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.
“The more women manage funds, the more funds get channeled into issues women care about,” says Nathalie Molina Niño, CEO of Brava Investments. “When someone brings on one female fund manager, we’re talking about potentially billions of dollars that get moved in a different direction.” She says that questions like “How many of your fund managers are women?” used to be rare in the industry, but now that more and more people are asking, large institutions are getting nervous—mostly because the answer is often “none” or “few.”
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One reason for women’s growing wealth is that far more of them are in well-paid work than before. In America, women’s rate of participation in the labour market rose from 34% in 1950 to 57% in 2016. Another is that women are inheriting wealth from husbands, who tend to be older and to have shorter lives, or from parents, who are more likely than previous generations to treat sons and daughters equally. As baby-boomers reach their sunset years, this transfer will speed up.
According to Veris Wealth Partners and Catalyst At Large, investment-advice firms, by last June $910m was invested with a gender-lens mandate across 22 publicly traded products, up from $100m and eight products in 2014. Private markets are hard to track, but according to Project Sage, which scans private-equity, venture and debt funds, $1.3bn had been raised by mid-2017 for investing with a gender lens.
This plays out in a number of different ways, explains Bast. “Some women save for their children’s college education before their own retirements. Others give generously to loved ones today, helping them to buy cars, houses and other large-ticket items.” However, Bast warns that there may be a high price to putting short-term needs in front of long-term goals.
Younger men are far more likely to invest according to their values than their fathers were; 81% of millennial men in Morgan Stanley’s survey were interested in sustainable investing. And though fewer American men than women say they want to invest in companies with diverse leadership, the share is still sizeable, at 42%. If gender-lens investing is truly to take off, it will have to appeal to those who control the bulk of wealth—and that is still men.
MS. NIGEST HAILE: Thank you. In thinking of establishing a commercial bank is not an easy task, which all of you know, particularly the staff of the Bank of America and the rest of the others. We were really focusing on issues of the women operating in the small and medium enterprises, which we usually call the "missing middle." Which the formal banks are never interested to address their interests because of the issue of collateral, the stringent application processes, the lack of a track record in being their bankers, and all those. And yet, on the other side the microfinancing institutions are too small for those groups of women, so where do they fit? So, we said, 11 of us, visionary women who had been fully engaged in all of our full-time engagements, we said, "Let's have a solution. Why do we wait for the government? Why do we wait for people to come and help us? So, let's try to do it." That time was a very good opportunity for private banks to emerge, so we came out to be the 15th or the 16th private bank in Ethiopia, so we were able to do it. It was not an easy process. We had full-time jobs, busy traveling, doing our own tasks, but again no weekend, no sleep, our marriages suffered, our children suffered, but anyway, we left a legacy. So, we were able to establish the bank, actually the process started in 2008, we were registered as a national bank in 2011, but we started operation in 2013. You can see the process.
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.
Invest In Women 2019 is the leading forum nationwide to explore, discuss and learn about issues that are meaningful for women financial advisors and female clients. Both male and female advisors are invited to this event that promises insight and networking to help practices grow. The 2019 conference will offer expanded programming that reflects input from prior attendees as well as other industry leaders. Take the opportunity to be inspired — and have fun — at a conference you won’t want to miss. Plan to be there and register now.
As CEO of the Marketing Zen Group, we work with clients in a variety of industries, finance being one of them. Recently, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that one of our clients, Allegiance Capital Corporation, a premier middle-market investment bank, had launched a proactive initiative to attract more women for business development and investment banker roles. I was very curious to learn more. What compelled them to encourage women in an industry which has historically been known to be a “boys only” club?
Hey, you may say, all money is green, right? Maybe we just need to ignore the old-boys’ game and go with the most talented “stock picker” we can find — one with, say, a five-year history of success? Well, that’s the thing. Playing “beat the market” and “pick the winner” doesn’t work so well. It just doesn’t. Less than 0.1% of “active” fund managers were able to do it over a five-year period.
Women live, on average, five to seven years longer than men (depending on when they were born). Their money has to stretch longer, and if they are married, it is important to note that some of the biggest health care costs are incurred in the year prior to death, so if they survive their husbands, it is possible that their financial resources may be reduced by medical expenses. Married women tend to suffer significant losses in income when their spouse dies.
Women continue to earn less than men. On average, full-time female workers in the U.S.make only 80 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2015, a gender wage gap of 20 percent. And the gap is even larger for women of color: Hispanic and Latina women were paid only 54 percent of what white men were paid in 2015, while African American women earned 63 percent that of their male counterparts.3 Consider the impact of that disparity over the course of 20 years. This wage gap becomes even more detrimental if you're a woman who happens to be the primary breadwinner in a male-dominated industry. You'll need to work quite a bit longer than your male co-workers to make up for the wage gap and generate adequate retirement savings.
MS. SMITH: That's fantastic. So, last question; so talk, talk to us about what you've learned through your work, building an organization, and what you would pass along to our entrepreneurs that are in here, our mentors from other countries as you met many of them. We've got representation really from around the world. So, what advice would you leave them with?
MS. SMITH: No, thank you. And thank you to this panel, thank you to all of you. Thank you to all of our panelists and our amazing speakers. I'm inspired. I'm inspired by everyone, and I wrote down a few things. I mean hammocks, the 5,000 Lowe's hammocks, or the bank in Ethiopia, the small loan is 1.8 million. I mean I think we've got some things we can learn here. I mean the dinner kit to the, sold already and now online catering. I mean the stories are amazing. So, Alyse, thank you for the partnership for the last five years, and thank you to all of our mentees and mentors for being here. we're so excited to be able to do the program in the United States, in our corporate headquarters, which is fantastic. And as Margaret reminded me I'm the only thing standing between all of you and the reception. So, my last comment though is please come to the reception because our mentees will have wears from their businesses, and they'll be able to talk to you about all of the things that they're doing. So--