Wells Fargo Advisors is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority but is not licensed or registered with any financial services regulatory authority outside of the U.S. Non-U.S. residents who maintain U.S.-based financial services accounts with Wells Fargo Advisors may not be afforded certain protections conferred by legislation and regulations in their country of residence in respect to any investments, investment transactions, or communications made with Wells Fargo Advisors.

MS. NIGEST HAILE: Thank you. In thinking of establishing a commercial bank is not an easy task, which all of you know, particularly the staff of the Bank of America and the rest of the others. We were really focusing on issues of the women operating in the small and medium enterprises, which we usually call the "missing middle." Which the formal banks are never interested to address their interests because of the issue of collateral, the stringent application processes, the lack of a track record in being their bankers, and all those. And yet, on the other side the microfinancing institutions are too small for those groups of women, so where do they fit? So, we said, 11 of us, visionary women who had been fully engaged in all of our full-time engagements, we said, "Let's have a solution. Why do we wait for the government? Why do we wait for people to come and help us? So, let's try to do it." That time was a very good opportunity for private banks to emerge, so we came out to be the 15th or the 16th private bank in Ethiopia, so we were able to do it. It was not an easy process. We had full-time jobs, busy traveling, doing our own tasks, but again no weekend, no sleep, our marriages suffered, our children suffered, but anyway, we left a legacy. So, we were able to establish the bank, actually the process started in 2008, we were registered as a national bank in 2011, but we started operation in 2013. You can see the process.
As a female, I've been recruiting for IB this year and have been overwhelmingly pleased with the support and steps that firms are taking to improve the workplace for women and attract top talent. GS, MS, JP, BAML, Barclays, RBC, and Evercore each hosted all-day women's events where you can speak to bankers at all levels that have balanced families and banking long-term. Many of my male colleagues have perceived being a female as an advantage in the recruiting process, however, there is definitely a minimum threshold to cross to get an offer. Banking is inherently less appealing to females that are considering families where long hours are difficult to balance, but all of the women I met communicated the culture of respect and equality at their institutions. Feel free to PM me if you want to talk!
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?
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Looking beyond investment banking, it is also worth pointing out that two of the most influential positions in the financial world are currently held by women, namely Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, and Janet Yellen, who in 2014 succeeded Ben Bernanke at the helm of the US Federal Reserve. These examples only go to prove that when women set their minds to a career in finance, absolutely no heights are unattainable.
MS. SPELLINGS: Well, it was a super fun partnership that was a partnership between President Clinton, President Bush, President H.W. Bush, his center, and the LBJ Library in Austin. So, in that Arkansas/Texas region we have four Presidential, Presidential Libraries. And the idea was to help develop mid-career, civically-engaged leaders, using those four presidencies as case studies in leadership around decision making, around vision and planning, around building coalitions and whatnot, and you all ought to get on the website because it looks like there's some presidential leadership scholar candidates in here. President Bush and President Clinton stewarded this. We were able to raise funds to underwrite this because we need to develop leaders in this space so they can have the skills necessary, particularly in that mid-30s to, you know, mid-50s where you're out of graduate school if you've gone, but there, and you've got plenty of runway. So, how do you become, how do you lead at that level? Who better to do that than two presidents?
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."

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.
Note that even the reported numbers (which are sobering as P. Brown has stated above) appear to generously overstate the actual number of women in investment roles. This is due to lack of transparency and confusing websites on the part of private investment firms. If one were to further breakout non-investment professionals who are often listed on the investment team pages, the result would likely show ~0% to 5% of senior "investment professionals", defined as those making investment decisions, in the field of private equity are women. *For example, Blackstone includes women on the investment team pages who are serve in administrative and portfolio operations functions (i.e., women who don't make investment decisions) such as Chief Administrative Officer. Counting the number of women in the Private Equity department on the investment team without Administrative or Portfolio Operations roles, Blackstone's Private Equity (www.blackstone.com/the-firm/our-people -> Private Equity, Tactical Opportunities, Infrastructure) teams' female representation appears closer to 0% to 3%. Professor Lietz's study includes data on the largest Private Equity funds' female representation:
Wells Fargo Advisors is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority but is not licensed or registered with any financial services regulatory authority outside of the U.S. Non-U.S. residents who maintain U.S.-based financial services accounts with Wells Fargo Advisors may not be afforded certain protections conferred by legislation and regulations in their country of residence in respect to any investments, investment transactions, or communications made with Wells Fargo Advisors.

