A Feminine Approach to Financial Crises

What is the Big Idea?

Halla Tomasdottir guided her financial services company Audur Capital through Iceland's economic meltdown in 2008. The company not only survived, but its unique "feminine values" were instrumental in rebuilding the country's economy. These values include independence, risk awareness, straight talk, emotional capital and profit with principles. 

In a recent interview with Big Think, Tomasdottir talked about a feminine approach to financial services as a way to balance a male dominated industry where masculine values tend to dictate outcomes.

Check out her interview here:

What's the Significance?

Iceland's economy was in such dire straights that someone put the country up for sale on eBay. Then the volcanic eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 made things worse as it caused enormous disruption to air travel across western and northern Europe. 

Tomasdottir saw her country's crisis as an opportunity to change the way things were being done. This doesn't mean she thought that men were the source of Iceland's financial woes. But simply put, the country needed women to balance out the power exerted by men. 

Still, the problems run deeper than money and gender. Giving women a place at the table is about fostering workplace diversity. 

"I do believe men should appreciate the diversity at a much larger scale than just the gender scale," she said. "The gender aspect is just one part of diversity and actually if you look at American businesses many of them have very little international input even if they're doing global business and many of them have very little input from women."

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