Girls Who Invest wants to fundamentally transform the finance-industry landscape. “A lot of young women who are [college] freshmen have no idea that the asset management industry exists,” said Janet Cowell, CEO of Girls Who Invest and a recent speaker at the Wharton Global Forum in New York City. Cowell joined the Knowledge@Wharton radio show, which airs on Wharton Business Radio on SiriusXM, to discuss why it’s important to get more women and minorities involved in finance. “People have vague notions of banking, but they don’t really know what that means. So, it’s exposing them to the industry and the opportunities, and dispelling some of the myths about the finance industry or at least giving them a more holistic perspective. It’s not all the Wolves of Wall Street or some of these movies they’ve seen. And it’s not all about greed. Finance can be about social impact. As they start learning that, we have young women who have the quantitative skills and interest, and we train them.”
Free tools designed for women. Fidelity.com/itstime was designed to provide insights and next steps around the life events that matter most to women, whether you're about to get married, changing careers or caring for aging parents. Available here are talks and workshops, articles, checklists, and other guidance targeted to help navigate financial challenges.
Whether your funds come from family, student loans, scholarships or your own wallet, you’ll need to budget for expenses like textbooks, housing and, yes, a social life. Knowing who’s footing the bill, what costs to expect and which ones you can live without — ideally before school starts — can reduce stress and help you form healthy financial habits for the future.
Looking back, I’d emphasize to never sell yourself short and believe in the value you can add to a client. I never thought my opinions and judgment as a 22-year-old would be valuable to a client (isn’t that what my bosses are for?), but this role elevates you to positions where you will be asked for your thoughts and asked to represent the firm in various client situations.

Girls Who Invest wants to fundamentally transform the finance-industry landscape. “A lot of young women who are [college] freshmen have no idea that the asset management industry exists,” said Janet Cowell, CEO of Girls Who Invest and a recent speaker at the Wharton Global Forum in New York City. Cowell joined the Knowledge@Wharton radio show, which airs on Wharton Business Radio on SiriusXM, to discuss why it’s important to get more women and minorities involved in finance. “People have vague notions of banking, but they don’t really know what that means. So, it’s exposing them to the industry and the opportunities, and dispelling some of the myths about the finance industry or at least giving them a more holistic perspective. It’s not all the Wolves of Wall Street or some of these movies they’ve seen. And it’s not all about greed. Finance can be about social impact. As they start learning that, we have young women who have the quantitative skills and interest, and we train them.”
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.
although it sounds great---i am not being argumentative--that more females are getting into fields previously dominated by males, i think it is still an uphill battle thus important to get a feel to the environment and culture. there may be unwarranted traditions, but there may also be some practical considerations, that is, some fields are better suited for one sex vs the other for understandable reasons. say, most top surgeons are males. heck, most top OB GYNs are males!
I cannot echo this enough. There is a female in a high level position at my firm and whenever she visits we go out for drinks where she spends the entire time trying to be one of the guys. Making stripper jokes, talking about football, etc. I mean not in a natural way either. It is constant during the entire conversation and obviously forced. Maybe some insecure little betas find it endearing. However,I find it annoying and it makes me think I can't trust anything she says since she's always putting on a grotesque facade. The world has changed so much I think it best to just be yourself. Yes there may be some misogynist leftovers from the Madmen days, but their numbers are dwindling and with that their power over your career.
To be successful, business development VP Marissa Meiter says, “You can’t be afraid to put yourself out there, the worst thing someone can do is tell you the timing isn’t right.” Meiter taps into her experience working at a family-owned bank equipment business and appreciates the company’s focus on relationship building. She enjoys hearing the business owner’s stories and educating them on their M&A options.
As an analyst, I'm also part of an employee networking group called Junior Women Connect, which organises a range of networking and career events. Last year we organised an event called "Power Dressing 101", which consisted of an evening in an L.K. Bennett store hosted by a professional stylist who advised us on how to dress for work and the impact of our image on people's perceptions of us.
Many women reserved their ire for the "F" word: family. Male bankers with families are feted as breadwinners, said one. "There's still the assumption - often made by senior bankers with stay at home wives -  that a woman's income is the secondary income," she said. In reality, this often isn't the case: "Almost all the senior women I know in finance have househusbands, but they're not going to broadcast that fact."

Female Financial Year

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