Roundtable: Gender Equality in Finance (Part 2)

Today is Gender Equality day, which celebrates women's suffrage

Aug 26, 2022 at 12:00 PM
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    It's a monumental day for investors, with the Jackson Hole Symposium dominating the conversation. But today is, more importantly in the grand scheme of things, also Women's Equality Day, which occurs every Aug. 26, to reflect the date women were granted the right to vote in the U.S. in 1920.

    However, there are many other hurdles women have overcome, and are still fighting, today. Especially in the investing world. Gender equality in the workplace, especially as it pertains to the stock market, is very important to us.

    To help along the dialogue, we posed some questions to several industry experts. And don't worry, there's no mansplaining in sight!

    Check out part one here

    Elise Decamp, Founder, Toki 

    As a woman in finance and business, we all have these stories. Whether it’s someone on an email chain assuming we are the assistant (which has happened way too many times) or being met with shock when we share that we are the CEO or lead investor at our firm (again, too frequent). My path has always been to visualize these experiences as rocket fuel. Each refill of rocket fuel propels me to want to make an even greater impact, go even farther.
     
    It’s addictive almost. Proving people wrong, shocking people at your capabilities, its motivating. And the biggest unlock for me was realizing this would never stop. That no matter what, as long as I was growing and progressing in my career, I would continue to be met with doubt. And if I wasn’t getting it, then I was actually stagnant. This change in perspective has actually made me grateful the experiences where I have been doubted or slighted because they mean I’m progressing. They fuel me toward that next push further up the mountain of “success”. At the end of the day, it’s about helping other women feel confident and fueled as they are met with the same experiences.
     

    Suzanne Powell Vice President & Well Management Advisor Meridian Wealth Management

    As a woman in the world of investing/finance, I have been able to elicit change for female financial advisors in my firm, both past and present. I started my career at Bank One (now JPM Chase) and worked closely with another female financial advisor. Unfortunately, the experience I had working side by side with her, and with other financial advisors, was not comfortable. I did not feel supported, and in fact, it felt like they would prefer I not be in the advisory business at all. I was not their competition, as we covered different territories, yet they still treated me that way. That same year, I remember another female advisor who was older than me, telling me very directly that I would never take over her clients because she was never going to retire—to sort of put me in my place. My response to her was, I have built my own client book up and I will continue to do so. After the experiences I had with those advisors, I started to train ongoing advisors into the firm, to make sure that they knew that they could always come to me for ideas, feedback, and help. I didn’t have that support as a new advisor, so it was important for me to give that support to advisors coming into the firm, both male and female.

    At the firm I am at now, we keep bringing on more female financial advisors, and I have taken it upon myself to make sure they know that they can shadow me, use my templates, pick my brain and ask me anything. It is important for women to support women in this business, so that women remain in this business. If we are not successful emotionally or financially, we will leave this business for an alternate career. And to be honest—we need MORE WOMEN ADVISORS! We are amazing at this career; we listen, we care, and we speak to our clients in a way that is understandable and relatable. I encourage all women I meet in the finance and banking channels to consider becoming a financial advisor, with the hopes that we will continue to do well and to break barriers together.

    Karen Burhoe is the Founder, CEO Making Cents Count

    Having spent my career in the financial industry, this topic is well within my wheelhouse! 

    I've been very fortunate to have been involved with recruiting efforts to attract more women into the financial and insurance industry throughout my career.  The biggest take-away being that women are often more thoughtful and strategic when it comes to investing, whether it’s for retirement or another purpose.

    But, in order to be included in these efforts and to gain acceptance within my industry, I had to have phenomenal results, which equates to big money. I figured out early on that if I wanted to make great money, I had to go where the money was, so (for me) that meant the securities industry.

    It's no secret the financial industry has always been male dominated; women being the anomaly.   The issue then becomes, what do we do when these women start retiring?  It's clear the need is even greater and it's time to tune-in and listen, not decide for women what they need.

    This is also the reason why I chose the industry I did; there was never going to be a decision-maker (other than myself) deciding how much money I could make. This was especially important to me as a woman and needing to be in financial control of ‘me’.

     

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