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Congratulations to the Class of 2015!

With pomp and circumstance, the Young Women’s Preparatory Network Class of 2015 proudly walked the stage and accepted their high school diplomas. Cumulatively, there were 247 graduates from our schools in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Lubbock, and San Antonio, 68% of whom will be first-generation college attendees. We are proud to announce that 100% of the graduates have been accepted to college!  In the fall, they will be attending 87 different school across the nation, with 27% going out of state! To date, they have received offers of almost $28M in academic and merit scholarships. We could not be more proud of our young women. 
Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders
Austin

The Class of 2015 is the school’s third graduating class. The 85 graduates have received offers of over $10.2M in academic and merit scholarships. This fall, ARS graduates will be on campuses, such as Princeton, Northwestern, Texas A&M, Stanford, and the University of Texas at Austin. This year, the Ann Richards School was recognized as the 24th Best High school in Texas by the US News and World Report and the 19th Most Challenging High School in the Nation by the Washington Post.

Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School
Dallas

The 59 members of the Class of 2015 have received offers of over $9M in academic and merit scholarships. This year 85% of the graduates are first-generation college attendees. The girls plan on attending colleges across the U.S. including Wellesley, Notre Dame, USC, Texas A&M, Austin College, and Iowa State. In 2015, the Irma Rangel School was recognized as the 12thBest High School in Texas, 21st Best Magnet School in the Nation and 75th Best High School in the Nation by US News and World Report. The school was also recognized by the Washington Post as the 15th Most Challenging High School in the Nation. 
Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy
Houston

Opened in 2011, the school’s FIRST class of seniors graduated in June 2015! The 44 graduates have received academic and merit scholarship offers of $3M. Students will attend prestigious colleges, such as Pitzer College, Georgetown University, and the University of Virginia, with several girls receiving fully-funded, room/board, tuition, and fees to their respective institutions. The inaugural graduating class has certainly set the bar high for subsequent classes!

Click the link below for news coverage of the Class of 2015:  
Young Women’s  College Preparatory Academy, Houston
Talkington School for Young Women Leaders 
Lubbock

The Class of 2015 is the second graduating class of the Talkington School for Young Women Leaders. This year, the girls certainly lived up to the school’s motto, “Reject Average & Embrace Excellence.”  The 31 graduates have received offers of $1.7M in academic and merit scholarships. That is an average of $55,000 per graduate! This fall, the girls will attend esteemed institutions,such as Austin College, Texas Tech, Georgia State, and the University of Houston. In 2015, the school was recognized as the 13th Most Challenging High School in the Nation by the Washington Post.

Click the link below for news coverage of the Class of 2015:  

Talkington School for Young Women Leaders, Lubbock
Young Women’s Leadership Academy
San Antonio

This year, 28 young ladies are members of the Class of 2015, the school’s second graduating class. Combined, these outstanding graduates have received offers of $4M in academic and merit scholarships. The girls will walk the halls on campuses, such as the University of Rochester, Georgetown, Texas A&M, Texas Woman’s University, St. Mary’s and Arizona State. The YWLA was recently recognized as the 27th Most Challenging High School in the Nation by the Washington Post and the #1 Middle School in San Antonio by Children at Risk.

It is clear that our model works, changing the lives of these girls and their families. The Class of 2015 is on a path to a brighter future through education. Thank you for being a part of their journey!

Happy Monday!

Firstly, congratulations to TXWSW’s very own Danielle DiMartino-Booth on her new role at the Liscio Report. After 8 years at the Dallas Fed working for Richard Fisher, we now get to read her commentary before it is a year old. I am pleased to share her piece entitled The Sin of Commission here: http://tlrii.typepad.com/theliscioreport/2015/06/the-sin-of-commission.html

Kudos to NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer for implementing an innovative tool in the evaluation of their external money managers to focus on the amount of diversity a manager brings to the table. To quote: Diversity is not merely a social value, it has strong economic value for our investments,” Mr. Stringer said in a news release. “We want the companies in which we invest to harness the economic and financial benefits of diversity. Now we’re going to ask the people who help us choose where to invest our money to show us that they walk the talk when it comes to diversity.” The full article can be found here:http://www.pionline.com/article/20150501/ONLINE/150509994/nyc-comptroller-rolls-out-diversity-initiative-for-evaluating-managers

A thump on the head to Silicon Valley – in spite of their commitment to increased diversity, little progress has been made. More sound and fury: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/06/28/new-diversity-reports-show-the-same-old-results/?_r=0

And an editorial from Pensions & Investments on why investors should push companies to do something about board diversity before it becomes a government mandate: http://www.pionline.com/article/20150518/PRINT/305189999/the-dividends-of-diversity

Lastly, a great article whose title says it all: ‘Why Women Apologize and Should Stop.’ After I read the article, I had to communicate with someone who had let me down on a deliverable, and my first instinct would have been to include an apology even though this person was in the wrong. The article’s advice of drop the apology and focus instead on the message was a very powerful one and got the results I needed. This is a worthwhile read:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/23/opinion/when-an-apology-is-anything-but.html

We have a terrific line up of events for the summer months. Don’t forget we take August off, so sign up now for June and July.  Register early to avoid disappointment!

 

Kind regards

 

Christine

Happy Monday!

