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?
Saul M. Simon, a certified financial planner with Simon Financial Group in Edison, N.J., recommends women investors start investing at work in their 401(k) or 403(b) 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.
However, although the industry is undergoing change, some of the misconceptions observed by the group when they joined are still around today. MUFG's Vanessa, responding to a university student who said a male investment banker told her ‘you need to be confident, assertive and masculine’ to do well in investment banking, said: ‘There is a preconception that investment banking is a male industry and you need male-type qualities to succeed.’
In nearly three decades on Wall Street, Sallie Krawcheck says she has never heard a group of women investors swapping tips on hot stocks or bragging about their portfolio performance—topics you’re more likely to hear in a gathering of men. “Men are all about the competition; women are all about the goal,” says Krawcheck, the former head of Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch division and chair of Ellevate Network, a financial networking group for women, and cofounder of Ellevest, an investing platform for women that is due to launch this year.
According to the Boston Consulting Group, between 2010 and 2015 private wealth held by women grew from $34trn to $51trn. Women’s wealth also rose as a share of all private wealth, though less spectacularly, from 28% to 30%. By 2020 they are expected to hold $72trn, 32% of the total. And most of the private wealth that changes hands in the coming decades is likely to go to women.