ARTICLE
20 March 2024

Women In Finance: Miriam Sultana, PKF Malta

FM
Finance Malta

Contributor

Finance Malta is a non-profit public-private initiative set up to promote Malta as an international financial centre, both within, as well as outside Malta. It brings together, and harnesses, the resources of the industry and government, to ensure Malta maintains a modern and effective legal, regulatory, and fiscal framework in which the financial services sector can continue to grow and prosper. The Board of Governors, together with the founding associations: The Malta Funds Asset Servicing Association, the Malta Bankers Association, the Malta Insurance Association, the Association of Insurance Brokers, the Malta Insurance Managers Association, the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners; its members and staff are all committed to promote Malta as an innovative international.
In a society where traditional gender roles often dictate a woman's trajectory, one individual's journey stands as a testament to resilience, determination, and the pursuit of personal...
Malta Law Department Performance
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In a society where traditional gender roles often dictate a woman's trajectory, one individual's journey stands as a testament to resilience, determination, and the pursuit of personal and professional fulfillment. Meet Miriam, an economist and advisor whose path has been shaped by the unwavering support of her family, the pursuit of knowledge, and a commitment to challenging societal norms. From her formative years, navigating the complexities of gender expectations to her groundbreaking work in the emerging field of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) economics, Miriam shares her story of breaking barriers, building a successful career, and embracing the dual roles of motherhood and professional leadership. Join us as we delve into her inspiring journey, filled with lessons on empowerment, advocacy, and the quest for work-life balance in a dynamic and evolving world.

I grew up in a household whereby both my beloved parents and my late grandma always pushed and encouraged me to study and work hard for whatever I wanted to do. I had my father as a role model – he dedicated his all for his role within the public sector. My mother's generation were forced to stop working as soon as they got married. Since a young age it always perplexed me – why were women encouraged to give up their profession to get married? Isn't that a brain drain for the economy? My mother was a kindergarten educator, and she gave that up for her married life and for me. As I grew up, I knew that although family life is important, it is not solely what I want to do.

I majored in Accountancy and Economics at the University of Malta, but then after my third year I figured that Economics is more a challenging, thought-provoking social science. I met my husband, an accountant himself, at University. After graduating, I joined a big4 firm, which was immensely a learning experience on a professional level, especially when it comes to handling advisory engagements, professionalism and clients'. This working experience provided me with the necessary tools for professional life. Whilst working for the big4 firm, I was heavily involved in the setting up of the ESG space, at the time it was solely a proposal at European Parliament level. It is at that point where I decided to read for an MSc. in Environmental Economics with the University of London. I thought that with sustainability reporting becoming mandatory in the near future, this background would serve as a solid foundation to better serve my future clients. That, coupled with my solid experience and degree in Economics would equip me with the skills I need to better assist clients in this new, niche area. 

After graduating at a Masters level, I decided it was time to move on for something which is niche, smaller and in a way more personalised. That is where I joined the PKF family and since then I grew professionally and personally. Over the years at PKF, I was exposed to a plethora of clients hailing from different industries, and the assignments varied in nature. This helped me to expand my knowledge in practice. 

When I joined PKF I was the only economist/advisor within the firm! Fast forward a couple of months and years, our advisory department, with the support of the Senior Partner and management it started to grow – both in terms of clients and manpower. I am happy to say that now I lead a good team of six qualified professionals with strong financial and economics background. 

On a personal level, after some time working for the firm, my family was blessed with two boys. Life changed, but in a good way. Life was suddenly fuller, but better. I have a double purpose. Whilst working provides satisfaction on a personal level, I now have the task of being a role model for my children. They need to understand that a woman is not simply there to feed her children, but also has a brain that she can use to provide for her family. At the same time, a mother's role can never be downplayed, it is a sacred role which no one can ever replace. One hopes that the upcoming generations will do a better job at grasping the notion that women can indeed do the same jobs as men do, but in parallel being wives and mothers. Work-life balance and flexibility may be a cliché, but I feel that is truly essential to be a successful woman for generations to come. 

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Picture: Miriam Sultana, Director – Advisory Services, PKF Malta

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