Fidelity research among professional women across the country shows there's no shortage of interest in learning more about financial management and investment choices, with over 90 percent saying they want to learn more about financial planning8. For many, this stems from a need to play ‘catch up,' with a majority reporting a lack of opportunity to learn financial skills earlier in life.


So, I came home and I reached back out to CARE and I said how, you know, "What can I do? How can I help?" They were like "Oh, that's exactly what we were hoping." But it was hard for me to just engage in maternal health. They do a number of different programs and I was like very specific I want to do something in El Salvador, and I wanted to do it now. And that's really not that easy to do, and so I came back home, had my son, no complications, and started to plan my course. And that really started with going back to school. I worked on a Masters of Public Health at Columbia University, and starting my first documentary film, which was called No Woman, No Cry, and came out in 2010. And that, that experience was almost like a thesis. I mean I went to four countries and spent several weeks in those countries, just really looking at what are the barriers? What are the challenges? And what are the solutions? And really focusing on the what is possible side of that equation.

Earlier this year Christine Lagarde (No. 6) was selected to serve her second five-year term as head of the International Monetary Fund , the organization which serves as economic advisor and backstop for 188 countries. When she took over in 2011 the world economy was still recovering from the financial crisis. Lagarde, however, has projected a weak, fragile and still risky recovery. 
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This is a very valid concern. Yes, we are expected to stay as late as the males. I work in SF, and we are told to take taxis home, which can still be dangerous late at night. The world is a much more threatening place for women than men. All I can tell you is to be aware of what is going on during the ride. Also, I usually text the cab's license number to my parents and boyfriend and talk to someone over the phone for however long I am in the cab.
The consensus among most financial professionals is that asset allocation is one of the most important decisions that investors make. In other words, your selection of individual securities is secondary to the way you allocate your investment in stocks, bonds, and cash and equivalents, which will be the principal determinants of your investment results. Figure out your goals and then allocate your assets accordingly.
Top GWI Takeaway: “In investment banking, they’re always making DCF models. I’ve always wondered, ‘What does this stand for? What are they doing?’ While we were here we worked in Excel and found out about DCF. DCF stands for Discounted Cash Flow [and is a valuation method used to evaluate the attractiveness of an investment opportunity.] I saw [company] income statement, balance sheet, working capital, cash flows; these are all different sheets within Excel that you bring together to create the DCF. I also saw how it intertwined with finding the value of a company, because you have to account for inflation and how much a company would be worth in five years.”
One reason for women’s growing wealth is that far more of them are in well-paid work than before. In America, women’s rate of participation in the labour market rose from 34% in 1950 to 57% in 2016. Another is that women are inheriting wealth from husbands, who tend to be older and to have shorter lives, or from parents, who are more likely than previous generations to treat sons and daughters equally. As baby-boomers reach their sunset years, this transfer will speed up.
“Most women will spend at least part of their life on their own, either because they never marry or because they lose a spouse to divorce or death. This means many will be forced to manage their own finances in their later years without the support of a partner,” says Bast. “And because women tend to live longer than men, their money will need to stretch further.”
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?
When you’re starting out, it’s important to know that, when it comes to investments, there are some no-brainers. The most obvious example is a 401(k) or another employer-sponsored retirement account. Employers often match your contributions up to a certain dollar amount. At the very least try to contribute enough to get the full amount of that match—otherwise you’re essentially saying no to part of your salary.

KWHS set out to meet some of this summer’s Girls Who Invest scholars to find out about their interest in the financial industry and some of their most valuable lessons from the four weeks they spent learning about finance at Wharton. As part of the program, all of the girls are now working in a six-week paid finance-related internships. The hope is that they continue to engage with their Girls Who Invest network as they build their careers and ultimately boost the number of women in top finance positions. “To me, the combination of women and finance and education is just one of the most powerful on the globe,” observed Cowell. “We’ve seen study after study. If women can manage their own money, then families are better, violence is reduced, nutrition goes up…if more women manage money at portfolios, you see greater diversity of hiring, more optimization of portfolio returns. It’s a better outcome with so many collateral benefits. There’s certainly an intellectual understanding that diversity of thought in all its forms, including gender, is a good thing for business. Getting to the result is harder.”
Who among us doesn’t want a loftier position with a more impressive sounding title and a higher salary, regardless of where we currently work? The truth is, this isn’t always an immediately attainable reality for everyone—maybe you’re just getting started at your current job and it’s too soon to start thinking about a promotion, or maybe the place you work at is small and there’s no clear upward trajectory. Whatever the reason, if you’re seeking a promotion and there’s no obvious path for growth for you in your current job, perhaps this means you should make a more drastic change as part of your New Year’s resolution planning.
The reluctance to invest outside of company plans may be related to women’s lack of confidence in their investing abilities, which can make them prone to procrastination. “Women hold back because they think they need to know everything before they invest,” says Alexandra Lebenthal, chief executive of Lebenthal & Co., a New York City money-management company. Krawcheck agrees, saying that wanting to know more before getting started can be a trap. “There’s always a desire to know more. But if you wait, it just gets harder,” she says.

