"My name is Lorena Busto Hurtado (she/her/hers) and I am a finance professional working at a Spanish bank in London. I have been working in banking and financial markets for nearly a decade, starting in Madrid at a very junior position and making my dream come true of moving to London four years ago. As a finance professional I am really involved in women in banking & finance empowerment in London and globally, and in boosting financial education in my home country Spain.
My passion for languages started at an early age and they have been the key which has opened many doors to me - they opened my mind, allowed me to pursue studies in other countries and let me get to know amazing people who now I call friends.
I am lucky to say that economics and finance are part of my profession but also some of my genuine interests. Specifically, I am interested in the latest technological developments in the industry and in the role it plays in society as a way to erase social inequalities within and out of the sector.
In order to fully satisfy my curiosity, I had to learn to ask questions, being a fully independent researcher doesn’t help much. But independence comes with the ability to keep going forward, if necessary, on your own.
Probably the experience that has defined me the most and made me who I am was my first international trip. Although I was curious about the world, as a teenager I was happy in my relatively small hometown. I guess I was not dreaming big enough at that point.
Everything changed when at sixteen I landed for the first time in London. My mind was blown and eyes were opened! So many different people and things in front of me that, instead of making me feel uncomfortable, made me want to explore more. It can sound a bit cheesy but London was love at first sight and the relationship that has defined me.
“Mrs Brown says that in London everyone is different, and that means anyone can fit in. I think she must be right - because although I don't look like anyone else, I really do feel at home. I'll never be like other people, but that's alright, because I'm a bear.” – Paddington
I love fashion, I understand it in a personal way though. I think women’s fashion is more fun, there are no prejudices about colours and after all, you can wear a suit or a dress. Although there are still many obstacles for women in this world we live in, I see fashion as a way of free ourselves. I wish for the same for men, because gender stereotypes set limits to self-expression whether you are in one box or the other.
I don’t know how, since my teenage years I was inspired by Coco Chanel. Later the more I knew about her the more I understood why. We both went to religious schools - her story is a bit sadder than mine as I had my family - and wore uniforms. The colours of children and nuns’ uniforms were a huge influence in her designs - proving that you can be creative even in a standardised collective.
Another thing I discovered we had in common is the love for England and its Prince of Wales check suits. There is an urban legend that the Chanel symbol is in the lampposts of Westminster in London, because the Duke of Westminster asked many times Coco Chanel to marry him. However, there is no evidence of that.
‘There have been many Duchesses of Westminster, but only one Coco Chanel.’ - Coco Chanel
There are many more memorable quotes of her, but if I had the chance to talk to her I would ask her what was her greatest strength, the one that made her succeed in a male dominated industry. Also I am thankful that she freed the women’s figure from corsets and created casual - but elegant - attires."
~ Lorena Busto Hurtado