The April 2017 “Women and Investing: The New Face of Wealth” issue from GreenMoney is now online. Completely written by women with unique perspectives on impact investing, business, finance and activism. Below are the articles. 2017/18 is GMJ’s 25th Anniv Year.
What do an artificial heart, the theater, and Gabon all have in common? From where you’re sitting, probably not much. For me, however, they are key facets of my life that have led me to a career in impact investing. Years ago when I was an undergraduate, a team and I were assigned to construct an artificial heart. This heart that we built was intended to test a new piece of medical technology, a hemofoil valve. The valve, we found, held significant promise of reducing the development of fatal blood clots. The technology was pretty straightforward to me, however the questions following the test were not. Who now gets access to this valve? Only those who can pay the price? Only those who are younger, healthier, and have a possibly longer life to live? The discussions exposed me to the world of inequality that we live in – a world in which not everyone has equal access to technology, medicine, and opportunities more broadly.
After graduation I joined the Peace Corp in search of a new adventure and greater exposure to the world. I ended up working in Gabon, where I taught math and English to middle school-aged students. I lived in a small, rural village, of about 100 people, that had no access to electricity or running water. Despite these challenges, the village was able to support and care for each other. It was clear that their survival was very much dependent on their ability to come together as a community. I was impressed by their ability to work as a group, acknowledging and being respectful of each other’s and each of their own interdependence on one another. When I returned from Gabon I made the decision to focus on finance. My experiences abroad alongside my education had led me to the thinking that capital equates to power, and is a key determinant of capability for individuals, businesses, and communities. Although now I know that finance is only one piece of the pie of life, I still maintain the important role that it plays. READ FULL ARTICLE
by Kathleen McQuiggan, Senior VP, Global Women’s Strategies, Pax World and Managing Director, Pax Ellevate Mgmt.
For an industry that prides itself on mastering risk management, finding value and uncovering arbitrage opportunities, I think the financial services sector is falling flat. Why? Because most firms are overlooking one of the biggest investment opportunities ever: women. An overwhelming body of research supports the business case for gender equality. Companies with more women in leadership have higher returns on capital, greater innovation, increased productivity, and higher employee retention and satisfaction. For the small number of women that do succeed in our industry, it’s hardly a clear path to the executive suite. Consider my own professional story: As a veteran of the “mainstream” finance world, I was more than ready to pack my bags and get out in 2009. I didn’t look like the executives in the C-Suite or in the boardroom. I had lost my career sponsor, who had helped me navigate the perilous professional landscape at my firm. I certainly didn’t get up every day to be average, which is what they said I was. I felt trapped by the unconscious bias in the “thick layer in the middle” of management, which I have since found is not a unique experience – it’s a barrier for diversity and inclusion programs at many Wall Street firms. In the end, I stuck it out and carved my own path. But many women don’t. Lots of talented women simply don’t want to work in an industry where a hard glass ceiling is looming ominously over their heads.
Recently, the global consulting firm, Mercer reported, that “Helping women thrive is an imperative for the financial services industry.” They found that greater gender diversity positively impacts culture, enhances connection to customers, embraces new leadership competencies and provides access a broader talent pool. READ FULL ARTICLE