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.

MS. SPELLINGS: Well, in Charlotte you can't say that too much because we have people like Andrea Smith who are leading the Chamber of Commerce, and of course a woman that is the mayor, and the superintendent here is a woman, and one of my board of governors' members I think is here, Anna Nelson, and on and on and on, Ophelia Garmon-Brown who has been so instrumental in the economic mobility work here. But that notwithstanding, there are gaps and, you know, when you, and when you're in a place like Washington there is such a public service mentality and so many opportunities for women, we'll get into some of that, but I am puzzled by that, particularly when most, I mean women are going to college and getting out of college at rates that far exceed, and we need to work on our men obviously, but that exceed women. So, what happens between the time that we're getting out of college, attaining at high levels, and being in those leadership roles? We get lost. Right? Which is why programs like this are so important.
Now, the down of it is because often those jobs don't pay as well as those in the private sector. So, I think women have been drawn into those roles, but the good of it is get yourself in there, manage, lead, learn, and translate those skills either upward in the, in the public sphere or externally in the private sector. And when I used to work on appointments for President Bush and when he was governor in Texas we used to try to sell people like Andrea that we were going to go from success to significance. And so-- MS. SMITH: And you did.
Nearly seven out of 10 (67 percent) female Millennials, for example, said their parents encouraged them to "save" money, versus just 58 percent of males. Similarly, only 29 percent of females surveyed said their parents "showed (them) ways to grow wealth." By contrast, 37 percent of males said their financial education was focused on wealth-building, the survey found.
MS. NELSON: So, Oulimata, I know that you are a Global Ambassador in this program, but you've also participated as a mentor for another program supported by Bank of America, the Cherie Blair Foundation's work with mentoring, particularly online mentoring. Can you talk a little bit about your experiences with both of those programs, first with the Cherie Blair Foundation?
MARCH 8th, International Women’s Day, always brings a flood of reports about gender inequalities in everything from health outcomes to pay and promotion. But one gap is gradually narrowing: that in wealth. As money managers seek to attract and serve rich women, and as those women express their values through their portfolios, the impact will be felt within the investment industry and beyond.
I tell clients all the time that the most powerful weapon they have when it comes to investing is time. Time even beats out money—relatively speaking—if you have enough of it. Here’s an example: If you invested $10,000 at age twenty, and it grew at 5 percent (a pretty conservative rate, historically), you’d have $70,000 by the time you were sixty years old. The same investment would get you only about $43,000 if you started at thirty, and only $26,000 if you started at forty.
It can be a very hard line to walk, and you're constantly searching for balance in literally every aspect of your personality (be fun, but don't be TOO fun; don't get easily offended, but don't internalize the shit that really does upset you; be assertive and don't let people talk over you or dismiss your ideas, but don't come off as bitch so make sure you modify everything you say by making it seem like a question or a suggestion, etc etc etc). It's not so bad at the junior levels, but I think you can definitely see and feel it more as you get older.
Take on less risk. Women are more likely to have their savings allocated in a more age-based allocation of investments than their male counterparts. In fact, looking specifically at Fidelity retirement savings accounts over the last three years, the percentage of women allocated appropriately for their age has increased by approximately 40 percent. Furthermore, fewer women have their savings fully invested in equities than men (which could represent too much risk and not enough diversification); and women are more likely to invest in target date funds, ensuring they are well diversified.
FAFSA and taxes. Whether a parent or guardian claims you as a dependent or you file taxes on your own determines whose information is required to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, and who can claim tax credits and deductions. Discuss your financial status before each school year and address any changes, like a raise or job loss.
From a male perspective, very interesting to read. Never thought about these issues women face in networking, and I’ve never had any such problem (that I know of!) in networking I’ve done with women or they with me. Still though, good to keep in mind when networking with women to prevent any misinterpretations or problems. Thanks for this article; this subject should be talked about a lot more.
Before I started my job, I was more concerned about whether I would find my place here given the image of investment banking in the media over the past few years. But when I joined J.P. Morgan I was surprised by how nice everyone was. The people I work with are really friendly, normal and chilled out, and this is true from the other graduate analysts right through to high-level managing directors who are always willing to take the time to explain things and answer questions. We organise events for analysts and also have lots of networking activities, so it's a very inclusive environment.

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You should have a six-month emergency fund. Investing is a great way to grow money but the key to making it grow is time. Why? Because investing is a risky venture. When you put money in the market, you are saying, “I don’t need this money for a few years.” First of all, you could invest and see that money decrease immediately. But the short-term fluctuations aren’t important. What is important is that over the long term the money will likely grow. So, while that money is tied up, you’ll need an emergency fund to tide you over during any rough spells—unemployment, bad health, etc. (We’ve got more reasons here.) And besides, when you sell your investments, you have to pay taxes on that—making a savings account a much more attractive place to store some extra cash. (Follow our checklist to build up your savings.)
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. 