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.
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In fact, looking at actual data is one of the best ways to counteract the fear of investing. For example, are you afraid to invest in stocks because you remember the painful declines of the financial crisis? Well, in spite of the 36.55% plunge in the S&P 500 stock market index in 2008, this index gained an average of 7.25% annually between 2006 and 2015.
One senior woman at a European bank argued that the push to promote more women is itself problematic. "The senior men have now got a cover for promoting the younger women who flirt with them," she said. "They know they have to promote X number of women each year, so they look around and they promote the women who kiss up to them most instead of the women who are the most competent. It's the same as the old boys' network, with flirtation instead of familiarity."
although it sounds great---i am not being argumentative--that more females are getting into fields previously dominated by males, i think it is still an uphill battle thus important to get a feel to the environment and culture. there may be unwarranted traditions, but there may also be some practical considerations, that is, some fields are better suited for one sex vs the other for understandable reasons. say, most top surgeons are males. heck, most top OB GYNs are males!
MS. TURLINGTON BURNS: Gosh, so many ways. We are pretty small. We're a 12-person organization. I think we struggle with anything that any small business would struggle with, just growing and trying to do what we do well, not waste resources, make sure that our people are taken care of and people feel, you know, like motivated and looked after to do their job to the best of their ability. We look for, you know, volunteers in different ways. Our organization was essentially all volunteers before they came on full time. And so, I don't know if we can continue to take on volunteers and make them part of the staff, but it's a really important thing to be able to have an open door for people who have time or who have skills to offer, and you know, we've had pro bono legal advice, we've had graphic designers and artists and different people come in and say I can do this, I can't do that but I can do this. And so, we want to have that relationship where nothing is, nothing is overlooked, nothing is less important than writing a check, although that's always welcome. It's Mother's Day and that's a big opportunity for us to campaign around maternal health. We have, you know, partners, like product partnerships where we have lots of really lovely things that are all kind of, you know, a play on classic Mother's Day gifts, but we have great partnerships with mother-owned, female-led businesses where they're creating products that then, you know, people can buy and they can celebrate their mother, but they can also help save a life of someone else at the same time. So, those kinds of things are also great ways to participate.
- With some diversity programs some male bankers will wonder if you are a diversity hire or if you are actually good at what you do (will affect your staffings and responsibilities - a proxy for your professional development). That said, I've always encouraged women (and anyone for that matter) to get in any way you can (diversity program or not). I feel like IBD is relatively meritocratic and once you are in (no matter how you got in: diversity program, your parents are well connected, you just happen to be brilliant / hardworking), you have to make your own name off your own hard work

