Girls Who Invest wants to fundamentally transform the finance-industry landscape. “A lot of young women who are [college] freshmen have no idea that the asset management industry exists,” said Janet Cowell, CEO of Girls Who Invest and a recent speaker at the Wharton Global Forum in New York City. Cowell joined the Knowledge@Wharton radio show, which airs on Wharton Business Radio on SiriusXM, to discuss why it’s important to get more women and minorities involved in finance. “People have vague notions of banking, but they don’t really know what that means. So, it’s exposing them to the industry and the opportunities, and dispelling some of the myths about the finance industry or at least giving them a more holistic perspective. It’s not all the Wolves of Wall Street or some of these movies they’ve seen. And it’s not all about greed. Finance can be about social impact. As they start learning that, we have young women who have the quantitative skills and interest, and we train them.”
Many women see financial planning as a way to protect against the unexpected, explains Bast. “The problem with concentrating your savings in lower-risk assets, such as cash, is that your money won’t grow fast enough to help fund your retirement and other long-term goals. You should consider investing a portion of your money in assets with the potential for growth. The best way to get started? Understand your tolerance for risk and find an appropriate allocation for your portfolio that allows you to sleep at night.”

The WII Summit seeks to bring together HBS alumni, industry professionals, and current MBAs for a day of open discussion about the current topics affecting the buy-side community. It is an unparalleled opportunity to meet and network with industry peers and senior women in an open forum and exchange perspectives on how to drive a successful career in investing.
MS. SPELLINGS: What we're doing right is focusing on reading. Here in North Carolina there's been a major emphasis around early literacy. If people can't read and cipher at high levels very early then you're on a track for failure. So, you know, we're out of denial about that. A key part of that, certainly for the university, is making sure that our teachers are prepared to be effective in teaching reading, but teaching reading in disadvantaged communities, rural communities, urban communities, poor communities, etcetera, and I think we, and one of the things that I'm challenging myself to do since we run 14 teacher preparation programs, is understand how well we're doing that. You know, when the, when we have the reading results that we have in this state, which are not terribly encouraging, it tells me those well-intended, high-energy young people that are teaching in our schools don't have the best tools available or we'd have better results. So, that's, we have accountability for that in the university.
Millennials’ perspective on their later years and how to get there hints at a possible redefining of retirement, according to the latest Merrill Edge® Report. Nearly half (41 percent) of the generation surveyed expects to retire when they hit a certain financial milestone or savings goal, whereas their older counterparts are focused on leaving the workforce when they hit a certain age or can no longer work due to health concerns.
MARCH 8th, International Women’s Day, always brings a flood of reports about gender inequalities in everything from health outcomes to pay and promotion. But one gap is gradually narrowing: that in wealth. As money managers seek to attract and serve rich women, and as those women express their values through their portfolios, the impact will be felt within the investment industry and beyond.
MS. KATZIFF: So, first and foremost, and we've covered this a lot, if you strengthen and support and enable women then what you're doing is strengthening communities and impacting positively the global economy. So, it all comes together, and you know, it's great because some of the efforts just have been great examples, even here the, you know, the last panel who talked about some of our efforts around, you know, Jill talked about the support we provide in via small business loans, our partnership with Tory Burch Foundation, which is providing affordable loans to women-owned businesses, our partnership with Vital Voices of course, and Cherie Blair Foundation, as well as again Jill and Josefina talked about the Supplier Diversity Program, which not only supports women but also supports businesses that are owned by minorities, individuals with disabilities, veterans, and the LGBT community. So, and we also, there's a whole host of things we do, but you know, another great example is we partner with the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women and it's pieced through business training and mentoring program. And that is a program that helps and supports women entrepreneurs in Rwanda and Afghanistan to support and strengthen their businesses.
While female bankers with husbands and children to support keep quiet for fear of seeming uncommitted to their roles, she said male bankers are more likely to make their familial responsibilities widely known: "I used to work with a man who would shout about how he had four kids at home every year when it came to making redundancies or allocating bonuses."
All this will have big implications for asset managers. Take risk-profiling. Surveys show that men’s attitudes to risk are typically more gung-ho, whereas women are more likely to buy and hold, which leads advisers to conclude that men are less risk-averse. And men are more likely to say that they understand financial concepts, which might seem to suggest that they are more financially literate.
MS. NELSON: So, thank you all, and you're going to stay seated and we're going to invite Andrea Smith to come back up here, and I want to thank Andrea. I think the last time I saw Andrea she was helping us launch the program in Haiti, and she was down there in a working group with the women and thank you for being such a champion of this program for so many years.

