Those are the questions we sought to answer through a survey conducted by CNBC and LinkedIn. This look at challenges facing women on Wall Street is the first in a series of surveys aimed at highlighting some of the big issues facing women in the workplace. We polled over 1,000 men and women who work across the financial services industry in banking, capital markets, financial services, investment banking and investment management in the U.S. The survey was conducted between April 18 and 27. Participants were invited on a random basis and self-reported gender.
Barclays’ Lorraine added: ‘Don’t be put off by investment banking programmes targeted at women – make the most of them.’ Lorraine explained that many banks are ‘setting explicit targets to increase the number of women in investment banking’. Barclays, for example, runs events and schemes to engage female university students, and initiatives to help female employees access internal opportunities.
MS. SMITH: More than 200 million women worldwide are running businesses. These are amazing women, and yet there are obstacles that keep these amazing women from reaching their full potential, and that includes lack of access to capital. But the women on this panel are doing something about it, and we're going to talk to them about what they're doing and how they're overcoming those obstacles, and we're going to learn something about it as we go. I want to introduce Josefina Urzaiz, who is the co-founder of Hammock Boutique, and Fundación Cielo in Mexico. Next to her is Nigest Haile, who is the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Accelerated Women's Economic Empowerment in Ethiopia. And next to her is Jill Calabrese Bain, and Jill is with Bank of America. She is the Managing Director and Head of Sales for Bank of America's Merchant Services. So, I'm going to begin with Nigest. So, you are the founder of Enat Bank, which focuses on women. Why was it necessary to start a bank for women in Ethiopia?
It probably shouldn’t be surprising that women aren’t investing as much: The financial industry is still one of the biggest old-boys’ games in town. Don’t believe it? Check this ratio: Financial advisors and traders are 86% to 90% men. That leaves the 70% of women who say they would prefer to work with a female Financial Advisory without all that many options.
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I think the summer curriculum of this nonprofit organization is very helpful. It mentioned that there are much fewer women professionals than men in the financial market. This may be due to the industry’s prejudice against women. The industry tends to consider women have less advantages than men, or women have more commitments not only to work, but also to their families. Some of these thoughts are true, but some are not. Women need more mentorship and empowerment. As the articles mentioned above, these students brought not much understanding before the camps. After the camps, however, they learned about, and mastered financial knowledge and tools. This learning process will benefit and illuminate their own future.The potential of improving women’s financial knowledge is very big. But the existing problem is that women just are not getting the right guidance and empowerment. For example, these teenagers. They didn’t have much financial knowledge. But through this project, they started to be familiar with finance, and understand finance. With a more positive understanding of money, their life may be improved .
Despite the attractiveness of the competitive story pitting men versus women in a contest of investment prowess, the difference in their returns is not dramatic. For example, a study in the The Quarterly Journal of Economics reported that "Trading reduces men's net returns by 2.65 percentage points a year as opposed to 1.72 percentage points for women." Clearly, like beating an index, the difference between success and failure is generally a game of inches, not miles. With that in mind, every penny counts, and pennies paid out in fees are pennies that are not working on your behalf. Over the long-term, lower fees can make the difference between a few extra dollars in your wallet or a few dollars that you do not get to take home.
Do you need to hear that again? Nothing will make as big a difference in your retirement account balance as the amount you save. Even just adding an additional 1% can tip the scales significantly. A 35-year old earning $60,000 a year who puts an extra 1% (roughly $50 per month) into her retirement account will have an extra $3200 per year to live on in retirement (assuming a 7% rate of return and 1.5% raises.)
Don’t give up if you get a no. Ask for non-money perks: flextime, a new title, pay reevaluation next quarter, or mentorship by or a project with a senior exec. They’re valuable in themselves, but they also get your boss in the habit of saying yes to you, and that will help you get that raise next time. Remember, this is a lifetime gap you’re working to close!
I certainly agree with your analysis. As you and some of the GWI scholars have mentioned, the finance industry is often depicted with its misogyny, corruption, and greed. I think this skewed and incomplete depiction of the finance industry is a huge obstacle in diversifying employment in the industry in terms of both race and gender. My relationship in finance began when I interned at a private equity firm in Shanghai, China two years ago. I overheard a private equity manager say it was “fortunate” that many Chinese workers were being burnt, as it helped the sales of a medical company that the firm invested in. It was like a scene straight out of the Wolf of Wall Street, steering me away from the money-driven industry.
My dad doesn’t even understand what I do. Within finance there are different departments and what I do is help companies raise money. Companies can raise money by issuing stock. I don’t do stock but I do bonds, which is kind of like a contract, like a mortgage. It’s a contract between the companies and the investors basically helping the company to borrow money from investors.
No. In your early 20s, you’re just happy to have a job. I loved the markets and the trading floor atmosphere. As you get more senior, the pay disparity, the accounts being unequally distributed becomes more apparent. It bothered me. The little frat boy jokes stuff was a constant drumbeat. It didn’t get to me that much. As I got into my 30s, I was bothered more by seeing young women come who were talented and leave because of the environment.
Since the early 2000s RobecoSAM, a sustainable-investment specialist that assesses thousands of public companies on environmental and social criteria, has included measures of gender equality, such as equitable pay and talent management. After realising that in the decade to 2014 firms that scored well on these measures had better returns than those scoring poorly, it launched a gender-equality fund in 2015. Since then it has outperformed the global large-cap benchmark.
