There are certainly more women working in the financial industry than there were a few decades ago, but there's still a lot of work to be done. In fact, just 20% of senior roles in financial corporations are held by women in 2018.
Industry Focus: Financials contributor Matt Frankel, CFP, recently had the chance to talk to Tracey Davies, president of the Money 20/20 conference, about a new initiative to get ambitious women involved in the financial industry. Here are the details, as well as how you could get involved.
A full transcript follows the video.
This video was recorded on Oct. 29, 2018.
Jason Moser: When we look at this next topic, this is one that you and I both support, no question. For whatever reason or another, we just don't see as many women in money and finance as you would think. If you listen to LouAnn Lofton, she wrote a terrific book about Warren Buffett, how he invests like a girl. I recommend anyone out there who hasn't read it to check it out. LouAnn is a longtime favorite of ours here at the Fool. The bottom line is, women are really good with money, really smart with money. It seems like we should have more in this profession. But for whatever reason, we don't. You had the opportunity to interview the Money20/20 president, Tracey Davies. Talk to me about what you learned.
Matt Frankel: Ms. Davies is really trying to push for inclusion on all levels, they're just trying to start with gender. It makes sense, women are the biggest minority pool out there with 50% of the population. Finance is an industry that generally has not been very inclusive traditionally. If I asked everybody who's listening to close their eyes and think of an investment bank's boardroom, you're probably picturing a bunch of old white men sitting around a table. There's a reason for that. Historically, that's been the case. Over the past couple of decades or so, they've done a very good job of becoming a more inclusive industry as a whole. But we need to do better.
Mr. Davies shared with me that only about 20% of leadership roles, meaning executive positions in the financial sector, are held by women. Only about 20%. They're starting what's called this Rise Up Initiative. The way she described it was an accelerator for ambitious women who want to get their start in the financial industry. Basically, they apply to this program, they go to the Money20/20 conference that I was at. They're in this program, and they have very great, unprecedented, one-on-one access with leaders, both male and female, in the financial industry, seminars. One was called Ascending to the C-Suite that I saw. It's a very intimate program, only 30 people this year. They're planning on expanding it somewhat, but still keeping it pretty small.
It's really nice to see these initiatives. Like I said, they're only starting with gender. They're planning on embracing all kinds of inclusiveness. This program was in its first year, and she said they had too much interest, which is a great problem to have. It's really nice to see. Like I said, the financial industry has been doing great, but we have to do better with being inclusive. It's really nice to see them taking a step in the right direction.
Moser: I agree 100%. Speaking as a father of two young daughters, I get excited when I think about the opportunities that they're going to have as they get older. They both always tell me they want to work at The Motley Fool. [laughs] I think they see how much fun I have at my job, so they figure, hey, why not? And I want that possibility to exist. I want them to have the world at their fingertips.
Another great advocate for women in finance, Sallie Krawcheck. You can follow her on Twitter @SallieKrawcheck. She's also the founder of this platform, Ellevest, which is essentially women in finance. It's the same basic message. It's giving women a place to learn more, to be more, to grow more, to take advantage of the opportunities out there. Certainly something we can all get behind. We look forward to the opportunities to bring more women in finance to our ranks there at The Motley Fool. That's great, I'm glad you had the chance to speak with Tracy out there.
Frankel: Actually, before we go on, she asked me to share her email, if any of our listeners might be interested in the Rise Up program.
Moser: Absolutely! Yeah, please give us that!
Frankel: Sure. It's firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moser: Terrific! Excellent! Hopefully we have some listeners out there that can reach out and learn more.