Krawcheck, long known as the most powerful woman on Wall Street, was CEO of wealth management firm Merrill Lynch during its acquisition by Bank of America; she left in 2011. Ellevest is backed by $10 million in funding from some of the biggest names in the investment business, including Chicago-based research firm Morningstar and Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz.
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.
I am often amazed by how many intelligent, well-educated women have little knowledge and/or interest in investing and retirement planning. As a gender, we have to do something about this. Oh, that’s interesting, is a common response when women ask my friend, a female financial advisor, what she does for a living. And it is often delivered in a tone of voice that conveys just how interesting it is to have one’s teeth extracted or to find a piece of roadkill on one’s doorstep. The subtle cringe that shadows many women’s brows when a financial advisor mentions retirement planning or investment management has become a familiar sight.
Persist even when it seems like the investing isn't for you. Krawcheck and others have long observed that the male-dominated investment industry isn't particularly welcoming to women. Only about 3 in 10 financial advisors is a woman. For instance, women are thought to be more goal-oriented around the idea of taking care of loved ones and see themselves as savers rather than investors. But the investment industry often focuses its marketing on the idea of returns. In another example, investment company marketing often focuses on what the investment company provides rather than what the client needs.
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.
From what I've seen as a dude, the women who are most successful are the ones who are competent, confident, and drama-free. The biggest mistake I've seen is women trying to imitate men. It's a mistake, because what a lot of people think "men" act like is usually not how the most successful men act. You've almost certainly got a massively better ability to read people than your male peers, better soft persuasion skills, and you look better. Be pleasant, be professional, and most of the younger guys wont' care. Can't speak for the older ones.