By contrast, wealth management was long in the shadows – and women quickly made inroads. After all, women frequently control the household purse strings in Asia. Strong ties between generations as well as reliable access to childcare have made it easier for Asia's women to re-enter the workforce after starting a family than for their U.S. and European counterparts.

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.
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." 

It is definitely doable. I am acquainted with one female at Barclays(some of you might know who I'm talking about) who has managed to wield a massive amount of influence over the company as an associate to where she is more or less a gatekeeper for MBA recruiting. She's very direct, very professional, and very people smart...and she didn't get to where she is by trying to by imitating someone else. She crafted and managed her own unique brand.
MS. URZAIZ: For sure. I think trying to set up the business that I have before e-commerce was a thing—I don't even know how I would have, you know, reached as many places that I reach. We ship to every continent in the world, to places as remote as Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia, that you wouldn't think we can reach. But everything—it's online. They reach me online and we're excited to say that my hammocks are used everywhere in the world.
“There are special reasons why women have got to take financial control through education and empowerment,” says Blayney. (One big reason: Women tend to lend longer than men, so they’ll need more money over their lifetimes.) However, about 35 percent of men around the world are financially literate, compared to 30 percent of women, according to a global financial literacy survey by The Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services. Furthering the issue, just 17 states require high school students to take a personal finance course—and that number hasn’t changed since 2014, according to the Council for Economic Education.
Coming in, I expected that my colleagues would be ultra-Type A, all work/no play, super serious folks given the nature of our work. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the great relationships and friendships I’ve developed at work and the camaraderie on our floor. I also expected the job to be extremely difficult in terms of the learning curve and was worried about my ability to handle it. It certainly is challenging, but with the support of my colleagues and mentors, I can really map out how much I’ve grown and learned over the past year. Everyone wants each other to succeed.
Women are, however, very confident in other forms of financial wellness. Nearly all (90%) reported ease in activities like paying off bills and creating budgets (84%). While these financial maintenance activities are important, they don't prevent the two big interruptions that exacerbate the looming million dollar gap in wealth. The study found that temporary interruption in employment had a permanent impact on their income, with 21% reporting that they were payed less for the same work after returning to work. The other cost driver was healthcare. Another study from 2013 found that women are now paying $195,000 more, on average, for healthcare and extended care due to living longer than men.
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.
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.”

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?
Do what you can to learn about investing now, because estimates show that women control 51 percent of wealth in the U.S. and are projected to control two-thirds by 2020, according to a Fidelity study. Yet women are more likely to say that "lack of investing knowledge or experience" and "too much information, or complexity of investing" are reasons they feel less confident, according to a Capital One investing survey. Consider taking an online investing course, downloading a podcast or wading through a book. (Warren Buffett's favorite is "The Intelligent Investor.")

I'm not going to lie, this can be a tough field for women in the long run. You'll feel like you are being passed up on promotions or being let go because of your sex, and in some cases you may very well be correct. I've seen BBs discriminate against women, and personally know women who have settled sexual discrimination cases with BBs for substantial settlements. With that said, the workplace is far more inviting to women than it used to be. Obstacles will always exist no matter where you go, so if IB is really what you want then go for it.
The report also found that the same barriers that might keep women from investing are the same issues that create and compound the gender gap, including breaks from employment due to family care responsibilities or hesitation around talking about money. “Women have come a long way both personally and professionally, but when it comes to their finances, there is still a trail left to blaze,” said Lorna Sabbia, head of Retirement and Personal Wealth Solutions for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “As women are at a tipping point to achieve greater financial empowerment and independence, it is even more essential that we support women in helping them pursue financial security for life." Women in the study noted that their top financial regret was not investing more (41%), and also mentioned that lack of investing knowledge (60%) and confidence in choices (34%) are top barriers that keep them from investing. Of all generational groups, Millennial women reported feeling the least confident (46%) in matters of investment.

