But rather than pitch men and women and their typical respective styles against each other, we might look to the success of diverse teams across the business world for a far more productive use of this information. A widely circulated study undertaken by McKinsey & Company found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 21 percent more likely to experience above-average profitability. And in February this year, it was discovered that funds managed by mixed gender teams attracted 6 percent more inflows than those run solely by men or women over three years. Diversity, it’s clear, is good for business.
Today, gender equality is in the spotlight like never before. The #MeToo movement has encouraged countless women to share their stories about being harassed at work—myself included. Powerful men have lost their power, while powerful women (hi, Oprah) are putting their platforms and their money into stopping workplace harassment and abuse. It’s been incredible. And it’s just the beginning.
Consider a male slugger who puts $1,000 each into two speculative stocks versus a female lead-off hitter who invests the same amount in two dividend-paying blue-chip stocks. The high-quality stocks each return 10% over the course of the year, leaving the female investor with $2,200. Meanwhile, the male investor hits a home run with one of his picks, which doubles, but strikes out with the other, which loses 90% of its value. His total after a year is $2,100.
The first thing I want to make clear is that women really are missing out right now. Investing is a huge wealth generator, and women, for one reason or another, tend to do it less. Seventy-one percent of the money women have is in cash, and any financial advisor will tell you, cash not only doesn’t earn a return; it actually depreciates over time thanks to inflation. The stock market, on the other hand, has returned an average of 9.5 percent for the past ninety years, even including the horrific downturn in 2007. The good news is a lot of companies are trying to figure out how to change that. Partly because it’s the right thing to do, partly because it’s good business.
MS. TURLINGTON BURNS: --but we have incredible partners who in Haiti, you know, we're training our fourth class of skilled birth attendants there in the Central Plateau. In Guatemala, there's an incredible program called Corazon del Agua, and we support them. Their first graduating class of a three-year—first midwifery accredited program. The second class is underway now. I mean, each of those providers will deliver 200 babies a year, potentially. The ripple effect of investing in a woman is just, you know, I see it daily.
MS. CRONSTEDT: So, I, a year after participating in the program, sold my first business and simultaneously, I started a new one based on the knowledge and the tools that were given to me in the Global Ambassadors Program, which was a more successful company, just in short. Which was an online catering company that exists to this day, and that has--
MS. CHRISTY TURLINGTON BURNS: Here in Haiti many women have to walk an average of five miles just to receive any kind of maternal healthcare. During my last trip here we were bouncing along the road, and I thought "Hey, why don't we run this? Why don't we run or walk this? Let's see what this really feels like." At Every Mother Counts we run as a way of educating the public about how distance is a barrier for women to access quality maternity care.
To kick off FUND Conference in Chicago this Fall, it is our honor to host the second Women Investing in Women (WiW) event. This exclusive event will feature keynotes, fireside discussions, and panels that focus on advancing women-led companies and bridging the unacceptable gender gap in business. A working lunch will match attendees with the resources they need to grow their business. This is an opportunity to create powerful relationships and networks to generate deal-flow for women-owned companies and the investors, service providers and communities who support them.
Take a step to educate yourself. Countless blogs and websites provide accessible, engaging content to help increase your financial knowledge, including the Financial Freedom Studio, Jackson Charitable Foundation and many more. Just Google "retirement planning" or "financial education" and you'll see my point. I'm probably dating myself, but you could also go to the good ol' fashioned library or a bookstore to get this kind of information. For younger women just getting started, Learnvest.com can be a great resource, too.
You may have heard it said that “women have to do more with less,” but what does that really mean? Well, given that the gender pay gap leaves the average woman earning just 80 percent of what a man earns, this means that women will have to save a higher percentage of their salary just to achieve parity with men when it comes to retirement savings. Look at it this way: If a man making a $50,000 salary puts 9 percent of his annual income away for retirement, he’d have $4,500 saved at the end of the year. But a woman in that same role would only be making $40,000. So even if she put away the same percentage, she’d only have $3,600 saved at the end of the year, a whopping $900 less. To top it off, women live an average of five years longer than men, which means their money has to stretch further — a lot further. Because of their longer lifespans, women are expected to have 39 percent higher out-of-pocket healthcare costs in retirement than men, which means they’re on track to spend an additional $194,000. It’s no wonder the Wealthsimple research found 47 percent of millennial women consider money the most stressful thing in their lives, compared to 34 percent of millennial men.
Life expectancy is one of the many unpredictable variables at play. My mother-in-law just turned 100 – amazing! She never expected to live that long, and even if she did, how could she or anyone else effectively plan for the income needed to last all of those years? Meanwhile, my husband's sister passed away unexpectedly in her early 60s – a reminder that trying to anticipate our own mortality based on that of our immediate family members is pretty much futile.
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.
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.
MS. SPELLINGS: Yeah, I think often, we dwell on kind of the half empty, "omen are not on tenure track, women are not on corporate boards" and all those sorts of things. And we need to pay attention to it. But I do think there are enormous assets to be in public service and to be a woman in public service. One, we all are motivated by, as Christy Turlington Burns was doing something for someone else. We all know friends who are like man I've been a lawyer all my life and I just, is that all there is? Well, if you're in working to close the achievement gap or improve maternal health you've got that mission, that fire in your belly to leave something behind that's bigger than yourself number one, and number two, and you and I have both enjoyed these experiences, when you're in public life and public service you'll be stunned at the kind of reach you can have as a woman, managing large amounts of money, managing large numbers of people, just an incredible opportunity for careers in public service and public life.
Hi Diana! Well, it’s sad to know that so few girls come to participate of this incredible event. And a, even more sad thing is to notice that, actually, this few is a surprisingly “high” percentage… When you look upon girls percentage in STEAM, or at least in Scientific Olympiads, in my country, and I believe that in most countries too, it’s much smaller than 27%. There are those who say that it’s due to some kind of tendency of boys having more facility in this areas when compared to girls. Well, personally, I don’t believe in such a thing, principally because different kinds of intelligence (and ways of thinking and perceiving things) can be used to achieve success, even more if we’re talking about finances, an area that is very versatile. Other argument for this problem that I once heard was that girls have less time to study e put efforts in those things due the obligation that many of them have of taking care of the house. Again, I don’t think that this is the cause, at least not the big one. Of course it’s a problem, any kid should have the studies damaged due to any kind of work, even in home. But see, there are many girls who are top students in their class, this “lack of time” due to work now a days is not so comum, and some boys also have it because they need to help their fathers if some tasks on even in the job itself (I some times did it; two days ago I helped my father covering some merchandise to protect it from the rain). The real villain, I think, are the scar left by a past much more patriarchal than the actual society. A past in which girls were really considered as inferiors and suffered a hard discrimination. Unfortunately, there are people who keeps this archaic thinking, but it’s not the general society. And those scars made the representation os women in these areas be much smaller and now many girls look upon it and feel like if that did not fit them, and also it basically give birth to the wrong separation of “boy things” and “girl things”. Now, THIS is the real problem.
Coming in, I expected that my colleagues would be ultra-Type A, all work/no play, super serious folks given the nature of our work. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the great relationships and friendships I’ve developed at work and the camaraderie on our floor. I also expected the job to be extremely difficult in terms of the learning curve and was worried about my ability to handle it. It certainly is challenging, but with the support of my colleagues and mentors, I can really map out how much I’ve grown and learned over the past year. Everyone wants each other to succeed.