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management makes available products and services offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (MLPF&S), a registered broker-dealer and Member Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), and other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation (BofA Corp.). Insurance and annuity products are offered through Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc., a licensed insurance agency and wholly owned subsidiary of BofA Corp.

Another reason for this is that women also do more research, according to HSBC, who found that 17 percent of women, compared to 13 percent of men, spend more than a month researching investment options. Erika Karp, the founder and CEO of Cornerstone Capital and the former head of Global Sector Research at UBS Investment Bank, told Professional Wealth Management that transparency is at the core of sustainable investing and women like to be thoroughly informed before acting.
Shelly Bell has lived many lives. She’s a computer scientist, a former high school teacher, a performance poet, a community organizer, a founder, and a CEO. She has two successful apparel printing businesses: MsPrint USA—through which she creates swag for clients like Amazon and Google with a team of women designers and printers—and Made By A Black Woman, which celebrates products made by Black women.
MS. NELSON: Well, we'll look forward to following your progress. Christine, I wonder about what Bank of America does internally. We've heard so much about what you're doing externally, and obviously I've seen it firsthand. But does that translate internally? What do you do for women employees and to spark women's leadership? I know you're doing something because over the last five years I've had the great opportunity to work with so many women leaders within Bank of America who've served as our global ambassadors, and I'm like, "This company is like made of amazing women. Not just so skilled but wanting to give back." And so, I wonder where does that come from within the company?
Results of this survey are based on an online omnibus conducted among a demographically representative U.S. sample of 2,995 adults comprising 1,496 men and 1,499 women 18 years of age and older. The survey was completed during the period December 1-11, 2016 by ORC International, an independent research firm. The results of this survey may not be representative of all adults meeting the same criteria as those surveyed for this study.
By Mansi Gupta, Design Specialist, Women’s World Banking  “If a hospital isn’t involved, I’m healthy enough.” Women’s World Banking spoke with women in India to better understand their views on health, health emergencies and the role of insurance. By understanding their attitudes on health issues, Women’s World Banking will work to increase uptake and usage […]
But anyway, so I think the first thing is we have to say that is our expectation. It's our expectation that, you know, nearly everybody, 70% of the jobs in this state damn near are going to require post-secondary education, not necessarily a baccalaureate degree, but at least two years of education with a credential after high school, an associate's degree, some kind of stackable credential, a skill. Certainly the jobs at this organization are, certainly the jobs that you all are creating as entrepreneurs and leaders require skill and knowledge.
Says Bourke, “In the first part of 2014, we completed four oil and gas deals totaling $350 million. We found, even in the heart of the oil patch, traditionally known as a male dominated industry, it is more the exception than the rule that both the decision to sell as well as the selection of the most appropriate buyer was a joint decision involving a central female stakeholder. It makes business sense to direct deliberate attention to building an investment banking firm that leverages the talent and experience of the female workforce.”

MS. OULIMATA SARR: Thank you. You know, once a year the Cherie Blair Foundation reaches out to people who want to donate their time, and you know, that year I agreed to spend a year with a mentee across the globe, and I was assigned a young lady in Malaysia who was manufacturing washable pantyliners out of bamboo fiber, and her biggest market was California. And yes, probably the new-age women who don't want to use disposable pantyliners.


