EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year

We want to be inspired by women like you. Purpose-driven women who challenge conventional ways of thinking, who dare to ask questions to seek better answers. Women who want to build a better working world.

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Are you the next EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year?

Discover how you can kick start your career journey in corporate finance and bring to life your purpose at the same time. This is more than just a global competition – it offers the chance to:

  • Start making long-lasting contacts who will drive your consulting career forward
  • Learn about the variety of career experiences in transactions
  • Discover how a leading-class professional services organisation adds value through purpose and diversity to our clients

It’s why we’re supporting the Corporate Finance Woman of the Year (CFWOY) competition in eighteen countries around the world.

Are you willing to take action?

You could be on your way to Rome to the global EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year competition grand final in February 2020.

Competition stages

The competition is split into three stages. Throughout, we will be looking for evidence of purpose and analytical strength – as well as the practical skills that will distinguish you in the competition.

Stage 1 – Application and Regional competition

Firstly, we will challenge you to answer one short answer question on the broader business environment and a question about building a better working world through video.

Entries are now closed for the 2019 Corporate Finance Woman of the Year competition.

If your application is successful, you will be invited to a local EY office to participate in the Regional competitions. You will analyse and present on a transaction case study to our EY judges. Note that successful applicants from New Zealand will be invited to the EY Auckland office for their Regional competition.

Do well in Stage 1 and you will become a regional winner, rewarded with a trip to Sydney to compete in the Oceania competition.

Stage 2 – Oceania competition

In the second stage, you will participate in individual and group activities. The Oceania winner will receive an internship opportunity in their local EY office and will represent Oceania at the Global competition. Second and third place winners will also receive internship opportunities.

Stage 3 – Global competition

Taking place in Rome, Italy in February 2020, the successful Oceania winner will work closely with other finalists from across the world. You will be challenged with individual and group activities in front of EY leaders, clients and academia. At the Global competition, finalists will attend an awards ceremony where the overall Corporate Finance Woman of the Year winner will be announced.


The EY Oceania Corporate Finance Woman of the Year competition is open to all female students residing in Australia or New Zealand who hold citizenship or permanent residency in the country they reside in. Entrants must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree at university and due to complete their studies between 2020 and 2022. Click here to view the full terms and conditions.

How to enter

  • How it works

    To enter the competition, you are required to complete the entry form and upload a current CV, most recent academic transcript and photo ID. Eligible students will then be sent an email containing a link to complete the competition questions via our entry platform, powered by HireVue. You will respond to one written question, not exceeding 350 words, and one via video application of a maximum of 90 seconds.

  • Entry questions

    Applicants will be required to answer the following question in 350 words or less:

    • What do you think will be the biggest driver of M&A activity in FY20 and why?

    Applicants will also be required to answer the following question via video response in 90 seconds or less:

    • At EY we firmly believe that diverse and inclusive teams make the working world. What does workplace equality mean to you and how does it play a part in building a better working world?
  • Top tips

    • Once you have completed the entry form, you will only be able to enter the HireVue platform once (don’t worry, once you’re in there, you will have multiple opportunities to record your video reponse for question 2). So we suggest you prepare you response to question one and your script for question two prior to accessing HireVue.
    • Find a quiet well lit space.
    • Ensure you have good internet connection before you get started.
    • You can access the competition portal via smartphone, PC or tablet, however ensure you have video and microphone enabled.
    • Don’t forget, you’ll be on video so ensure you are wearing business appropriate attire.
    • Don’t leave you entry until the last minute!
    • If you have any questions or need help, please email cfwycompetition@au.ey.com

What can I win?

Prizes that last a lifetime

By entering the competition you can:

  • Make long-lasting, meaningful connections with EY leadership that will benefit your career
  • Network with females working in a global organisation that embodies a supportive and collaborative culture
  • Differentiate yourself from other graduates in an increasingly competitive job market

Oceania winners

The winner, second and third place winners from the Oceania competition will receive an internship opportunity in their local EY office. The overall Oceania winner will travel to Rome, Italy in February 2020 and participate in the Global competition.

I really admire the initiative and EY for doing it. It is about empowering women to have a voice in a corporate world, which is so important to me.

Caitlin Brand

2018 Oceania winner


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Corporate Finance Woman of the Year (CFWOY) competition?

    The CFWOY competition was created by EY to reward and encourage the next generation of female transactions professionals.

    The competition serves to:

    1. Reaffirm the growing importance of transactions knowledge in the world of business among female university students.
    2. Promote the emergence of young talented professionals in the field of transactions, thus fostering interest in the profession as a potential future career.
  • What is the difference between the country and global competition?

    Participants from Australian States and the New Zealand winner will compete in the Oceania competition. The Oceania competition winner will then compete against her peers from the other participating countries in the Global competition in February 2020.

