10 Influential Women In Finance Share How They Intend To Use Their Influence To Disrupt The Status Quo
"Ideally," shares this one female exec, "learning should a be a lifelong undertaking."
Women constitute a majority of the US population, yet still less than 20 percent of leadership positions in the finance industry are held by women. Despite enormous progress, the finance industry is still a male dominated industry.
A recent series in Authority Magazine profiled hundreds of women who broke the trend and became prominent leaders in the finance industry. In the article below, ten prominent women leaders in the finance industry were asked how they intend to use their position to disrupt the status quo and shake things up for the future. Take a look at their replies below.
These interviews have been edited for length and clarity.
Kelly Steckelberg (Zoom CFO)I want to inspire a movement that ensures every child gets an education or skills training. I believe education is the greatest way to empower someone and the benefits extend far beyond the individual to ultimately benefit society as a whole. Ideally, learning should be a lifelong undertaking. In fact, at Zoom, lifelong learning is one of our core themes and a pillar in our philanthropic giving. We invest in our employees’ and their family’s learning by paying for any books anyone in the family would like to purchase. We also give to organizations focused on bettering educational opportunities.
Lindsay Sacknoff (TD Bank SVP)I’d like to start a movement for more actual movement in our office lives! Imagine if we encouraged our employees to take time out of their days to walk with each other or schedule walking meetings? I think organizing or coordinating a time for employees and leaders to come together during lunch or to take a morning break to exercise, network and build relationships by simply taking a walk with one another would go a long way in terms of encouraging a healthy workplace -- physically and mentally.
Cynthia Loh (Charles Schwab VP)One of the biggest issues affecting consumers today is that the financial planning and advice that so many people need isn’t accessible, or consumers don’t have a clue where to start among a myriad of options. It’s our obligation to future generations to lower costs and other barriers to entry so that more people can feel confident in their financial futures. This is one of the many things that drives me at Schwab as I lead the teams that build our robo advice offerings, in our mission to leverage the best of people and technology to democratize access to financial advice.
Julie Fox (UBS Financial Services Director)It excites me to see more women enter the financial services industry because we don’t have enough! I would love to see more interest in our industry from millennials and see more women come into and stay in this industry. The only way we can change that is by helping each other and working together to do this -- no matter what age, firm or gender you are! The industry has made a lot of strides in doing this but there is still is a long way to go, and if we can get it right, it will change the way we work with clients in the future.
Lisa M. Buckingham (Lincoln Financial EVP)The movement I would love to inspire is to be yourself fearlessly. Authenticity is something so important and often so lost today’s society. To be yourself is to have the courage to define your version of a successful life. It is not the same for everyone -- some thrive in stressful jobs, some like laid-back lifestyles, some desire to expand their families, and so on… and you need to know what is right for you despite what others may define as success. As famously stated, diversity is the one true thing we all have in common -- celebrate it every day. At Lincoln, I’ve been a champion for Diversity and Inclusion and our “dress-for-your-day” policy. The policy enables our employees to determine how they want to dress to come to work and what makes them feel most comfortable for that day. Even something that may feel simple, such as the option to work in casual clothes, can unleash someone’s creativity. I cannot even imagine how beautiful of a place the world would be if we could all just always be ourselves and be celebrated for it.
Chikako Okada Tyler (California Bank & Trust VP)
If you are a woman, take a risk and say something. Too many women are concerned with what other people think about them or how they will be perceived if they say the wrong thing. You are an intelligent, worthwhile human being and your thoughts have value.
Also companies and societies need to start signaling that both men and women can take on non-traditional roles at home and in the workplace. The more our society sees role models either through media, workplace or the home that are different, acceptable and of nontraditional gender roles, the more this will become “normal” and acceptable.