1... biggest advice to any female looking to break into finance... drop the feminista thing, it won't get you anywhere. It's ok to be bitchy, and in fact may help you in certain instances, but don't ever, ever pull the feminist card. There's nothing worse than a person who chalks up their own personal failings to an "anti-me" thing. It's nothing more than an excuse for being a slacker.
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.  

Through its website, TFS connects students to more than 7 million scholarships representing more than $41 billion in aid. Continual increases in tuition fees and other college expenses are critical issues impacting students and families across the United States – particularly those who can’t afford to finance higher education on their own. According to the College Board’s 2016 Trends in College Planning, the average published tuition and fee price in the private nonprofit four-year sector is about 2.3 times higher than it was in 1986-87, after adjusting for inflation. It is 3.1 times higher in the public four-year sector and 2.4 times higher in the public two-year sector. As a result of these trends, an increasing number of students must rely on scholarships to attend college or graduate school.

Phil is a hedge fund manager and author of 3 New York Times best-selling investment books, Invested, Rule #1, and Payback Time. He was taught how to invest using Rule #1 strategy when he was a Grand Canyon river guide in the 80's, after a tour group member shared his formula for successful investing. Phil has a passion educating others, and has given thousands of people the confidence to start investing and retire comfortably.

How would you deal with a situation where a bank expressed interest in you but made it clear that they did not want you to be networking with other banks or anyone else for that matter, for the sake of “not wanting to make an offer that might get turned down” – If you want to join the firm, tell them they are your first choice and if they make such request you would like to know when they’d be giving you this offer. ;)


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).
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?
Making investing a habit—a bit out of every paycheck—is also smart and may be a means of further reducing risk. That’s because sometimes you may be “buying high,” and sometimes you may be “buying low.” But over time, these may even out…and reduce the time it can take for your portfolio to recover from any market downturn (since during the stock plunge, you’ll be “buying low”). 

#1... biggest advice to any female looking to break into finance... drop the feminista thing, it won't get you anywhere. It's ok to be bitchy, and in fact may help you in certain instances, but don't ever, ever pull the feminist card. There's nothing worse than a person who chalks up their own personal failings to an "anti-me" thing. It's nothing more than an excuse for being a slacker.
Right before review time, update the goals you’ve met and how you’ve grown. Practice talking about them at home, if you might get flustered. (I’ve been doing this for a lot of years, and I still get flustered.) Then go ask for that raise or promotion, even if you don’t think you’re 100% ready. According to one study, women ask for a promotion when they’re 100% ready, and men when they are just 60% ready. Hmm.

To be able to be transformational in that sector we need to work on four essential areas; one is policy, mostly dealing with issues of access to land, and to do that the public sector plays a big role. The second issue we try to tackle in the area of agriculture is access to finance. And like Nigest said for the longest time the women have been confined to microfinance and small loans. So, when we look at access to finance we want to look at the broad spectrum of financial instruments, whether it's a guarantee funds, credit lines, private equity, leasing of, you know, agriculture equipment. And all of that we have to do with the private sector. When we talk about access to market, same thing. How do we make sure that these women that we're going to help produce more tomatoes, more mangos, everything else, have access to market? And that access to market can only be achieved through contractual relationship with private sector. So, once UN Women walk away three or four years later from the program that these women are able to continue. And lastly, skills development, exactly what we've been doing this whole week. How do we make sure that these women are productive, they use technology, they have a better use of water? So, as you can see in all of these four pillars in the area of agriculture we cannot do it alone.
“Increasing the percent of women will help teams ensure that they have diversity of thought,” Scott said. “When deciding whether or not to proceed with a particular investment, these teams will be better equipped to think about each opportunity from many different angles. If everyone in the room is the same gender and shares similar educations, backgrounds and life experiences, it can be difficult to fully think through the various opportunities and decisions. Diversified teams leads to enhanced company profitability and better investment performance.”
MS. CALABRESE BAIN: Well, you know, it's interesting, and listening to Christy and listening to Josefina really struck a chord with me because often times what we see is that necessity is the mother of all invention, and women business owners generally speaking do not open their own businesses for the lure of financial success. That's low down on the totem pole for them, it's really about empowerment. Empowerment means different things to different people, whether it's a business owner is Southern Florida and she's opening indoor pools. And so, if you're from Southern Florida you know that indoor pools is not something that exists, but it's the leading cause of death for children. So, she developed indoor pools. And financing for her was not easy out of the gate, right? I also talked to a business owner, a not-for-profit business owner this week who started her own domestic violence association, and she didn't do it for her, she did it for her granddaughter. And so, when you think about why women create businesses, it's not always about themselves. It is about other people. But I think that there is, it is about community and community is not only local, it's national, it's global. You see what these women are doing. And I think we can do anything. So, it's about putting our voice out there, our resources, our network, our support, and really sponsoring versus mentoring. But really taking a stand and pulling people together, and saying, "You know what? No is not the answer for us."
If you qualify for extra savings on out-of-pocket costs OR want more of your costs covered: Silver plans probably offer the best value. If you qualify for extra savings (“cost-sharing reductions”) your deductible will be lower and you’ll pay less each time you get care. But you get these extra savings ONLY if you enroll in Silver plan. This can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year if you use a lot of care. Even if you don’t qualify for extra savings, Silver plans offer good value — moderate premiums and deductibles, and better coverage of your out-of-pocket costs than a Bronze or Catastrophic plan provide.
So how do women break the investment barrier in ways that can lead to lifelong financial independence? Sabbia has three key suggestions: learn the basics, define your goals, and invest in yourself. For more advanced investors, Sabbia suggests being a mentor that can help break the silence around talking about money. Doing so could accelerate the close of that wealth gap for all women. Let's examine each recommendation in closer detail.

