When I started I was the only woman on the trading floor. There's been a lot of progress over 35 to 40 years, but it's still got a long way to go.
Gay Huey Evans '76 has come a long way from her hometown of Coudersport, a tiny town in north-central Pennsylvania's remote Potter County.
She has been called one of Great Britain's top financial "bloodhounds" and "one of the 100 most influential women in European finance.
A London financial publication says she "understands more about the esoteric world of derivatives than half the city put together."
She's a rare American-born resident who has won recognition as an OBE — Officer of the British Empire — awarded in 2016 for her work to bring transparency and higher ethical standards to the sometimes-shady corner of the British financial world where derivatives are traded.
Easing up a bit after working three hectic, fast-paced decades in the financial world, she still stays busy serving on several corporate and charitable boards.
The roots of her success lie, she says, in "something my father said years ago: 'Gay, whatever you do, do your best and work hard.' ... I didn't play the political game. I just worked hard."
Of her award-winning work to restore trust and ethics in high finance, Huey Evans says, "The one thing I've tried to have in my own life is integrity. I think we've lost a bit of that, and I do think we have to get it back.
"Managers have to ask, 'How are you getting that growth in revenue stream and net profit? Is it being done the right way?' "
She believes bringing more diverse decision makers, including women, into the corporate boardroom can help. Her OBE award also recognized her work in that arena, opening doors for women to enter the clubby men's world of high finance in London.
"When I started I was the only woman on the trading floor," she says. "There's been a lot of progress over 35 to 40 years, but it's still got a long way to go."
Huey Evans served on Bucknell's Board of Trustees from 2009 to 2011, but it was difficult coming from the U.K. while she was juggling demanding work commitments. With a wistfulness in her voice, she says, "I miss not coming back to Bucknell more often."