MS. SPELLINGS: Well, and there's been some research on this of course, and you know, I used to say in speeches, you know, women don't feel uncomfortable saying huh, I can't balance my checkbook. You never go around saying huh I can't read, and it's almost okay to, you know, be, you know, phobic about numbers, or check out of those things. And I think we let our girls check out at early ages and have it be okay, but you're not, you're not good at math, or you're not good at science, and that that's kind of socially acceptable, and I think we have to confront those myths because it ends up being, you know, if you're not skilled and facile in math and at the seventh and eighth grade in algebra you're unlikely to be a PhD physicist. And so, we let our young girls check out of math and science at early ages and then we're off the path to those high potential fields going forward. And so, I think we all need to challenge ourselves, and when we say that to ourselves and our daughters check it.


MS. VERVEER: But I do think as we talk about leadership this is one of those spaces, and one where you can have tremendous impact at the local level, even when you're doing many other things. One of the things Kim and I noticed when we were writing Fast Forward was that women today tend to look at whatever they do, whether it's starting a business, they want a real purpose for that business, whether it's trying to address some kind of a local challenge, that there's this sense of purpose. I really want to make a difference. Are we peculiar that way?
First, you need to have a dream; second an idea of what your goal is and third, passion. Obviously having the skill set and working hard are important, but if you don’t have a dream and a goal, then don’t be surprised when you don’t get there. And if you don’t fill your dream with passion, then you can become disheartened about your career choice during the tough times. And there are always tough times in a cyclical business like finance. 

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.
Morningstar Investment Management LLC is a registered investment adviser and subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. The Morningstar name and logo are registered marks of Morningstar, Inc. Opinions expressed are as of the date indicated; such opinions are subject to change without notice. Morningstar Investment Management and its affiliates shall not be responsible for any trading decisions, damages, or other losses resulting from, or related to, the information, data, analyses or opinions or their use. This commentary is for informational purposes only. The information data, analyses, and opinions presented herein do not constitute investment advice, are provided solely for informational purposes and therefore are not an offer to buy or sell a security. Before making any investment decision, please consider consulting a financial or tax professional regarding your unique situation. Investment research is produced and issued by Morningstar, Inc. or subsidiaries of Morningstar, Inc. including, but not limited to, Morningstar Research Services LLC, registered with and governed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
It’s safe to say that Wall Street and the financial marketplace is largely male-dominated. Women only run 2% of hedge funds and there are only a handful of top female managers. When we think of the world’s greatest investors, we think of Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, Benjamin Graham, Mohnish Pabrai… and no women. There definitely need to be more opportunities in investing for women.
MS. VERVEER: As is always the case. We have such little time left, but there are so many exceptional women in this room who have been ambassadors, mentors for other exceptional women, many from other parts of the world who are the mentees in various areas. We touched very briefly on mentorship. You also mentioned sponsorship. But I've always noticed that when one comes into these arrangements of the mentee and the mentor each benefit-- 