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At Ellevest, we’ve found (and research confirms) that women are not so much risk-averse but risk-aware—meaning that they want to thoroughly understand a risk before they take it on. And once they do? A study from the University of California at Berkeley describes women as “rational” investors, meaning that they take on smart risks, and the women in the study outperformed the men, whose overtrading due to overconfidence was a less successful move in the long run.
Money Motivation: “At the business school at Michigan, a lot of people go into finance. It’s a new world to me because my dad was never on Wall Street. I was interested in learning more. I’m part of the Michigan businesswomen’s club. I do notice a lot of women at my school don’t go into the roles that men go into. They go into marketing. I wanted to learn the other side of finance and business.”
MS. SARR: We bring in money in terms of funding as the United Nations, but we expect private sector to play its role. We expect public sector to play its role. In Africa, right now we have two countries that are leading in terms of affirmative procurement. In Kenya for instance 30% of public spend is earmarked for women, youth, and people with disabilities. South Africa also has preferential treatment for women. So, it's those critical partnerships that will allow us to have that critical mass of women that are economically empowered. And as a UN we, especially when women, we have a good understanding of what we call the gender machinery. We play a role of honest broker and that's how we put it together. It's a, it's a holistic comprehensive approach to be able to have impact.
MS. VERVEER: Absolutely, and you did mention education and the fact that women are certainly in higher education exceeding all kinds of boundaries in graduate programs, and yet we don't see always, as you just said, the benefits of some of that in terms of breaking through and to some of the credible really challenging leadership jobs. What is the role of education in forging leadership? And how do you, so you've spent so much time overseeing the United States' education policies, now here in this state at the university level, what more should we be doing in terms of our education system to grow leadership, and particularly to grow women's leadership since we have such large numbers of women coming into the education sphere.
Take, she said, a feature like tax-loss harvesting, a feature that involves selling losing investments so that investors can write off the loss on their taxes. It has become a standard on some new online investment platforms. "It's very in the weeds and technical," she said. "I have been in the industry for [a long time]. ... I've never had a woman ask me about tax-loss harvesting."
Every investor makes mistakes. Sometimes it is an error of commission: You buy a real stinker. Sometimes it is an error of omission: You hang onto a loser, or a winner, for too long. But knowing what and when to sell is at least as important as knowing what to buy. “You have to know when to pull the plug,” says Sarah Ketterer, chief executive of Causeway Capital Management and the longtime comanager of her firm’s flagship fund, Causeway International Value (CIVVX).
MS. NELSON: That's great. That's great. I want to just in the three or so minutes we have remaining just if each of you could tell me about either your personal experience with mentoring, why did it make an impact, not to get into a long story, but you know, what was the impact? Why is it valuable? Or if you'd rather, how do you find a mentor? What advice do you have for maybe people who are here today who are like I'd like a mentor?
MS. MELANNE VERVEER: Well, good afternoon everybody. It's a real personal pleasure for me to be here today. I can't tell you how inspired I was listening to Christy, and if she has proven anything it's that one person can make a difference. So, I think that's the lesson to take out of that. And thank you to Bank of America for all that you do in making not just this possible but so much more.
It is an advisory business and that too about critical financial and strategic decisions. A senior investment banker is of value only if she can command respect from clients and be able to source deals on her personal reputation. The clients should be ready to count her capable of advising them and consider her a confidante. Culturally in India women find it difficult to win the respect of male clients on such matters unless there is a previous history of demonstrated capability. This aspect is slowly changing with younger and more well exposed promoters and CEOs but we still have a lot of ground to cover.
MS. TURLINGTON BURNS: It's a huge problem, and it's going to get worse. We have done a series of films called "Giving Birth in America" where we look through state-by-state at maternal healthcare. And one of the first films that we did was in Montana and there, you know, we had a family, a Caucasian family, highly educated, lots of kids, but that lived far away, just lived in a large state in a rural part of the state, and so when an emergency happened they were far away. I mean the woman survived, but it was, it was almost as if you could be in Sub-Saharan Africa and have the same problem. If you have a post-partum hemorrhage, you could bleed to death in under two hours if you don't get to care. So, you can see some of the same challenges as you do anywhere. I think what's most important is really having many levels of trained health providers, so community health workers, doulas, midwives, nurses, and doctors when necessary. Sometimes in the United States we have a tendency to over-medicalize birth, and so you might rush to a doctor who you don't necessarily need to see.
Become a mentor. The study found that 45% of women report not having a financial role model. Closing the wealth gap could deeply benefit from inter-generational collaboration. While Millennials expressed the least amount of confidence in investing, members of the Boomer and Silent Generation cite higher confidence in investing. That knowledge could be a vital resource for Gen-Xers and Millennial women. Being able to learn from other women's experiences around financial planning and planning time out from the workforce can play a key role in creating effective strategies that keep family obligations from reducing earning potential and investment opportunities. The study found that 77% of women see money in terms of what it can do for themselves and their families. Women in the study stated that understanding their finances is key to greater career flexibility (84%). That flexibility, and sharing the wisdom around how to get smart on investing, can be key to closing the wealth and pay gap permanently.
Once I asked my dad a question who is an entrepreneur, “Do you think women are treated differently from men in work field?” He said, “No, as an owner of a company, we explore the full potential of every employee and make sure their talent is best used. Otherwise, why should we hire a person and why do we waste our money?” This dialogue between my dad and I partly illustrates the expectations of an employer — it’s not the gender that matters. It’s the capability that matters. Then, we talked about the status of women in China. We both believe that the status of female employee is increasing. But this doesn’t mean inequity has been put to a stop. Instead, more and more people come to speak out about their unfair experience. Even then, it is still a global problem that women are rejected due to stereotypes.