Piper Jaffray’s Christine Esckilsen Pitches Women On Financial Services Career

By Patrick Kennedy
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Piper Jaffray’s Chief human capital officer details the company’s recruiting efforts to attract talented women, particularly in client-facing roles.


Christine Esckilsen is the chief human capital officer at Minneapolis-based Piper Jaffray and is in charge of employee development and the overall culture at the investment bank and asset-management firm. She is in charge of recruiting, including adding more women to the investment industry.

Piper Jaffray has been hosting Women in Finance events since 2005. Esckilsen and her team run the events in cities where Piper is located. Its most recent event was Jan. 12 in Minneapolis, and the next is Feb. 16 in Chicago. Piper also conducts events in San Francisco and New York and looks to add more events whenever it opens or acquires an office in a new city.

Q: What roles are you trying to fill at Piper with the Women in Finance program?

A: We are always trying to attract talented women, particularly in client-facing roles, which for us would be investment banking, equities, fixed income, asset management, public finance, but in corporate support roles as well. It’s a little harder to recruit women into the production roles.

Q: Are women underrepresented in those other roles in financial services?

A: It is something that we would like to see changed for a couple of reasons. First, obviously if you can open up the talent pool to include a broader group, 50 percent of the population, you are going to have more talent to draw from. You are going to get higher-caliber people when you expand the pool. Secondly, there are ways in which women are found to approach things in the workplace differently from men. On the whole, women tend to be very collaborative and inquiry-based in their approach. They tend to take a different perspective on risk.

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