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He also found that cortisol levels rise during a market crash, increasing risk aversion among traders and exacerbating the decline. Since women have significant lower testosterone levels, Coates argues that they are less prone to the irrational exuberance associated with stock market bubbles. While the study by Coats is focused on biological factors, it is not the only study to draw similar conclusions with regard to the investment behavior differences between men and women.
I'd second hanging out with the guys part. I remember sitting down with an MD during my summer stint on an S&T desk. It was a sell day and I remember him asking me, "Why do you want to be in S&T? Honestly. Are you an idealist who wants the save the world or something?" and I just responded "..I just want to make a shitton of money." Honest? yes. Did I read him correctly? Yep. He subsequently became a great mentor that summer. I never went into S&T but we're still in contact.
Here’s the bottom line—many folks who are unhappy with their work lives or who are just eager for a fresh start or new challenge take the new year as an opportunity to make a change, and it’s a great time to do so! Because so many people are focused on career changes at the beginning of a new year, many companies and industries ramp up their hiring during this time—and those among us who are serious and dedicated can take full advantage of this reality. If this sounds like you, perhaps now is a great time to move forward—but do so wisely and plan accordingly. Good luck and Happy New Year!
MS. CALABRESE BAIN: So, I can talk about a few of the ways that Bank of America has made some progress on this front because I think that there's always more that we can do around education. So, you know, we have a partnership with the National Association of Women Business Owners in 60 cities across the U.S. where we partner Bank of America/Merrill Lynch women chapter leaders in these local cities to really bring thought leadership, to bring education, sometimes to bring financing. But it is our way of understanding what is it that makes women business owners tick? So that how can we be more supportive? So, you saw a couple of things earlier on the screen. We've got a partnership with the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program, which we started in 2014. We've been able to finance over 1,100 women, small business owners, and commit $25 million worth of capital, and we hope to see that program grow. We also work with our Community Development Financial Institutions. It's always a mouthful, but for those who are not familiar they really provide technical assistance and affordable loans across the U.S., and Bank of America is the largest investor of CDFIs. So, we're really thrilled with our participation with 240 lenders across the United States. So, thank you for all of the support and the partnership. Lastly speaking about one more program, through Andrea's support in supplier diversity and development, again this is another program where we can work directly with women and diverse owned businesses, and in 2016 actually invested over $2.6 billion in procurement spending.
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.
While parents remain the top source of financial advice for most women, only 20 percent said they felt well prepared by their parents to manage their finances as an adult. Even fewer said they learned about these topics in school. Only 24 percent learned about budgeting and setting financial goals; 14 percent said they learned about investing. Overall, only nine percent of women said their education through high school left them well prepared to manage personal finances as an adult. A slightly better 10 percent said this of their college education9.
MS. TURLINGTON BURNS: Well, I guess, I mean, mainly we started after the film came out. We were a resource. You know, who's doing what where was the way we sort of saw ourselves. And through that, I got to meet a lot of different organizations working in maternal health. Also, as a student of Public Health, you know, the world is fairly small in the maternal child health space. So, I started to get to meet a lot of incredible people who have been working their entire careers, Melanne being one of those people. And so, you know, having access to women who were leaders in these areas was incredibly inspiring. And then in terms of finding partners, I mean we started as a campaign, and then I learned that that wasn't completely fulfilling. I felt like I wanted to do more and I wanted to really connect people who were being moved by learning this information and wanting to do something that it was really hard for them to do that. So, I felt like ultimately starting an organization that I could have more control. Being able to put those pieces together and connect those dots was a lot more gratifying, not only for the community we were trying to bring along but also for the NGOs on the ground. And what I've found over time is that smaller, grassroots, community-led groups are the most exciting to work with because they truly do partner with you. And we have, as an organization, funded some larger initiatives, and you know, it's hard to get the phone picked up, and it's hard to—you know, there's a lot of turnover in the people who run the program, and you just want to, you want to have that human touch, and so, it's something that I really strive for with Every Mother Counts to continue to have that human touch. It's the most human of all issues that I can think of, and for people who have an experience or suffer a loss, or lose a loved one, or the healthcare providers that are trying to, you know, provide services every day, I think it's really important that all of those people feel, you know, respected, and have a voice, and that we can be there for them.
Perhaps you’re just not feeling completely happy or fulfilled in your current industry, and something is telling you that perhaps now is the time to make a major change. This could be a good thing—the truth is, job unhappiness is often a major cause of mental and physical distress and could have a wide range of negative effects on our health and well-being.
Since a more conservative approach to investing means less risk taking, women are likely to earn less from their investments when compared to the earnings men are likely to generate over the same period. These factors suggest that women will end up with less money than they might need to pay the bills during their "golden years." From a theoretical perspective, the argument looks sound. In the real world, it doesn't quite work out the way you might expect.
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MS. KATZIFF: Well thank you, we do appreciate the feedback and agree that there's a lot of talented women in our organization. But we have had women's programs, women's development programs for years, decades now. One of the things that we did realize though is there was so many around the globe, in the United States and around the globe that last year we realized that there would be some significant power in pulling that all together. So, we have made significant progress but if we came up with a common core mission. And so we formed an umbrella organization, the Investing in Women's Council, at the beginning of 2016 and I am very lucky to be the Executive Sponsor and Leader of that. And we came up with four additional kind of core common goals for us. One is attracting, hiring, retaining women. One is in addition to broad women we realized we really needed to focus on ethnic diversity as it relates to female leadership, and pulling up ethnic diversity in women to higher levels in our organization. Also, just development programs in general. We had tons of them, probably almost too many, and how to depict the few that were extraordinarily impactful, and then track women along the way after they went through the programs. And the last thing we called out as a focus, Margaret mentioned, which was the advocacy, and how do you bring men and women into the fold to being very strong advocates every single day, and how do you bring that to work? So, those are just some new things we have been doing in the last year, year and a half to push it forward.
MS. ALYSE NELSON: Well hello everyone, I'm Elise Nelson. I'm President and CEO of Vital Voices. Let me just first say how exciting it is to be here at the mothership of Bank of America. I heard it actually called that. Vital Voices, as you know, launched in partnership with Bank of America this really innovative partnership five years ago. So, it's quite special to be back here and to see so many people in this room who were really part of making it happen and looking at Zoe and Susan and of course Pam Seagle, and so many others who just made this a reality.
Top priorities of retirees also seem to differ from those of non-retirees. The retirees’ top priorities include maintaining their standard of living (29 percent), followed by spending time with loved ones (27 percent) and maintaining their health (23 percent). Despite that nearly one in five non-retirees hope to make traveling the world their top retirement priority, only 5 percent of retirees have prioritized traveling.