Women Who Lead invests in the stocks of 169 companies, as of December 8, 2017*, including many that you probably interact with on a daily basis. These include Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, IBM, Mastercard, and PepsiCo. The fund also includes shares in the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, calculator and semiconductor producer Texas Instruments, as well as defense company Lockheed Martin.
It’s safe to say that Wall Street and the financial marketplace is largely male-dominated. Women only run 2% of hedge funds and there are only a handful of top female managers. When we think of the world’s greatest investors, we think of Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, Benjamin Graham, Mohnish Pabrai… and no women. There definitely need to be more opportunities in investing for women.
MS. KATZIFF: So, to exactly that, the many, I would just add there is no one perfect mentor, so surround yourself with many people because you can pick and choose strengths. Everyone has different strengths. And so, think of it as you are the CEO of your business, of your career, and you get to select your Board of Directors, and that is how you should think about mentorship, where similar to any company who looks for a strong Board of Directors you pick multiple skills. You would never pick one person with one skill. So, diversify and have mentors that you tap into and rely on, depending on the situation, and you get diversity of thought.
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.
My boss once told me to always have the strength to admit when I’m wrong. There’s nothing more intimidating than realizing you’ve made a mistake, and it takes a lot of confidence and courage to admit it. Just remember that we’re all human, and it’s better to own up to mistakes rather than hide them. (Plus they rarely stay hidden). It really builds respect and trust among a team.
So why don't the women stick around? I don't have any research to back up my theories, but I think it's this: investment banks in general are not very nice places for women to work. It's a culture problem; male dominated, aggressive and not much fun. In my opinion, until the (largely male) leadership teams start to actively address their culture, the women will continue to leave in droves.

Phil is a hedge fund manager and author of 3 New York Times best-selling investment books, Invested, Rule #1, and Payback Time. He was taught how to invest using Rule #1 strategy when he was a Grand Canyon river guide in the 80's, after a tour group member shared his formula for successful investing. Phil has a passion educating others, and has given thousands of people the confidence to start investing and retire comfortably.

MS. VERVEER: And what about networks? Because I think the other thing that women tend to lack in many ways, and we see this in the economics sphere among entrepreneurs, but I think we also see it more broadly, which is the need to be able to come together to meet other people in our sphere, others who can help take an element of what we're doing and enable us to forge ahead. So, more of a concentration on networks as well, that development, which again I think is what the program represents.


How would you deal with a situation where a bank expressed interest in you but made it clear that they did not want you to be networking with other banks or anyone else for that matter, for the sake of “not wanting to make an offer that might get turned down” – If you want to join the firm, tell them they are your first choice and if they make such request you would like to know when they’d be giving you this offer. ;)

When it comes to the day-to-day decisions of their bosses, women describe environments that are biased against them. Though some men do report observing bias, far fewer of them see it than women do. Women (9 percent) are about twice as likely as men (4 percent) to say that they see their company’s management withhold opportunity or promotion from women. Women (8 percent) are also about four times as likely as men (2 percent) to believe women are excluded from networking and social opportunities, such as after-work drinks or golf outings.

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.”
In their 20s, women choose their career path which sets the tone for their future. Equities can be a good investment choice in your 20s, as you can take more risk when you are young. You can choose to invest in Equity Mutual Funds for your long-term goals as Mutual Funds give you the benefit of professionals managing your money. You also need to take a suitable Health Insurance plan at this age. This will take care of your medical emergencies. You must also make sure that you have sufficient Money Market Funds or Liquid Funds to help you during emergencies. This should be the right stage to decide your long-term goals. Plan in such a way that the long-term investments that you make, give you good returns at the right time.

A bigger presence of women in the area of business management if essential. I personaly don’t know if it’s correct to assume that woman have a different way of thinking when compared with man in waht concerns this area, but to be too restricted to any specific “kind” of people (specific gender, ethnicity, whatever) is archaic and not beneficial at all to any sector. So there is a considerable importance in correcting this concentration of men.


