Women in the Field of Finance

Apr 15, 2019 10:05 AM ET

by Amy Domini, Founder and Cahir of Domini Impact Investments 

This will be my fifth year contributing to this GreenMoney issue dedicated to Women and Investing. In the past I have discussed studies showing that women are good, that is, above average, investors; I have discussed my discomfort with making gender the only lens through which people make investment decisions, but I have not yet discussed the process by which a firm, like the two I am involved with, makes the move from minority female to majority female. Nor have I discussed one woman who was particularly important to my own advancement. 

Domini Impact Investments has five employee equity-owning managers in leadership. Four of the five are female. The Sustainability Group has four partner-level members and three of the four are female. I feel pretty secure in stating that female leadership is possible, even within the financial asset management field.

Much as I enjoy managing assets for women, it is the female work-partners like Carole Liable and Wendy Holding, that I feel the strongest connection with. We seem to have the same assumptions. While we sometimes make appointments to catch up, we generally catch up several times a week without appointments. We all volunteer to write the first draft, to take on the tough phone call, to dig through the files for the key data point. Yes, I chose my partners sensing that they had these qualities, but we re-enforce them with our interaction. And it has led to long-term relationships. 

Over my career I have reached out to women, many of whom are now my fiercest competitors, and most loyal defenders. Julie Goodrich, founder of NorthStar Asset Management, and I together taught Ethical Investing classes. Patricia Farrar-Rivas, CEO of Veris Wealth Partners and Kathy Leonard, founder of the Leonard-McDevitte Sustainable Investment Group at UBS went on retreats together with me (yes men were invited too) to address barriers to our field and to evaluate solutions. Julie Eades, past President of New Hampshire Community Development Loan Fund was in the room with me as we drafted guidelines to create the predecessor to what is today Opportunities Finance Network. Listing names is not the point. The point is that it is clear to me that each of these women has tried to be deliberate in finding and promoting women in the field of finance, just as I was, and just as Joan Bavaria was. What began as a slender silken thread has become a woven fabric. The African proverb reminds me of my female colleagues, “when spiderwebs unite, they can tie up the lion.”

Read Amy's full post here as well as her extensive bio -   https://greenmoney.com/women-in-the-field-of-finance  



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