I don't think her claims of 'not being invited to the ski trip' and 'male colleagues dancing with other women on office outing', etc. would really get her any settlement.. If roles were reversed, ie, more women in the office and male colleagues getting mad when female colleagues dance with people outside their office party - it would be impossible for anyone to claim injustice..

Janet Cowell’s words mean that the diversity of gender brings us different perspectives. The integration of a large number of women workforces can add fresh blood to the industry. In my opinion, women are conservative in the asset management industry and are not as venturous as men. This more cautionary mindset enables women professionals to manage great assets for the less risky funds, while male professionals may encourager bigger risks. A company without women is like a car without a brake, which will run into risks someday.
When you’re starting out, it’s important to know that, when it comes to investments, there are some no-brainers. The most obvious example is a 401(k) or another employer-sponsored retirement account. Employers often match your contributions up to a certain dollar amount. At the very least try to contribute enough to get the full amount of that match—otherwise you’re essentially saying no to part of your salary.
MS. SPELLINGS: You know, I would certainly not want to say something un-PC about men, but my observation is that I think we are. I think that's why you see women show up to say, "Put me in coach," or "I'm going to lead an effort on maternal health. I'm going to run for the school board, I'm going to be the president of a university, or the mayor of Charlotte," or whatever it is. And I do think we're motivated by that, often at some sacrifice.
By contrast, wealth management was long in the shadows – and women quickly made inroads. After all, women frequently control the household purse strings in Asia. Strong ties between generations as well as reliable access to childcare have made it easier for Asia's women to re-enter the workforce after starting a family than for their U.S. and European counterparts.
Money Motivation: “At the business school at Michigan, a lot of people go into finance. It’s a new world to me because my dad was never on Wall Street. I was interested in learning more. I’m part of the Michigan businesswomen’s club. I do notice a lot of women at my school don’t go into the roles that men go into. They go into marketing. I wanted to learn the other side of finance and business.”
Not even close. We ran some projections based on the wage gap, typical asset allocation strategies, and a gender-specific salary curve. The true cost for the average woman at the time she retires may run two to seven times that amount. Depending on your salary and the market’s performance, the real cost of the investing gap over a 35-year career span could be more than $1 million. Yes, I said a million.
Fidelity Personal Investing does not give advice based on personal circumstances so you are responsible for deciding whether an investment is suitable for you. In doing so, please remember that past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance, the performance of funds is not guaranteed and the value of your investments can go down as well as up, so you may get back less than you invest. When investments have particular tax features, these will depend on your personal circumstances and tax rules may change in the future. Before investing into a fund, please read the relevant key information document and ‘Doing Business with Fidelity’, a document that incorporates our Client Terms. If you are investing via the Fidelity SIPP you should also read the Fidelity SIPP Key Features Document incorporating the Fidelity SIPP Terms and Conditions. You should regularly review your investment objectives and choices and if you are unsure whether an investment is suitable for you, you should contact an authorised financial adviser.
Women need to master the art of investing, in order to stay financially independent and also to ensure that their goals are always in line with the family’s goals. So, is there an age where women should start looking at investments? Actually, there is no particular age to start saving and investing. The earlier you start the better it is. This holds true whether or not you’re a woman.