Top GWI Takeaway: “In investment banking, they’re always making DCF models. I’ve always wondered, ‘What does this stand for? What are they doing?’ While we were here we worked in Excel and found out about DCF. DCF stands for Discounted Cash Flow [and is a valuation method used to evaluate the attractiveness of an investment opportunity.] I saw [company] income statement, balance sheet, working capital, cash flows; these are all different sheets within Excel that you bring together to create the DCF. I also saw how it intertwined with finding the value of a company, because you have to account for inflation and how much a company would be worth in five years.”
MS. VERVEER: As is always the case. We have such little time left, but there are so many exceptional women in this room who have been ambassadors, mentors for other exceptional women, many from other parts of the world who are the mentees in various areas. We touched very briefly on mentorship. You also mentioned sponsorship. But I've always noticed that when one comes into these arrangements of the mentee and the mentor each benefit--
Morningstar Investment Management LLC is a registered investment adviser and subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. The Morningstar name and logo are registered marks of Morningstar, Inc. Opinions expressed are as of the date indicated; such opinions are subject to change without notice. Morningstar Investment Management and its affiliates shall not be responsible for any trading decisions, damages, or other losses resulting from, or related to, the information, data, analyses or opinions or their use. This commentary is for informational purposes only. The information data, analyses, and opinions presented herein do not constitute investment advice, are provided solely for informational purposes and therefore are not an offer to buy or sell a security. Before making any investment decision, please consider consulting a financial or tax professional regarding your unique situation. Investment research is produced and issued by Morningstar, Inc. or subsidiaries of Morningstar, Inc. including, but not limited to, Morningstar Research Services LLC, registered with and governed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Money Motivation: “I’m really interested in technology, and my interest in finance started with cryptoinvesting. Four years back I read the Bitcoin Whitepaper and I thought it sounded like an amazing technology. This was before everyone started talking about cryptocurrencies. People thought I was crazy buying bitcoin, but it ended up being a great investment because last December it jumped up to $20,000 and I had bought it around $1,000. I sold my bitcoin then and made $7,000. I still have .22 of a bitcoin just in case it goes up again. I started by learning the fundamentals. Right now there are so many different cryptocurrencies people are trying to buy in these initial coin offerings, but if you don’t dive into the fundamentals and understand how the technology works, you could get scammed and lose money. You shouldn’t put money into something that you don’t understand.”
MS. TURLINGTON BURNS: Well, I guess, I mean, mainly we started after the film came out. We were a resource. You know, who's doing what where was the way we sort of saw ourselves. And through that, I got to meet a lot of different organizations working in maternal health. Also, as a student of Public Health, you know, the world is fairly small in the maternal child health space. So, I started to get to meet a lot of incredible people who have been working their entire careers, Melanne being one of those people. And so, you know, having access to women who were leaders in these areas was incredibly inspiring. And then in terms of finding partners, I mean we started as a campaign, and then I learned that that wasn't completely fulfilling. I felt like I wanted to do more and I wanted to really connect people who were being moved by learning this information and wanting to do something that it was really hard for them to do that. So, I felt like ultimately starting an organization that I could have more control. Being able to put those pieces together and connect those dots was a lot more gratifying, not only for the community we were trying to bring along but also for the NGOs on the ground. And what I've found over time is that smaller, grassroots, community-led groups are the most exciting to work with because they truly do partner with you. And we have, as an organization, funded some larger initiatives, and you know, it's hard to get the phone picked up, and it's hard to—you know, there's a lot of turnover in the people who run the program, and you just want to, you want to have that human touch, and so, it's something that I really strive for with Every Mother Counts to continue to have that human touch. It's the most human of all issues that I can think of, and for people who have an experience or suffer a loss, or lose a loved one, or the healthcare providers that are trying to, you know, provide services every day, I think it's really important that all of those people feel, you know, respected, and have a voice, and that we can be there for them.

Those are the questions we sought to answer through a survey conducted by CNBC and LinkedIn. This look at challenges facing women on Wall Street is the first in a series of surveys aimed at highlighting some of the big issues facing women in the workplace. We polled over 1,000 men and women who work across the financial services industry in banking, capital markets, financial services, investment banking and investment management in the U.S. The survey was conducted between April 18 and 27. Participants were invited on a random basis and self-reported gender.
“It’s been great,” said Wall, a Seattle native, pointing to the Brown Bag Lunch Series — a series of lunchtime conversations with men and women from across the investment industry, including Notre Dame Vice President and CIO Scott Malpass — as a particular highlight. “I especially appreciated the sheer variety of practitioners across all asset classes that came and discussed their career paths.”

Betterment’s research found that in addition to taking a more hands-off approach, female investors were less likely to indulge in what Swift calls “erratic behavior,” meaning less likely to dump all of their stocks and go completely into bonds or vice versa. Although the majority of male investors in the study didn’t behave this way, men were nearly six times more likely than women to make this move.
×