MS. KATZIFF: Well thank you, we do appreciate the feedback and agree that there's a lot of talented women in our organization. But we have had women's programs, women's development programs for years, decades now. One of the things that we did realize though is there was so many around the globe, in the United States and around the globe that last year we realized that there would be some significant power in pulling that all together. So, we have made significant progress but if we came up with a common core mission. And so we formed an umbrella organization, the Investing in Women's Council, at the beginning of 2016 and I am very lucky to be the Executive Sponsor and Leader of that. And we came up with four additional kind of core common goals for us. One is attracting, hiring, retaining women. One is in addition to broad women we realized we really needed to focus on ethnic diversity as it relates to female leadership, and pulling up ethnic diversity in women to higher levels in our organization. Also, just development programs in general. We had tons of them, probably almost too many, and how to depict the few that were extraordinarily impactful, and then track women along the way after they went through the programs. And the last thing we called out as a focus, Margaret mentioned, which was the advocacy, and how do you bring men and women into the fold to being very strong advocates every single day, and how do you bring that to work? So, those are just some new things we have been doing in the last year, year and a half to push it forward.
Moreover, I also imagine the finance industry to be intimidating by nature. To me, it requires people to make quick and sound judgments, as well as be competitive and cutthroat. However, these perceptions were based upon myths and Hollywood movies designed to generate revenue and not create awareness of the industry. They, therefore, may not match reality. This is why I believe that Girls who Invest are playing a major role in changing the perception women have towards the asset management industry. They are doing so by tackling the issue by its roots — educating young women about the industry and destroying myths and untrue perceptions. Also, by aiming to transform the finance-industry landscape with the inclusion of women in finance, GWI is working towards benefiting the industry as a whole.
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.
And if you’re new to the table, bring a friend. Murphy has recently criss-crossed the country speaking to groups of women about their money. She notes that one thing that helps reluctant women get involved is to do it with a friend. Events where the invite has said “bring a friend” draw standing room-only crowds, she says. “Women love talking to each other about their experiences and once they get started they do very well. There’s an unwarranted confidence gap that doesn’t play out.”
As you near your retirement, you should start moving some of your risky investments to safer avenues such as Debt Mutual Funds. But don’t give up investing in equities yet. Inflation will have a huge impact on your savings once you retire and equities are the only investments that can save you in the long run. Ensure that you have set up different income sources so that you don’t run the risk of lower returns from one income source.
So, I came home and I reached back out to CARE and I said how, you know, "What can I do? How can I help?" They were like "Oh, that's exactly what we were hoping." But it was hard for me to just engage in maternal health. They do a number of different programs and I was like very specific I want to do something in El Salvador, and I wanted to do it now. And that's really not that easy to do, and so I came back home, had my son, no complications, and started to plan my course. And that really started with going back to school. I worked on a Masters of Public Health at Columbia University, and starting my first documentary film, which was called No Woman, No Cry, and came out in 2010. And that, that experience was almost like a thesis. I mean I went to four countries and spent several weeks in those countries, just really looking at what are the barriers? What are the challenges? And what are the solutions? And really focusing on the what is possible side of that equation.
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 percent plunge in the S&P 500 stock market index in 2008, this index gained an average of 7.25 percent annually between 2006 and 2015.
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 percent plunge in the S&P 500 stock market index in 2008, this index gained an average of 7.25 percent annually between 2006 and 2015.
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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.
Nearly two-thirds of women polled say females are less likely than males to reach leadership roles. Only 56 percent of men and 37 percent of women agree that males and females are equally likely to become leaders in their industry. What's holding women back? Almost no one says the biggest obstacle is women opting out of leadership positions. Rather, it comes down to how quickly employees are promoted. Fewer than half of women (47 percent) felt that “men and women are promoted at an equal rate at their companies," and 26 percent of men also identified this gap.
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.
WIN is a forum for full-time MBA women from top business schools around the country and investment professionals from sponsoring firms to gather, network, hear perspectives on investment careers and related topics from industry representatives, learn from distinguished women and men in the industry; and showcase their stock-picking skills in front of judges from sponsoring firms and obtain feedback on their pitches.  More than 60 women MBA students from top business schools and 65 representatives from top-tier investment management firms are expected to attend.
Conventional wisdom “blames” women for this gap. We receive messages that we’re not as good at math as men; we’re not as good at investing. Um, no. Studies have found that once women do invest, they outperform men by nearly one percentage point a year. This was confirmed recently by Fidelity, which analyzed the performance of 8 million retail clients in 2016. Typically women outperform because they don’t overtrade, panic in down markets, or pay too much in fees.
Imagine how much easier it would be to manage your finances if change were not an ever-present dynamic. Of course, change is a fact of life – and life would be pretty boring without it! But change can certainly make long-term financial management difficult. Without insight into the future and what might transpire, planning presents plenty of challenges.
MS. NELSON: Lots of great, great advice. I think you know often times people underestimate the power of mentoring and think oh that's sort of soft, but actually what I have seen in 20 years of working with Vital Voices is that it's a strategy, it works. My mentor here, she always hates that I acknowledge her, but my mentor here Melanne, I know I wouldn't be in the job that I'm in without her. And I think that mentors are the people who don't just pull you up, but also are the ones that are willing to stand behind you and believe in you, maybe even sometimes as you said, you know, before you believe in yourself.
Remember that there are many different definitions of "retirement." You don't have to attain some preconceived ideal. To reference our survey again, though the largest percentage of our respondents said they planned on a traditional retirement (i.e., leaving the workforce entirely between ages 65 and 70), a significant portion also reported making the forced or unforced choice to put off retirement or transition to a second career.6
MS. SPELLINGS: And certainly as public policy leaders. So, I think the reason it's so important is because we're going nowhere fast if we leave this much human potential and talent on the table. We know the facts over and over and over. When you educate a woman you educate a family. When you spend a dollar on a woman 97 cents of it goes to her children and family and community, and on and on and on. So, it's a great business case and a great moral imperative I would say to do this work.
#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.
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