimately we want to see more women founders, we want to help more women raise capital for their entrepreneurial endeavours, and we want to help more women secure their financial freedom. We consider it our responsibility to share our knowledge and experience and be a driver of real change. Watch this space!

I have so many passions: my family and friends, seeking out new adventures, learning, reading and challenging myself physically – whether that is partaking in the Oxfam Trailwalker, doing cross fit, or whatever my latest exercise bandwagon is. I also love the law, problem-solving and helping my clients.

Photography is also a hobby of mine. Taking pictures of raw moments of human love and connection, of our beautiful planet and of my puppy never gets old.

I just had 12 days off with my man on a road trip from Cairns to Cape York and back. We listened to so many podcasts! I am obsessed with Chat 10 Looks 3 (Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales). I love catching up on world current affairs with The Daily by the New York Times. My partner suggested the Animal Spirits podcast, which is about markets, life and investing, and, surprisingly, I will confess I really enjoyed it. I have also been getting into the FW Leadership podcast – my favourite so far is Wendy McCarthy’s. What an absolute queen!

Reading-wise, my recent digital detox allowed me to smash through a few books that have been piling up. I read Three Women by Lisa Taddeo. I also read Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe, which – in my opinion – should be compulsory reading for all Australians. I am now reading Women Kind by Dr Kirstin Ferguson and Catherine Fox.

The most remarkable woman I’ve ever met is, hands down, my 101-year-old grandma, Jean. She is an inquisitive thinker, and has spent her life exploring, learning and being curious about everything and everyone. She finished year 11 and 12 at a time when girls finished at year 10. She went to uni and studied physiotherapy, she worked, she got married, she had eight kids and then retrained and went back to work. She is an incredibly practical, no-nonsense kind of person and yet so supportive, kind and loving.

I’d love to learn to sing. My party trick is saying the alphabet backwards, but the novelty of that wears off pretty quickly! So to be able to pull out a guitar (which I would also have to learn to play) and then sing to a group of friends would be amazing.

My driving force is getting things done to make a difference in the lives of the people around me. Whether that is my family, my friends, my colleagues or my clients.

Outside of work I love to catch up with friends and family. Have cuddles with my gorgeous, rascal of a puppy Ziggy. Spend time outdoors – my favourite activities are bushwalking and camping. Oh, and hitching myself to the latest fitness bandwagon.

The future for women is a world where we are truly equal, truly free and have the choice to do whatever we want.

We can lift each other up when we are kicking goals. Let’s celebrate each other’s success. There is enough room for all of us at the table.

I’m most fulfilled when the people around me are thriving.

Self-care means doing what you need to do to find that reset button, to feel grounded and to feel connected to the people you love and to the earth. For me, that means being mindful about how I am fuelling my body, making sure I am moving a few times a week, getting seven hours sleep and doing something for my spirit – which can be something as simple as turning off my email notifications and being 100 percent present with my family.