excellent post, thanks. even if this topic has been addressed and discussed however many times prior to my getting here asking the questions, i still ask it one more time ;) simply because it is important to get a personal feel to things, and not take things for granted third hand. imo, it increases the chance of making a better decision. things change, you know, day by day. i will kick the tires 100 times with my own shoes if that is what it takes for me to get a good feel when some others feel perfectly comfortable taking just a glance. to each his or her own.
To be successful, business development VP Marissa Meiter says, “You can’t be afraid to put yourself out there, the worst thing someone can do is tell you the timing isn’t right.” Meiter taps into her experience working at a family-owned bank equipment business and appreciates the company’s focus on relationship building. She enjoys hearing the business owner’s stories and educating them on their M&A options.
MS. VERVEER: Do you have any kind of view that you formed on your own as to why women are not doing anywhere near as well in the STEM field as you all know, and I'm sure even our visitors from overseas we're not doing anywhere nearly as well in areas like mathematics and science and technology. And even with so many women going into higher education we're not going into fields like engineering and math. What is it about us?
All of the top banks are run by men. A Catalyst study reports that women account for less than 17 percent of senior leaders in investment banking. In private equity, women comprise only 9 percent of senior executives and only 18 percent of total employees, according to a 2017 report by Preqin. At hedge funds and private debt firms, the numbers are similarly low — women hold just 11 percent of leadership roles.
It’s also paramount that you think about which specific skills and competencies your chosen employer is looking for. Teamwork, leadership, a sense of values and citizenship are among those that are typically sought. ‘Then ask yourself, how strong am I in these areas? What are my stand-out strengths?’ advised Lorraine. ‘Think about selling yourself and what makes you special. If you’re strong academically, for instance, it’s okay for that to take up half the page of your CV or covering letter.’
John Bourke, chief operating officer at Allegiance Capital, believes maintaining a diverse workforce is a “winning strategy.” He says, “It seems obvious to leadership here that no particular slice of pie of the global demographic has a corner on the market when it comes to smarts and skills. We have always actively sought out diverging perspectives as a central strategy in arriving at superior results.”
“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.”

When it comes to managing your money, planning for retirement or paying for a major expense, your needs are unique. That’s why we’ve developed a set of tools and insights tailored to the economic goals and concerns of women. Build your financial savvy and talk to your trusted advisor for customized advice, so you can be ready to make the right decisions for the future you want - and deserve.
“We were then left with a chunk of that cash plus some Unilever share options. That’s the point where Jennie really wasn’t interested,” says Mr Byrne. Initially he invested in a low-cost “tracker” fund that simply mirrored the performance of the FTSE 100 index, but after building up his confidence he put money in funds run by professional managers, which have delivered better returns.

2. Make “friends” with risk. Women prefer to preserve wealth even if it means giving up higher returns. Take a 51-year-old attorney (who preferred not to give her name) as an example; she has consistently contributed the maximum allowed by her law firm’s retirement plan. “I know I should be investing in stocks, but I don’t want a repeat of 2008. My money is parked in a money market fund, where I know it’s safe.”
First, you need to have a dream; second an idea of what your goal is and third, passion. Obviously having the skill set and working hard are important, but if you don’t have a dream and a goal, then don’t be surprised when you don’t get there. And if you don’t fill your dream with passion, then you can become disheartened about your career choice during the tough times. And there are always tough times in a cyclical business like finance.
Of course, this means that women face greater expenses than men. At one end of the spectrum, they will need to meet their basic necessities for more years; this includes rent, utilities food and all the other little expenses that occur each month. At the other end of the spectrum are the big ticket items like healthcare; since the average woman will be elderly for longer than the average man, women are likely to face higher healthcare costs. These costs can include items such as insurance, medicine, hospitalization, surgery and long-term care.
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.
I'm a third-year analyst in Investment Grade Finance (IGF) in the UK Financial Institutions team and I'll soon be starting a one-year rotation in our New York office. In London I work in a small team of four people, and we're responsible for helping our clients - organisations in the financial services industry - raise money by accessing debt capital markets.
2. "Do I look like a handout? I am independent woman and I expect men to pay for dates and I also want someone who can take care of me, if I choose to be a full-time housewife." This is one of the most common lines that I have heard. I am always confused what does this actually mean. Do you want to be a full time housewife or not? How can you claim to be independent while expecting men to pay? No, I am not kidding.
Clearly, the caution signs are there, but the good news is that you can start doing something about it now. If you don’t know much about retirement planning or investing, purchase a beginner’s book, join an investment club, or find a financial advisor that you trust who can teach you more about the topic. It is never too late to start planning and increasing your financial literacy. The statistics concerning women and investing show that we need to do something, and the earlier we start, the better.

Top GWI Takeaway: “An important thing to realize is that there are certain types of financial firms and investment strategies focused on doing some sort of social good. We’ve been learning about ESG investing, which is Environmental, Social and Governance Investing [which refers to three central factors in measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of in investment in a business]. That is something directly designed to make things better, but through the use of financial tools. We also found out about foundations and investing for not-for-profits. All of that combined has shown me that there is still a way to be in finance and pursue some form of public service. I was very interested in law and politics from the social-good perspective, and I’m seeing those worlds align with finance.”
Here’s what’s interesting about being a good investor. By and large, it’s not about doing research on stocks, or having a good gut instinct, or knowing what’s going on in the biotech industry. For people to build wealth in the long term, there is one trait that matters the most: being disciplined. It’s important to know that trying to time the market—selling before you think it’s going to crash, buying when you think it’s going to rally—is historically very unsuccessful. What’s more successful is having a financial plan and sticking to it regardless of what’s going on.
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