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Life Story Financial Celebrates Women's History Month: Achievements of Women in Finance Throughout The Years


womens history month in finance

As March rolls in, so does celebrating Women's History Month. It's a time to honor the contributions, achievements, and resilience of women throughout history and in contemporary society. From groundbreaking inventions to financial milestones, women have continuously shaped the world we live in today. To kick off the celebration, let's delve into some fascinating and fun facts about Women's History Month.

 

"Here's to strong women: may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them."

 

Celebrating Women in Finance for Women’s History Month

While traditionally a male-dominated industry, the world of finance is finally seeing an influx of talented women breaking barriers and making their mark. From opening the first bank for women to leading a multinational financial corporation, women in finance have demonstrated exceptional skills and acumen. 

 

In 1975 (the year I was born, woot!), women’s rights activist and writer Betty Friedan opened the First Women’s Bank. As the name implies, it was the first full-service bank catering to women and was in New York City. Her bank helped foster equal banking opportunities for women and provided a host of educational seminars for women on financial topics.

 

Another notable figure is Abigail Johnson, who serves as the CEO of Fidelity Investments, one of the largest financial services companies in the world. Johnson, who succeeded her father, Edward C. Johnson III, is known for her strategic vision and commitment to innovation.

 

Investment Pioneers Highlighted During Women’s History Month

Women have played pivotal roles in shaping investment strategies and driving economic growth. One such pioneer is Muriel "Mickie" Siebert, who made history in 1967 as the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Known as the "First Woman of Finance," Siebert broke down barriers in the male-dominated world of Wall Street and paved the way for future generations of women in finance.

 

Impact Investing: a Particular Interest for Women

In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on impact investing, where financial decisions are made to generate positive social and environmental impact alongside financial returns. Women are at the forefront of this movement, leveraging their unique perspectives and values to drive sustainable change. 

 

Sallie Krawcheck, CEO, and Co-founder of Ellevest, a digital investment platform for women, is a vocal advocate for gender diversity and social impact investing.

 

Deborah Winshel of BlackRock is rethinking how to make an impact through investing. Overseeing $200 billion in assets, BlackRock Impact offers clients values-based, ESG-based and Impact Investing strategies. She leverages BlackRock’s metrics-based approach to measure investors’ social impact. 

 

Organizations that are Working to Bridge the Gender Wage Gap 

Despite progress, women in finance still face challenges such as unequal pay and underrepresentation in leadership positions, which affect our earnings and long-term savings power. However, initiatives aimed at bridging the gender pay gap are gaining momentum. 

Organizations like Girls Who Invest and Women in Finance are dedicated to empowering women and promoting diversity in the financial sector through education, mentorship, and advocacy. These efforts are crucial in creating a more inclusive and equitable industry for future generations of women.

 

Financial Literacy Advocates

Empowering women through financial literacy is the key to gaining (and maintaining) financial independence. Women like Suze Orman, a renowned personal finance expert and author, have dedicated their careers to educating women about money management and investment strategies. Through books, television shows, and public speaking engagements, Orman has empowered millions of women to take control of their financial futures.

 

The Importance of Women’s History Month in Finance

It's inspiring and essential to recognize the invaluable contributions of women in finance and continue working towards a more inclusive and equitable financial industry. By championing diversity, fostering mentorship, and advocating for equal opportunities, we can create a future where women thrive and excel in all aspects of finance—whether on the work front or with our personal finances.

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