MS. URZAIZ: Absolutely, not too far from here I had a meeting with Lowe's, and as you know it's a very large company with hundreds of stores throughout the U.S., and my brother and I finished up the meeting, the buyer loves it, and he's like I want 5,000 a month. Well, I have a problem. If you do the math it takes two weeks to make one, I cannot make 5,000 for you a month. But thanks to the supplier diversity team we convinced them to look to us with a different lens, which is why don't we do this, I can be online, I can do drop ship to all of your customers, and instead of having them in stock at your stores, which requires the 5,000 a month, why am I not just in display at your highest-selling stores of hammocks. And so, we convinced them and they carry us. But I think that the most important takeaway from this is actually how the United States is a leader. This was a policy set up with the U.S. government, supplier diversity, you have to buy 15% from women and minority-owned businesses, and this really is leading change, and helping women like myself with a small business to thrive and generate jobs back home where I'm from, and I think that's so important that the United States remain being this leader because us from other countries are followers, and policies like this really make an impact around the world.
As president of the Atlanta Fed, Bostic leads one of the 12 regional Reserve Banks that, with the Board of Governors, make up the Federal Reserve System, the nation’s central bank. The Atlanta Fed is responsible for the Sixth Federal Reserve District, which encompasses Alabama, Florida, and Georgia and portions of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. As its key functions, the Atlanta Fed participates in setting national monetary policy, supervises numerous banking organizations, and provides a variety of payment services to financial institutions and the U.S. government. Bostic has overall responsibility for these functions and represents the Sixth Federal Reserve District at meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee, the policymaking body within the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy for the nation.

Barbara Swenson has several years work experience in the areas of accounting, real estate investing, marketing, financial management, insurance, and independent book publishing. She’s written numerous articles for AllBusiness.com, and is a Contributing Writer for Retailing Insight. She was also a Contributing Editor for the international magazine Magical Blend, and has penned articles for Aquarius and NAPRA Review magazines. She has written and published 25 personal transformation books in the last twenty years. Barbara holds a Bachelor of Arts from California State University Sonoma (with honors), and a Masters Degree in Science from California State University Sacramento (with honors). She lives in the Sierra foothills with her husband and son, two huge white dogs, and four cats.


i am not too sure what red flags really mean here, but glad to see your mention of "vast majority", which means that there are still some fields out there that are more men dominant and that loops back to my original question. i did not, mind you, say, it is men dominant or both sexes being equal in IB. I simply asked the question to get some feedbacks. 

“The GWI program is one of the programs that the institute is implementing to make more female students aware of the careers in investment management,” Mary Scott, associate director of the Notre Dame Institute for Global Investing (NDIGI), said of the program. “As we broaden awareness of how intellectually stimulating and rewarding these types of careers can be, our hope is that more females will be interested in pursuing this industry.”

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.

That brings me to the final part that I believe is essential for young women like me to understand more about the industry, which is work experience. Unfortunately, I have not yet had the opportunity of working in the finance industry. However, it has always been my aspiration to do so, and I hope to craft my academic career to achieve this. Also, I plan on participating in KWHS’s next investment competition to gain some hands-on (although at the same time theoretical) experience and insights on the area. I am keen towards broadening my horizons and learning more about the asset management and finance industry; it truly does seem to be an amazing yet intriguing topic.
Communicate. If you have questions, your friends and family probably do too. Not only is it time for money to stop being a taboo conversation topic, but ensuring you're on the same page with your loved ones about financial goals and responsibilities can be critical. Fidelity has numerous resources to help have these conversations with parents, partners and kids.

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.

And women are nothing if not team players. In Vanguard’s 2014 study “How America Saves,” which tracked the behavior of participants in the retirement plans it administers, the fund company found that women are more likely than men to seek professional help in managing their portfolios, mainly through the use of balanced and target-date mutual funds. (The former hold a fairly static mix of stocks and bonds; the latter adjust their asset mix as the fund approaches the target date.) And Vanguard’s research shows that participants who use professionally managed portfolios have better results than those who don’t. “Women are natural collaborators,” says Ketterer. “Building a team is playing to our strengths.”


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.
By Mansi Gupta, Design Specialist, Women’s World Banking  “If a hospital isn’t involved, I’m healthy enough.” Women’s World Banking spoke with women in India to better understand their views on health, health emergencies and the role of insurance. By understanding their attitudes on health issues, Women’s World Banking will work to increase uptake and usage […]
As  banks' claims to diversity are blown apart by the figures emerging from the UK's gender pay gap reporting requirements, how does it feel to be a woman in finance? Do you buy the Goldman story that men and women are paid equally for equal work and it's just a question of getting more women into senior slots, or do you get angry and point to more insidious issues?
One sage piece of investment advice that I would pass on to anyone is that regularly saving small amounts into the stock market over the long term is the best way to achieve steady growth in investments and ride out peaks and troughs. Ideally, this should be done tax-efficiently through a pension or ISA, all of which are designed to take regular monthly savings.
MS. SMITH: No, thank you. And thank you to this panel, thank you to all of you. Thank you to all of our panelists and our amazing speakers. I'm inspired. I'm inspired by everyone, and I wrote down a few things. I mean hammocks, the 5,000 Lowe's hammocks, or the bank in Ethiopia, the small loan is 1.8 million. I mean I think we've got some things we can learn here. I mean the dinner kit to the, sold already and now online catering. I mean the stories are amazing. So, Alyse, thank you for the partnership for the last five years, and thank you to all of our mentees and mentors for being here. we're so excited to be able to do the program in the United States, in our corporate headquarters, which is fantastic. And as Margaret reminded me I'm the only thing standing between all of you and the reception. So, my last comment though is please come to the reception because our mentees will have wears from their businesses, and they'll be able to talk to you about all of the things that they're doing. So--

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