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Mireia Giné is a professor of financial management at Iese Business School in Spain, and this year won the Brattle Group Prize for her research into corporate governance. The research analyses the impact of corporate governance initiatives such as having more women on boards.
Prof Giné has also spent 10 years as a director at Wharton Research Data Services, a small start-up from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, which aims to provide large and diverse data sources for research.
In her spare time, Prof Giné enjoys backpacking and going to remote archeological sites such as Dunhuang and the Mogao Grottes in the Hexi corridor in Northern China.
1. When did you know you wanted to teach?
My grandad was a professor of engineering at university and I always felt attracted to academic life. As a teenager I made some pocket money teaching English and Maths to my neighbours.
2. What do you enjoy most about your job?
Growing the WRDS business is an interesting challenge with the rise of Big Data and the new ways of processing it. The demands of researchers in the financial industry is changing as well. It is very rewarding to work with co-authors on questions that turn into papers and provide a better understanding of the workings of a company.
3. What academic achievement are you most proud of?
My joint work with Maria Guadalupe from Insead and Vicente Cuñat from LSE where we provided causal evidence that good governance practices matter to generate company value. This paper was awarded The Brattle Group Prize.
4. What is the best piece of advice given to you by a teacher?
Think about who is on the other side: their background, their needs, worries. And never be boring!
5. What is your biggest lesson learnt?
Keep pretentiousness under control; when you are full of yourself, something always, always happens to deeply embarrass you.
6. What advice would you give to women in business?
Don’t be scared to be ambitious and push yourself out of your comfort zone.
7. How do you deal with male dominated environments?
Hire more women!
8. What is your favourite business book?
A recent read is Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, about the relevance of institutions for economic growth. It is very telling about the economic situation in Spain.
9. What is the worst job you have ever had?
My summer job as a guide to tourists who would come to Barcelona and jump on a cruise. I had to deal with all sorts of eventualities that demanded a lot of improvisation.
10. What is your plan B?
If I really had to quit, I would try to write a script that I have had in mind for a while and convince Woody Allen to do a movie on it.