Says Bourke, “In the first part of 2014, we completed four oil and gas deals totaling $350 million. We found, even in the heart of the oil patch, traditionally known as a male dominated industry, it is more the exception than the rule that both the decision to sell as well as the selection of the most appropriate buyer was a joint decision involving a central female stakeholder. It makes business sense to direct deliberate attention to building an investment banking firm that leverages the talent and experience of the female workforce.”
With all of these factors working against them, women have very different outlooks on retirement than men. Indeed, Jackson's recent investor survey revealed some significant disparities. In addition to the gender pay gap, there also appears to be an investing confidence gap between men and women. While 46.2% of men reported that they "have plenty of investing confidence," only 30.3% of women said the same. When asked about their current level of financial knowledge, less than 10% of female respondents stated that they "have all the financial knowledge [they] need to make appropriate investing decisions," compared to more than 17% of male respondents. Lastly, the gender pay gap could be at least part of the reason women are more concerned than men when it comes to saving for retirement. 52.4% of women cited "saving enough for retirement" as a top financial concern, compared to only 42.7% of men.5
I'm not going to lie, this can be a tough field for women in the long run. You'll feel like you are being passed up on promotions or being let go because of your sex, and in some cases you may very well be correct. I've seen BBs discriminate against women, and personally know women who have settled sexual discrimination cases with BBs for substantial settlements. With that said, the workplace is far more inviting to women than it used to be. Obstacles will always exist no matter where you go, so if IB is really what you want then go for it.
Thanks for your reply Nicole. I know you are currently pursuing ECM if I’m not mistaken. What are the pros/cons of ECM vs. M&A? In terms of exit opps and learning curve, M&A is definitely the best route, but in terms of personal life, ECM…Only disadvantage to ECM, I take it, is the less technical/more narrow content…Your input would be appreciated!
Senior investment bankers spend a lot of time bonding with promoters, CEOs and fund managers. These investments yield results as the closer an advisor is to a client emotionally the more likely he/she is to get business from him. There is an innate feeling of brotherhood that comes into play here. Human beings are emotional creatures don't take fair decisions all the time. So people bond over drinks, sports, poker, travel, profanities etc. This is an area where women find it difficult to break in for obvious reasons. India is still sometime away from accepting women in this role. And this significantly impairs their ability to source business. Those who can get around this hurdle are sorted.
It is an advisory business and that too about critical financial and strategic decisions. A senior investment banker is of value only if she can command respect from clients and be able to source deals on her personal reputation. The clients should be ready to count her capable of advising them and consider her a confidante. Culturally in India women find it difficult to win the respect of male clients on such matters unless there is a previous history of demonstrated capability. This aspect is slowly changing with younger and more well exposed promoters and CEOs but we still have a lot of ground to cover.

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.


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.
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.
One of my favorite African proverbs says that if you want to go fast go it alone, but if you want to go far go together. And that's certainly what we're going to be talking about on this panel today. I'm thrilled to be joined by first Oulimata Sarr. She is a Regional Advisor for economic empowerment of women with UN Women. UN Women is the UN agency responsible for women's, responsible for women's empowerment, economic, political, and otherwise. Next to her is Katerina Cronstedt. She is a serial entrepreneur from Russia. She in my opinion, reading her bio, has led many lives, fit so much in, and she is currently the founder of Bankatering, and we'll hear a little bit more about that in a minute. And finally, you've already met Christine Katziff from Bank of America. She is the Global General Auditor. It's great that you have time to join us, that sounds like a really big job. 

Our cities, institutions, corporations and people's retirement security depend on effective stewardship of capital. Smart investing in today's increasingly complex global economy requires extraordinary talent, skill and teamwork. Success will depend on diverse groups of people with unique perspectives working together to achieve investment objectives. 

In recent weeks, Knowledge@Wharton High School began noticing young women on the Wharton campus in Philadelphia, Pa., U.S., who were wearing hats and carrying bags inscribed with three simple words: Girls Who Invest. Since we happen to know lots of girls with this interest – thousands from around the world have participated in our annual KWHS Investment Competition for high school students – we decided to look further into this intriguing GWI sorority. Who were they? Why were they here? And were they truly stock market devotees?
JPMorgan, for instance, holds ‘Winning Women’ events which offer networking opportunities and guidance for prospective female investment bankers. Morgan Stanley has several diversity initiatives, including a leadership program for newly promoted female managing directors, a six-month leadership program for women vice presidents, as well as a women’s business exchange within the bank’s wealth management unit. On the more practical side, Goldman Sachs for example is accommodating mothers with on-site child care at its New York and New Jersey offices, as well as on-site lactation rooms.
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.
Best Advice: “Start reading the news! Even if it’s just one article about finance. You can sign up for alerts on your phone when anything happens in the market. That way you can learn about different financial terminology. The most nerve-wracking part of this industry is speaking to professionals and not sounding dumb or ignorant about the topics. I read The Wall Street Journal, and you can also listen to Bloomberg while you’re walking to class, just so you can hear the terminology.”
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