  • When did the program start?

    The CFWOY competition started in 2017 with seven participating countries including Australia.

  • How many countries are involved?

    In 2019, female university students represented eighteen countries at the global final.

I believe this competition will provide me with an excellent opportunity to gain the right experience to become a leader in the future.

Rebecca Zhang

2017 Oceania winner


Previous winners

  • 2018 winners

    Our 2018 Finalists:

    • VIC - Caitlin Brand (Monash University) - 1st
    • NSW - Chloe Segal (University of Sydney) - 2nd
    • QLD - Rene Arunakumaren (University of Queensland) - 3rd 
    • NZ - Emma Kerr (University of Auckland) - Equal 3rd
    • NZ - Hannah Monigatti (University of Auckland) - Finalist
    • WA - Isobel Bleddyn (University of Western Australia) - Finalist
    • NSW - Alison Ma (University of Sydney) - Finalist
    • NSW - Kristina Adzic (Macquarie University) – Finalist
    • VIC - Sarsha Crawley (Monash University) – Finalist
    • SA - Evangelina Papps (University of Adelaide) – Finalist
    • QLD - Nicole Steemson (University of Queensland) – Finalist
    • WA – Katrina Yu (The University of Western Australia) – Finalist

    Hear from the Oceania winner, Caitlin Brand, who represented Oceania at the global final in London in February 2019.

    Caitlin Brand, 2018 Oceania winner
    Campus: Monash University
    Degree: Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) with a Diploma of Languages (Mandarin)

    Caitlin was delighted with her win and her experience in the competition. She is joining our Transactions Advisory team in late 2019 for her internship.

    “It was great exposure to Corporate Finance and to EY,” said Caitlin, “I really admire the initiative and EY for doing it. It is about empowering women to have a voice in a corporate world, which is so important to me”.

    What was your highlight from the CFWY global final?

    “Definitely meeting and working with the other finalists. They pushed my critical thinking, allowed me to learn more about their home countries and were also just a vibrant, fun group that thoroughly enriched this once-in-a-life time experience. I'm excited to see what the future holds for each participant!”

    What advice would you give students who are considering applying to this year’s Oceania competition?

    “Regardless of your university or work experience background, if you have any interest in finance or want to know more about the area, definitely apply! You do not need to have majored in Finance... I haven't! I think many students do not realise how diverse and broad finance is. It encompasses strategy, operations and financial analysis, balancing both qualitative and quantitative skills. There is absolutely no downside in applying and you never know where the opportunity may take you!” - Caitlin Brand, 2018 Oceania winner

  • 2017 winners

    Congratulations to the following 2017 state winners

    • WA — Shaneli Dias (University of Western Australia) and Jessica Young (University of Western Australia)
    • VIC — Ai Lin Soo (Monash University) and Olivia McFarlane (RMIT)
    • QLD — Niama Beaton (University of Queensland) and Micaela Lusa (University of Queensland)
    •  NSW — Rebecca Zhang (University of Sydney) and Aarthi Packirisamy (Macquarie University)

    Hear from the Australian winner, Rebecca Zhang who represented Australia at the global final in London in February 2018.

    Rebecca Zhang, Australia finalist
    Campus: University of Sydney
    Degree: Bachelor of Commerce

    Rebecca Zhang first developed her interest in corporate finance through an inspirational high school economics teacher. While she seriously considered other career options, the opportunity to have an impact during the most important times in an organization’s life, and the variety of market sectors that a corporate finance career would give her exposure to, continue to hold her interest.

    “What I discovered about the importance of both the advisory component and relationships in corporate finance really changed my view of the career path. I’ve always wanted to balance the technical focus with a people focus in my career, and I didn’t realize how much I could have this in a career in Transactions,” she said.

    Studying for a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Sydney is an important step towards that career goal. Entering the EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year competition has been another.

    Rebecca says that is has been an incredible opportunity to talk to EY people about what it’s really like to pursue a career in corporate finance. “The university experience gives you a good understanding of the technical process and what outcomes should theoretically look like. However, while you do need the knowledge and expertise to form a solution, the solution is useless if you can’t convey it properly, or express it in the correct way to your client,” she said.

    As part of the competition experience, EY people talked in detail about the types of transactions they were involved in, and how they go about developing and implementing solutions. “I had no idea of the diversity of specialists that often collaborate on any one transaction, and the diversity of roles and career paths possible within corporate finance,” she remarked.

    Rebecca believes that a lot of women don’t necessarily consider a corporate finance career option, but the EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year competition is an important opportunity for them to get a taste of what it’s really like.

    “I believe this competition will provide me with an excellent opportunity to gain the right experience to become a leader in the future,” she said.

Are you willing to take action?

You could be on your way to Rome to the global EY Corporate Finance Woman of the Year competition grand final in February 2020.

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