MS. ALYSE NELSON: Well hello everyone, I'm Elise Nelson. I'm President and CEO of Vital Voices. Let me just first say how exciting it is to be here at the mothership of Bank of America. I heard it actually called that. Vital Voices, as you know, launched in partnership with Bank of America this really innovative partnership five years ago. So, it's quite special to be back here and to see so many people in this room who were really part of making it happen and looking at Zoe and Susan and of course Pam Seagle, and so many others who just made this a reality.
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.
This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situations or needs and is not intended as a recommendation, offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security, financial instrument, or strategy. Before acting on any information in this material, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, if necessary, seek professional advice. Any opinions expressed herein are given in good faith, are subject to change without notice, and are only correct as of the stated date of their issue.

Men were also significantly more likely to take more risk than the platform’s algorithms advises for them. Interestingly, the moves didn’t come as a reaction to one particular headline but the markets themselves. “We see people in general move toward stocks when stocks have been up the last 7 days – and toward bonds when stocks have been down the past 7 days,” Swift says, acknowledging that this is the antithesis of what investors should be doing. The key is to try to understand who you are and how you’ll react to market moves. Making an appointment to check your portfolio once a month rather than when the spirit strikes may be the better idea. “The more active you are, the more inclined you are to participate.”

Results of this survey are based on an online omnibus conducted among a demographically representative U.S. sample of 2,995 adults comprising 1,496 men and 1,499 women 18 years of age and older. The survey was completed during the period December 1-11, 2016 by ORC International, an independent research firm. The results of this survey may not be representative of all adults meeting the same criteria as those surveyed for this study.
3. Make communication a priority. Some women shut down when it comes to talking about investing because they find the jargon too confusing to understand. But Bast believes that’s your cue to talk more about the life and family issues that drive your investment decisions, not less. “Knowledge really is power, especially when it comes to investing. If your financial advisor isn’t speaking clearly and answering your questions in the way you need, let him or her know. The more you know about your money, the more confident you may feel about your future."

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--


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.

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I am a sophomore student in the state of Ohio. I used to be an intern in an import and export trade company. The experience of this job provides me more understanding of finance. I worked around statistics and data. I will participate more in the industry and accumulate practical experience and insights in the future. This internship took place in China, a country that has often been considered traditional and male-oriented. However, I do not think I have ever been treated differently by my co-workers and my supervisors. The interns, male and female, who came at the same time with me were given the same amount of workload as me. Sometimes the manager even preferred to assign certain tasks to women, instead of men. Since women have some charismatic characters, like patience, moderateness, stability, and carefulness — women in some cases can be more outstanding than men.
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.
One reason for women’s growing wealth is that far more of them are in well-paid work than before. In America, women’s rate of participation in the labour market rose from 34% in 1950 to 57% in 2016. Another is that women are inheriting wealth from husbands, who tend to be older and to have shorter lives, or from parents, who are more likely than previous generations to treat sons and daughters equally. As baby-boomers reach their sunset years, this transfer will speed up.
“Women are still underrepresented at every corporate level and hold less than 30% of roles in senior management, “Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg wrote recently in the Wall Street Journal. “And women hit the glass ceiling early: They are far less likely than men to be promoted from entry level to manager, and they continue to lose ground incrementally the more senior they become.”

Perhaps you’re just not feeling completely happy or fulfilled in your current industry, and something is telling you that perhaps now is the time to make a major change. This could be a good thing—the truth is, job unhappiness is often a major cause of mental and physical distress and could have a wide range of negative effects on our health and well-being.


WIN is a forum for full-time MBA women from top business schools around the country and investment professionals from sponsoring firms to gather, network, hear perspectives on investment careers and related topics from industry representatives, learn from distinguished women and men in the industry; and showcase their stock-picking skills in front of judges from sponsoring firms and obtain feedback on their pitches.  More than 60 women MBA students from top business schools and 65 representatives from top-tier investment management firms are expected to attend.
There are a few ways to be a good self-advocate when it comes to fees. Ask your advisor if he or she gets money for any of the products they want you to invest in. Sometimes advisors are paid every time someone invests in a mutual fund, for instance. It’s a conflict of interest, but in some cases, they aren’t required to disclose it. Crazy, right? If the company makes it too hard for you to find out what they’re charging you, you should probably go elsewhere. Transparency is always a good sign.
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.
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