Commentary: The gender inclusion equation — fostering the longevity of women’s careers in finance

As two female CEOs in the world of investment management, we have personally experienced the challenges of working in male-dominated spaces, but we have also seen the strides made in the institutional industry to recognize the incredible potential of women and pave the way forward.

We know that the financial industry has work to do, including a collective responsibility to ensure that people who have chosen this career path – those in leadership, managers, employees – have the training and the knowledge needed to attract and retain women.

Recent data from McKinsey & Co. reports a stark reality. While we see more women interested in a career in finance and pursuing it at entry level, there is much lower representation at higher levels. This trend is more pronounced when looking at asset management. As reported in Ellen Carr and Katrina Dudley’s recent book, “Undiversified: The Big Gender Short in Investment Management,” Bella Research Group and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation found that 0.9% of investable assets in the United States are run by companies majority-owned by women or minorities. Hard to believe, isn’t it?

Every day, and especially during Women’s History Month in March, it is essential that we not only shine a light on the women who have broken the “glass ceiling”, but also that we stand up for the women who face to unique challenges at each stage of their professional journey.

What can we do to identify and recognize these people and help young women reach their full potential?