MS. VERVEER: It's been part of our journeys. But I often think that women may not think about this being a place for them, not just running for office, elective office, which is probably the hardest challenge of all if one looks at any of the data out there today, but certainly service at the national level, at the local level, school boards, town collectives that come together to solve problems. This has obviously been a huge reward in your life. You've demonstrated exceptional leadership skills. Help us understand why this is a real opportunity for women and the rewards of this.
MS. VERVEER: But she's really brought extraordinary leadership, certainly to the United States Cabinet as the Secretary of Education, to now be here in North Carolina running the university system in terms of what this state represents in the full-flowering of the university system, which is well-known. But also, the work you've done with President George Bush both in terms of policy work, political work, etc. So, by any definition Margaret is a leader, and that's what we're going to discuss—leadership. And I think today more than ever women are in a pivotal position. Just look at all of you, the kinds of positions we probably wouldn't have been in ten years ago. The difference we can make, the data that shows that we're growing economies, it's critical. Driving social progress. Why is it so crucial in your eyes that we push this forward as best as we can?
Textbooks and school supplies. Course materials could eat up a large chunk of your budget. The average estimated cost of books and supplies for in-state students living on campus at public four-year institutions in 2016-2017 was $1,250, according to the College Board. Also plan for purchases like notebooks, a laptop, a printer and a backpack, and read the do’s and don’ts of back-to-school shopping for money-saving tips.
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.
MS. SPELLINGS: I think if there's, if there's an age difference it's often the younger, the mentee helps keep the mentor real and relevant and current, which is a huge gift for those troglodytes in the audience. And I think it helps challenge your assumptions often. It allows you, as Christy mentioned, to continue to challenge yourself about the why, that you're not just so engrained in your initial vision that you forget to step back. We used to say in one of the programs I was involved in are you working in your business or on your business? And I think it lets the mentor work on your business and not in your business.
Top GWI Takeaway: “I’ve heard of the term junk bond before, but I couldn’t understand why anyone would invest in them. The word has such a negative connotation. I’ve learned that junk bonds are high-yield bonds. They have a high risk of default, but they have a high return and offer higher yields than bonds with higher credit ratings. And they can actually be valuable investments for some investors.”
Saul M. Simon, a certified financial planner with Simon Financial Group in Edison, N.J., recommends women investors start investing at work in their 401k or 403b retirement plans. Every dollar that goes into these plans reduces current income taxes. In addition, the money grows tax-deferred, and in many cases the employer matches a portion of your investment.
MS. VERVEER: As is always the case. We have such little time left, but there are so many exceptional women in this room who have been ambassadors, mentors for other exceptional women, many from other parts of the world who are the mentees in various areas. We touched very briefly on mentorship. You also mentioned sponsorship. But I've always noticed that when one comes into these arrangements of the mentee and the mentor each benefit--
The lesson, says Ramona Persaud, manager of Fidelity Global Equity Income Fund (FGILX), is that it’s important to manage risk and avoid huge losses. If you invest in individual stocks, says Persaud, look for strong companies that are willing and able to pay generous dividends. “Your investment return is a combination of dividends and price appreciation,” she says. “If you have enough dividend yield, it dampens the downside.”
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.
It’s great to see this, but the firm and industry as a whole have a long way to go to achieve parity. Being a woman in this industry does have its advantages—I feel like I’m often more noticed and better able to stand out for my accomplishments. However, I’m equally likely to be talked over in a room full of men, and have certainly experienced sexist remarks in the workplace, even if unintentional. For example, I’ve been referred to as “the email girl” by an older white male at a client event just because I handled the logistics…and you tell me if they’d ever a call a guy “the email guy.” I have a name!
Money Motivation: “I’m really interested in technology, and my interest in finance started with cryptoinvesting. Four years back I read the Bitcoin Whitepaper and I thought it sounded like an amazing technology. This was before everyone started talking about cryptocurrencies. People thought I was crazy buying bitcoin, but it ended up being a great investment because last December it jumped up to $20,000 and I had bought it around $1,000. I sold my bitcoin then and made $7,000. I still have .22 of a bitcoin just in case it goes up again. I started by learning the fundamentals. Right now there are so many different cryptocurrencies people are trying to buy in these initial coin offerings, but if you don’t dive into the fundamentals and understand how the technology works, you could get scammed and lose money. You shouldn’t put money into something that you don’t understand.”
MS. VERVEER: But I do think as we talk about leadership this is one of those spaces, and one where you can have tremendous impact at the local level, even when you're doing many other things. One of the things Kim and I noticed when we were writing Fast Forward was that women today tend to look at whatever they do, whether it's starting a business, they want a real purpose for that business, whether it's trying to address some kind of a local challenge, that there's this sense of purpose. I really want to make a difference. Are we peculiar that way?
From a male perspective, very interesting to read. Never thought about these issues women face in networking, and I’ve never had any such problem (that I know of!) in networking I’ve done with women or they with me. Still though, good to keep in mind when networking with women to prevent any misinterpretations or problems. Thanks for this article; this subject should be talked about a lot more.
I shared this experience with other female colleagues in the office, who agreed that it was totally inappropriate and assured me I’d have their full support if I wanted to report this incident to my manager. My manager (who is a male) was also extremely supportive, reaffirming that this is not the kind of behavior we’d want to espouse with future managers and leaders of the firm. He escalated the situation to HR, who has noted this on this employee’s record. While I’m not sure if any further steps will be taken, I’m glad there was an open communication channel between me and my manager where my opinion was respected and handled with sensitivity.
Conventional wisdom “blames” women for this gap. We receive messages that we’re not as good at math as men; we’re not as good at investing. Um, no. Studies have found that once women do invest, they outperform men by nearly one percentage point a year. This was confirmed recently by Fidelity, which analyzed the performance of 8 million retail clients in 2016. Typically women outperform because they don’t overtrade, panic in down markets, or pay too much in fees.
Women entrepreneurs continue to face significant disadvantages in business despite studies showing that their companies actually outperform all-male companies by 63%. Incredibly, female business owners receive only 3% of venture capital investments, significantly limiting the growth of their companies. Female founders of color receive a mere fraction of that amount. We at FUND Conference are determined to help change this.
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.
In a sign of their higher risk aversion, 90 percent of female Millennials said they held cash assets, such as money market funds or certificates of deposit (CDs). While these savings vehicles guarantee you'll get your money back, the returns are slight. The average nationwide money market account yields just 0.18 percent, and a one-year CD pays 2.21 percent in interest, according to Bankrate.com. Those modest returns compare with a 4 percent gain for the broad stock market this year and a nearly 20 percent gain in 2017.
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Women approach risk differently than men do. Studies show that men are more inclined to behave like baseball sluggers, who swing for the fences, even if it means running the risk of striking out far more often. Women, by contrast, are more like contact hitters, who are satisfied with a string of singles. These tendencies show up in various forms. For example, a 2013 study by Fidelity Investments found that men were much more likely than women to hold 100% of their assets in stocks. Openfolio’s data show that portfolios owned by men are subject to far wider swings in value. The problem is that investors who strike out frequently because they’re always trying to smash home runs can undermine their results.
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.
J.P. Morgan runs a recruitment programme called Winning Women, which gives female students the opportunity to discover the different areas of investment banking and learn about internships and the roles open to graduates. I recently participated in a networking event for the Winning Women programme, where I shared my experiences with students, and they also had the chance to meet female leaders from the bank and ask them questions about their careers.