Wealth

‘Don’t Rely On Others To Take Care Of Your Money Or Your Future’: FairVine’s Sangeeta Venkatesan

She's worked for some of the biggest names in finance, often as the only woman on the team. Now, FairVine's executive chairman wants to help secure your financial independence.

By Natalie Cornish

Wealth

She's worked for some of the biggest names in finance, often as the only woman on the team. Now, FairVine's executive chairman wants to help secure your financial independence.

By Natalie Cornish

Growing up in a small town in central India, Sangeeta Venkatesan learnt how to be independent at a young age.

“My town didn’t have universities in those days, and I left my home when I was 16 to move to Mumbai to study,” she tells Future Women. “I grew up in a town where women were not really meant to study, take up jobs or be independent. It was normal for women to get married when they turned 18 and start a family right away. My mum never worked, nor did she aspire to.”

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“I was the only women in a team of 52 men,” Sangeeta says of her time at Lehman. “While pregnant I used to work 10 to 12-hour days on average. I remember the time when I told my boss that I was pregnant. His words were: ‘I should have known you’d get pregnant one day given I hired a woman’. I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or get upset.”

Then the financial crisis hit. “I lost my job when I was eight months pregnant when Lehman Brothers went bankrupt,” she adds. “That hit me really hard in every way possible – financially, career-wise and, in general, my confidence in the financial services sector.”

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She adds: “Banking and finance is a large sector with a multitude of opportunities, and there is something that would suit every personality and skillset. Young women often seem nervous or anxious about getting into banking given its history and perception of male dominance. However, this is changing, especially in Australia.”

Here is the ethos that worked for Sangeeta, and she is “sure it applies to pretty much anything and everything in life, at any stage of your career”:

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If you’re interested in matters of financial wellbeing, join Sangeeta on the 12th of September for a delightful breakfast with Rachel Hamlen (FairVine) and Georgie Dent (author) at The Butler in Potts Point. For more details, click here.

You’ve hit the glass ceiling. And our paywall.

Help us smash it by becoming a Future Woman for as little as $4 a month.

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