That’s why I went to London. I did a Masters in finance for a year because I wanted to switch to something that was more in the private sector. Back then I thought I wanted to do consulting. They called it Litigation Consulting. There’s a lot of data analysis so it was very similar to what I did before in research but it’s still the private sector.
1... biggest advice to any female looking to break into finance... drop the feminista thing, it won't get you anywhere. It's ok to be bitchy, and in fact may help you in certain instances, but don't ever, ever pull the feminist card. There's nothing worse than a person who chalks up their own personal failings to an "anti-me" thing. It's nothing more than an excuse for being a slacker.
"Taking just one step can break the inertia holding many women back," said Taussig. "Whether you're just getting started building a plan, looking to become more active in managing you investments, or determining how to make your savings last through retirement, commit to following through with one new step toward that goal. In most cases, you'll find you're off and running. And there is no shortage of resources to help."
Despite the attractiveness of the competitive story pitting men versus women in a contest of investment prowess, the difference in their returns is not dramatic. For example, a study in the The Quarterly Journal of Economics reported that "Trading reduces men's net returns by 2.65 percentage points a year as opposed to 1.72 percentage points for women." Clearly, like beating an index, the difference between success and failure is generally a game of inches, not miles. With that in mind, every penny counts, and pennies paid out in fees are pennies that are not working on your behalf. Over the long-term, lower fees can make the difference between a few extra dollars in your wallet or a few dollars that you do not get to take home.
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.
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While female bankers with husbands and children to support keep quiet for fear of seeming uncommitted to their roles, she said male bankers are more likely to make their familial responsibilities widely known: "I used to work with a man who would shout about how he had four kids at home every year when it came to making redundancies or allocating bonuses."
In terms of dress - this is tricky. It depends on where you work. I think you will see who wears what around the office. But if it's an interview, stick to the black/brown/grey suit and plain shirt. Don't draw attention to yourself, you're just an analyst. And minimum makeup and hair. Once you work on the job you can get a feel for what's accepted and what's not. Keep in mind though that just becuase there are other girls in the office wearing a certain type of dress doesn't necessarily mean it's ok... on my team women talk crap all the time about what some girls wear to work. It's actually funny, but seriously this is a corporate job so don't think you can wear short skirts or low cut blouses or even open toed shoes... but again, it really depends on your environment and what type of role in banking you have. Someone in risk may be able to get away with more casual wear than someone in M&A.
These sentiments are certainly understandable, and I believe the way to change these perceptions is through educating people about finance, just as GWI is doing. As you mentioned, experience is the best way to learn about the industry, hence my partner and I are currently working on creating a student investment fund so that students can learn about finance fundamentals by managing a portfolio and making trades in the real world. Like you, we also plan to participate in the KWHS Investment Competition for the first time as well. Furthermore, just after learning about ESG from GWI Scholar Olivia Ott, I am going to research it more and include it in our Investment Policy Statement. I respect what GWI is doing, and I hope by exposing students to the more positive and interesting aspects of finance, I could dispel the incomplete and negative misconceptions. Eventually, I hope students of different genders and races can explore and perhaps commit to the finance industry in the future.
Given how un-fun paying taxes is, you can imagine that everyone would store all their extra money in retirement accounts if they could. But of course, the government doesn’t allow that. It limits the amount of money you can put in retirement accounts. For instance, in 2012, you can only contribute $17,000 to a 401(k) or 403(b) account (though that will be bumped up to $17,500 for 2013). Similarly, you can only put $5,000 into an IRA in 2012 (and $5,500 in 2013).

I come from a completely non-traditional background when I was applying but ended up getting in the industry anyways. After you get in, at the junior level, hard work, have a good attitude/personality, motivation, adaptable and being smart at work (like let other ppl know you did the work..) will get you ahead, not if you are a girl or boy or loud mouth or not. 

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.
It is a very demanding profession as one needs to devote all her time and attention to work alone leaving less time for family. So when people have kids and don't have someone back at home to rear them, it becomes a source of constant guilt and grief for everyone in the system. It becomes extremely competitive and political at the senior management levels as only a few people can be accommodated at that level. If one is not able to give her 100% to work for whatever reasons, it becomes difficult to compete. It finally boils to the candidate's personal rapport with the top management and conscious gender sensitivity on the part of the organisation to get over this hurdle. Most firms are found wanting on this factor though in recent times at least the established ones with a large work force are trying to be conscious about it.
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.

From a male perspective, very interesting to read. Never thought about these issues women face in networking, and I’ve never had any such problem (that I know of!) in networking I’ve done with women or they with me. Still though, good to keep in mind when networking with women to prevent any misinterpretations or problems. Thanks for this article; this subject should be talked about a lot more.


