Americans as a whole are drastically under-saved for retirement. According to a recent report by the Economic Policy Institute, nearly half of all families have no retirement-account savings at all.1 Women are disproportionately impacted by this shortfall for a number of reasons. Consider the socioeconomic factors that are creating obstacles for women in America today:
So, if you’re eager to make a major job or career change… you guessed it, make a plan. Consider making a list of pros and cons for taking the plunge. If everything in your life is pointing to making a major change, figure out what new goal makes the most sense for you. Take an inventory of your skills and experience, along with your interests and aspirations, and figure out which careers/industries you best align with. Do you have any friends or family who have jobs that sound potentially intriguing to you? If so, ask them more about it. Do your research—the Internet is a great source of information for researching new companies and careers.
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.
Furthermore, women tend to be more cautious than men. They could be great assets for managing the less risky funds, as well as coming up with solid fixed-income investments. Although it is exciting to risk and watch the stock market volatility, asset management businesses need a “devil’s advocate” on the safer side, which is a great role for a woman to take. That is not to say that women can’t also make risky investments, but that is just the general consensus of psychological and sociological studies that I have read in the past.
Focusing on the goal is smart because it forces you to consider your personal needs rather than some arbitrary measure of success. “It’s not that women aren’t concerned about getting a great return,” says Zaneilia Harris, a certified financial planner and president of Harris & Harris Wealth Management, in Upper Marlboro, Md. “But they don’t care what their friends are doing; it’s all about their individual goals.”
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.
My boss once told me to always have the strength to admit when I’m wrong. There’s nothing more intimidating than realizing you’ve made a mistake, and it takes a lot of confidence and courage to admit it. Just remember that we’re all human, and it’s better to own up to mistakes rather than hide them. (Plus they rarely stay hidden). It really builds respect and trust among a team.
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.
From what I've seen as a dude, the women who are most successful are the ones who are competent, confident, and drama-free. The biggest mistake I've seen is women trying to imitate men. It's a mistake, because what a lot of people think "men" act like is usually not how the most successful men act. You've almost certainly got a massively better ability to read people than your male peers, better soft persuasion skills, and you look better. Be pleasant, be professional, and most of the younger guys wont' care. Can't speak for the older ones.