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.
Several studies have shown that companies with women in senior positions perform better than those without. Although this is correlation, not causation, to an investor that distinction should not matter. If diversity in an executive team is a proxy for good management across the company, a gender lens could be a useful way to reduce risk. If a business is tackling gender-related management issues, says Amy Clarke of Tribe Impact Capital, the chances are that it is dealing well with other risks and opportunities.
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And I'm thrilled to be joined by some of our past mentees and current mentors for a discussion really about the power of partnership. You know, I think that there's something really profound going on in our world today, and I think that if you look around the world, and it was echoed in all these discussions that we just had, that women are really reaching the highest levels of leadership. And I think they're getting there and they're realizing that, you know, they came a lot further than they anticipated. They have a lot more power, they have a lot more reach than they ever thought would be possible for them in their lives. And the first thing they think is, "How am I going to give back? How am I going to pay this opportunity forward? Engage more people?" And they don't just want to write a check, they really want to give of their time and their resources. They want to open up their networks.
Be judicious about reporting it. If it happens during an on-campus interview, talk to your college career office. They’ll determine how to address it with the company and can anonymize their report. It’s harder to report harassment if it happens at an informal event and you’re not an employee of the firm. As much as I hate to let guys get away with this behavior, you may have to let it go for the time being if that’s the case. Calling the firm to report him runs the risk of branding you as a potential liability – but you can tell other women in your network about it so they know to watch out.
“It’s a bit like learning to cook: I didn’t need to do it when I was growing up but I suddenly realised you didn’t have to be a brain surgeon to do investing,” he says. “I can understand it and understand how much risk to take. I moved from shares to shares and property to a portfolio that includes hedge funds, property funds and a small amount in commodities,” he says.
These sentiments are certainly understandable, and I believe the way to change these perceptions is through educating people about finance, just as GWI is doing. As you mentioned, experience is the best way to learn about the industry, hence my partner and I are currently working on creating a student investment fund so that students can learn about finance fundamentals by managing a portfolio and making trades in the real world. Like you, we also plan to participate in the KWHS Investment Competition for the first time as well. Furthermore, just after learning about ESG from GWI Scholar Olivia Ott, I am going to research it more and include it in our Investment Policy Statement. I respect what GWI is doing, and I hope by exposing students to the more positive and interesting aspects of finance, I could dispel the incomplete and negative misconceptions. Eventually, I hope students of different genders and races can explore and perhaps commit to the finance industry in the future.
Be judicious about reporting it. If it happens during an on-campus interview, talk to your college career office. They’ll determine how to address it with the company and can anonymize their report. It’s harder to report harassment if it happens at an informal event and you’re not an employee of the firm. As much as I hate to let guys get away with this behavior, you may have to let it go for the time being if that’s the case. Calling the firm to report him runs the risk of branding you as a potential liability – but you can tell other women in your network about it so they know to watch out.
“It has become increasingly apparent that retirement planning is not only evolving, but also has become a moving target that Americans must continuously revisit to pursue their goals and priorities,” said Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Age Wave. “As we see in the latest Merrill Edge Report, retirement planning requires a new mentality—‘set it and forget it’ is a thing of the past. As millennials are envisioning living very long lives, this study reveals the new priorities they have for work, leisure, success and money as they are coming to realize that everything they do today, financially speaking, can impact the lives they’re hoping to live in retirement.”

"When it comes to thinking about women in powerful positions, we are too often blinded by the daggers of the mind, infected by the malignant mind bugs that mire us in the prejudices of the past," IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde once famously said. "We need a 21st century mentality for women’s economic participation. We need to flush away the flotsam of ingrained gender inequality."


5. Diversify your portfolio. When setting up an investment portfolio, you should make sure to diversify your investments; that is, make sure the risk is spread out and not all focused in one place. Some investments are safe but have little return (bonds, money market, treasury bills), whereas other investments come with a greater risk and thus a greater yield (stocks, funds, and futures). Also, some investments work better on a short-term basis, while others are better over the long term. By diversifying your financial portfolio, you create more security for yourself. For more on this, check out Diversify Your Investments.
It’s incredibly beneficial to your career to broaden your network outside your immediate team. If you build relationships with colleagues in other teams or divisions, it’ll give you a support network you can turn to for career advice. I think that having a good network can also help you do your job better, because you are better connected to the wider business.
Networking isn't just about meeting people to get career help. It's also about meeting others that you can help. We always remember those who have gone out of their way to be helpful. Also, people move around and you never know where they will land. So make an impression that you are a 'go to' person who can be relied on for help, and you’ll find your kindness repaid in a million ways.

MS. NELSON: All right. Katerina, I want to, I want to come back to you and some of what you were talking about about the power of mentoring and partnership, and also bring together a strand that Melanne was talking about earlier, the idea of needing networks, and how valuable networks are. And one of the things that we've found at Vital Voices, because ultimately what we are is a network of 15,000 women leaders around the world, across different sectors, as well as mentors and others, and what we've definitely seen is that there's something about women being part of a non-competitive and non-hierarchical network, that it encourages women leaders to take risks that they wouldn't have normally taken. Can you talk about, I mean did you have that experience? I mean I know you're sort of a risk-taker by design, as an entrepreneur you have to be. But I'm curious, I mean what's next for you and what has, what has been unleashed through gaining more support and mentoring?

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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
Now, the down of it is because often those jobs don't pay as well as those in the private sector. So, I think women have been drawn into those roles, but the good of it is get yourself in there, manage, lead, learn, and translate those skills either upward in the, in the public sphere or externally in the private sector. And when I used to work on appointments for President Bush and when he was governor in Texas we used to try to sell people like Andrea that we were going to go from success to significance. And so-- MS. SMITH: And you did.

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.
During my internship, my colleagues were very accessible, friendly, and treated me like a full member of the team, which was key when it came to deciding if I wanted to work here. From the first project I was involved in, my team listened to my opinion and copied me into emails to clients. I felt I was trusted and valued from the outset, which I didn't experience when I did internships at banks in France - it's part of the J.P. Morgan culture.
Partly because of this dynamic, she said there's often a career premium for women who are young and beautiful. "You get a lot of beautiful young women in banking who find themselves replaced by a new generation as they get older. - I've seen older women being made to hand their accounts to 22 year-olds. They complain, but they were in that position once - they were the 22 year-old who took another woman's clients. Women don't help each other."
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