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.
While a nice portfolio of stocks is bliss, having financial independence is way bigger than picking the right stock, fund or financial advisor. It’s about living in a way that supports your financial goals, having the confidence and knowledge to grow your money (alone or with a well chosen financial advisor), and creating income streams using either your highest skills, your money, or both to fund the lifestyle you desire.
Thank you for your coverage on this important issue. There have been some recent studies that breakout women in investment roles vs. those in what HBS Professor Lietz deems to be the "pink ghetto" or IR/Marketing/Portfolio Operations. Based on data from Professor Lietz and Preqin, it appears that women represent between 0% and 10% of senior investment professional staff at any given PE firm. Preqin came out with a report showing that women represent 9% of investment professionals at the senior level, 15% at the mid-level, and 24% at the junior level. This means that 42% of women fall away at the mid-level which points to the crux of the issue described in your report: women aren't moving past the junior, subordinated role into mid-level "decision-making" roles. This is likely due to bias within the firms' MBA recruiting and promotion panels. 

You’ve heard the stats that there are more CEOs named John in the U.S. than there are women CEOs? You don’t want to fall behind the Johns where you work, and that’s what will happen if your company isn’t willing to invest in you. Fortunately, you’re now armed with lots of bragging points and a great sense of the market value of what you do, which will help you seek out the next great opportunity and negotiate your new offers like a pro.
Younger men are far more likely to invest according to their values than their fathers were; 81% of millennial men in Morgan Stanley’s survey were interested in sustainable investing. And though fewer American men than women say they want to invest in companies with diverse leadership, the share is still sizeable, at 42%. If gender-lens investing is truly to take off, it will have to appeal to those who control the bulk of wealth—and that is still men.
However, after talking to more professionals in the finance field and reading articles like this, I have regained my faith in finance and became a co-leader for the finance club at my high school. My biggest concern is the one depicted in this article: the club has an extreme lack of female members (we only had one last year). As you have mentioned, this is unfortunate as diversity fosters more informed decisions. Similarly, Kelly Loeffler of Intercontinental Exchange, who was quoted in the KWHS article titled “Career Insight: Advice from New York Stock Exchange President Stacey Cunningham”, believes that gender should not be a limiting factor for the expression of intellectual curiosity. You mentioned how you felt uneasy in male-dominated classes, and as a male, I never had to go through the same feelings, but I certainly want to change this limiting atmosphere in academic settings. I think your mentioning of Kylie’s Cosmetics is a perfect example of how more female members could allow the male-dominated industry to make more informed and wise investments. Yet even though we recently had a female member take upon a leadership position, many other female classmates I’ve talked told have told me that the finance industry was “disgusting” and filled with greedy, misogynistic men.

Consider the guidance of a professional advisor. If thinking about saving for retirement overwhelms you, consider working with an advisor to help you set goals and make informed investment decisions. Seek recommendations from friends, or gather a group of friends together to interview potential advisors. Meeting with multiple advisors before making a decision will help ensure you find someone who is the right fit for your needs.
Women approach risk differently than men do. Studies show that men are more inclined to behave like baseball sluggers, who swing for the fences, even if it means running the risk of striking out far more often. Women, by contrast, are more like contact hitters, who are satisfied with a string of singles. These tendencies show up in various forms. For example, a 2013 study by Fidelity Investments found that men were much more likely than women to hold 100% of their assets in stocks. Openfolio’s data show that portfolios owned by men are subject to far wider swings in value. The problem is that investors who strike out frequently because they’re always trying to smash home runs can undermine their results.
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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. 

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.
1... biggest advice to any female looking to break into finance... drop the feminista thing, it won't get you anywhere. It's ok to be bitchy, and in fact may help you in certain instances, but don't ever, ever pull the feminist card. There's nothing worse than a person who chalks up their own personal failings to an "anti-me" thing. It's nothing more than an excuse for being a slacker.

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.”
Saul M. Simon, a certified financial planner with Simon Financial Group in Edison, N.J., recommends women investors start investing at work in their 401k or 403b 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.
I am recruiting, but I have a problem. We have reviewed over 40 CVs for a senior analyst position, and only 2 have been from women. I asked my head of HR to talk to the recruiter and make it clear that we wanted/expected to see more female applicants, but what he said shocked us. He said that at entry level in investment banking, 1 in 4 positions are filled by women. But by the time they get to associate level (year 4), the numbers have plummeted to just 1 in 18.
When I got my first management position nearly 15 years ago, My global manager said to remember, 'Transparency and honesty are key to managing relationships and gaining trust from people. And it’s harder than you think.' It’s true. It’s incredibly hard sometimes to deliver a message you know someone is not going to like, but in the long run, it really pays off to be as transparent about a situation as you can be.

Like Olivia Ott’s, my perception of asset management and finance is not an extremely positive one. Although I really like economics and do consider going into finance, I feel like it is still a male-dominated industry. Sheryl Sandberg says that we women have to “lean in” in the workplace, but that is easier said than done. Even in school, I feel uneasy to speak up in a class dominated by boys, imagine the same scenario, but in the workplace!
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