In any investment strategy led by a single issue there is the risk of overexposure to certain industries or companies. Lisa Willems of AlphaMundi, an impact-fund manager, says she tells clients who ask for a “gender fund”—as an endowment did recently—that gender “is a lens, not a bucket”. In other words, it should not be regarded as an asset class in itself.
MS. CRONSTEDT: But it's, it's a field that I'm very, very passionate about, and as we've been talking today, like what does it take for women to be successful or the communities to be prosperous? Well, it takes that you can have a choice. It's all, it's about the choice that you can have, that no mother and no parent/family should be forced to stay at home with their children just because they couldn't afford it. You know? I have three boys in like three years. Like having the money in preschool it would have been so extremely expensive that I maybe and probably wouldn't have been able to take that risk. I wouldn't have the financial means. So, that is a real, it's a very, it's a gap that I'm very interested into looking into very deep, and try to do something about.
MS. KATZIFF: So, first and foremost, and we've covered this a lot, if you strengthen and support and enable women then what you're doing is strengthening communities and impacting positively the global economy. So, it all comes together, and you know, it's great because some of the efforts just have been great examples, even here the, you know, the last panel who talked about some of our efforts around, you know, Jill talked about the support we provide in via small business loans, our partnership with Tory Burch Foundation, which is providing affordable loans to women-owned businesses, our partnership with Vital Voices of course, and Cherie Blair Foundation, as well as again Jill and Josefina talked about the Supplier Diversity Program, which not only supports women but also supports businesses that are owned by minorities, individuals with disabilities, veterans, and the LGBT community. So, and we also, there's a whole host of things we do, but you know, another great example is we partner with the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women and it's pieced through business training and mentoring program. And that is a program that helps and supports women entrepreneurs in Rwanda and Afghanistan to support and strengthen their businesses.
Maybe you haven’t been getting great signals that your boss would be terribly receptive to the idea of you asking for a promotion. If this sounds more like your reality, then it may be wise to concoct a more long-term plan. Spend the next several months—maybe even the entire next year—anticipating your boss’s needs, doing your job to the absolute best of your ability, and sowing the seeds for popping the big “promotion question” next year. Like we said earlier, sometimes you need a plan, and there’s nothing quite as defeating or draining as asking for a promotion before you’re ready and meeting rejection.
“It’s refreshing to see the mindset around retirement evolve, particularly a strong optimism and a goal-oriented approach from younger generations,” said Aron Levine, head of Merrill Edge at Bank of America. “This focus is a great start, but one of the keys to a successful retirement is to ensure savings are prioritized early and often. Year over year, we continue to see today’s non-retirees struggle with the impact short-term spending has on their long-term financial future.”
Remember that there are many different definitions of "retirement." You don't have to attain some preconceived ideal. To reference our survey again, though the largest percentage of our respondents said they planned on a traditional retirement (i.e., leaving the workforce entirely between ages 65 and 70), a significant portion also reported making the forced or unforced choice to put off retirement or transition to a second career.6
Women currently live longer than men. According to the World Health Organization, a female born in 2015 can expect to live nearly five years longer than a male born in the same year.2 The possibility that I may live longer means I have a greater chance of needing more income to sustain me through those extra years. And don't forget to factor in the medical expenses that will likely accompany an extended lifespan.
As with green investing, a gender lens comes in different strengths. Mild versions include mainstream funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), such as the SHE-ETF by State Street, that filter out listed companies with few women in senior management. Super-strength versions include funds that invest in projects benefiting poor women in developing countries. These may make it clear that they offer higher financial risk or lower returns, which investors may accept as a trade-off for the good that they do.

So, we decided that we needed something else to really complement what we were doing from generating this stream of income to then educate them in how to improve their living conditions. Especially my hope is that I can change—and I think we are changing—the lives of the next generation that is their children. So, with the foundation we're working, bringing students from universities in the U.S. and Europe to work with these families on literacy, on preventive health. We run a mentorship program as well—that's my way of paying back what I'm receiving here this week—where we motivate these teenagers to study an undergrad degree, to understand importance of education, to lift them out of poverty and generate opportunities not only for themselves but for their communities.
In a recent survey by Morgan Stanley 84% of women said they were interested in “sustainable” investing, that is, targeting not just financial returns but social or environmental goals. The figure for men was 67%. Matthew Patsky of Trillium Asset Management, a sustainable-investment firm, estimates that two-thirds of the firm’s direct clients who are investing as individuals are women. Among the couples who are joint clients, investing sustainably has typically been the wife’s idea. Julia Balandina Jaquier, an impact-investment adviser in Zurich, says that though women who inherit wealth are often less confident than men about how to invest it, when it comes to investing with a social impact “women are more often prepared to be the risk-takers and trailblazers.”
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