The article focus is on working moms this week. The first one is a report from CNN on a Harvard Study that showed that children of working moms are actually better off – the daughters of working moms were more successful themselves in the workplace, and sons are more likely to contribute to child rearing and household chores – a win/win for families everywhere! The full article can be found here: http://money.cnn.com/2015/06/15/news/economy/working-moms-kids-better-off-harvard-study/

An article in the Wall Street Journal by the author of the book “I Know How She Does It” recounts how her review of the schedules of over 100 working moms making over $100,000 per year illustrated that these women DID feel like there was enough time. It was all about prioritizing and delegating. The full article can be found here:http://www.wsj.com/articles/working-mothers-who-make-it-all-work-1434712370

And to switch topics, there was a great article that detailed what it was like to be the ‘girl’ in the lab. Science, like finance is a very male dominated field, and like finance, having a good mentor is critical to success which makes this an interesting read: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/18/opinion/what-its-like-as-a-girl-in-the-lab.html

And a reminder as to why women’s opinions are an important addition, this article in Institutional Investor profiles United Technologies CIO Robin Diamonte. Conventional wisdom has most of the industry throwing in the towel on DB plans while this CIO is fighting for them and retirement income security. The full article can be found here:http://www.institutionalinvestor.com/article/3403693/investors-pensions/united-technologies-cio-is-changing-the-retirement-game.html#.VYcYgkYw8g4

And lastly, from the NY Times, an article on the importance of ‘niceness’ at work – the bottom line is that when we are rude at work, it hurts profits, health and happiness. The full article can be found here:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/21/opinion/sunday/is-your-boss-mean.html?_r=0

We have a terrific line up of events for the summer months. Don’t forget we take August off, so sign up now for June and July.  Register early to avoid disappointment!

Kind regards

 

Christine

Happy Monday!

I had a fascinating discussion this past week with a very senior woman in the energy industry. This woman is a geologist by training and has been in the oil and gas industry for the past 36 years, as she puts it, ‘her career has progressed from the subterranean on up.’ The energy industry, like finance is heavily male-dominated and she shared with me some fascinating insights gleaned over the years. When she was COO of a Canadian oil company, the company and the industry in Canada had more women applying for work and trying to climb the corporate ladder, but post her retirement with a dearth of women in senior management behind her, the pipeline of women has fizzled out which is why she was a keynote speaker at the Kayo Energy Conference for Women in Houston this past week – she wanted to share her story and inspire other women to follow in her footsteps.

One of the things she mentioned to me had a lasting impact – she called it the ‘drawbridge effect.’ During her career, she noted that she observed that when many senior women had made it to the top they turned a blind eye to the women behind them trying to mimic her success. She said that one of her guiding principles through her very successful career has been to turn around and reach out a helping hand to the women trying to climb the ladder behind her. Success begets success and when we pay it forward everyone succeeds. I will ask each of you to keep that in mind during your workday – was there someone you could have helped along the way?

One good article from Fortune this week on the path to getting more women on corporate boards and the title says it all. The full article can be found here: http://fortune.com/2015/06/15/women-corporate-boards-men/

We have a terrific line up of events for the summer months. Don’t forget we take August off, so sign up now for June and July.  Register early to avoid disappointment!

Kind regards

 

Christine

Happy Monday!

The first article, from CIO Magazine addresses gender bias in Asset Management and draws on a study from State Street that finds that gender bias is alive and well in the industry, and a profound cultural shift will be needed to correct the gender imbalance in the business.  “The DNA of portfolio management lies in diversification,” Suzanne Duncan, global head of research for State Street’s Center for Applied Research, told CIO. “Yet, the industry has yet to apply this very idea to the management of talent. And talent is really the bread and butter of the business.” The full article can be found here: http://www.ai-cio.com/channel/Manager-Selection/Breaking-the–Optical-Illusion–of-Asset-Management-s-Gender-Biases/  And the full State Street Study may be found here:http://www.statestreet.com/ideas/articles/addressing-gender-folklore.html

Then two articles from the New York Times. The first – “Our Problem with Powerful Women” explores the path to power roles in the US for women, whether it is in politics or a C-Suite job in the corporate world and the obstacles women still face trying to poke a hole in the glass ceiling to pull themselves through:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/05/opinion/our-problem-with-powerful-women.html?_r=0

And lastly, a fascinating article about how the term ‘women’ became an exclusionary one (if we are 51% of the population, how can it be exclusionary) and also explores the unique journey that women face as a gender growing up: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/opinion/sunday/what-makes-a-woman.html

We have a terrific line up of events for the summer months. Don’t forget we take August off, so sign up now for June and July.  Register early to avoid disappointment!

Kind regards

 

Christine

Happy Monday!

One of the barriers to diversity has been an emphasis in the US on ‘cultural fit’ or the idea that the “best employees are like-minded.” Taken to the extreme the emphasis on cultural fit can run amok and be a factor more heavily weighted than even their skills. The full article can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/31/opinion/sunday/guess-who-doesnt-fit-in-at-work.html

A lack of family-friendly policies in the US is often cited as the biggest obstacle to women climbing the corporate ladder. New research shows that the round-the clock work schedules especially in higher paid fields like finance “lock gender inequality in place because the work-family balance is seen primarily as a woman’s problem.” Neither men or women like the pressure of a 24/7 work life, but men have more leeway in dealing with it. “When a man left at 5 p.m., people at the office assumed he was meeting a client, Ms. Reid said. When a woman left, they assumed she was going home to her children. Underlying this disparity are deep-seated cultural expectations about how men and women should act.”  The full article can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/31/upshot/the-24-7-work-cultures-toll-on-families-and-gender-equality.html?ref=topics&_r=0&abt=0002&abg=0

For those of you looking to start your own company, some great advice on how to get women from venture capitalists – one woman’s journey: the full article can be found here: http://www.inc.com/magazine/201505/helaine-olen/how-to-join-the-venture-backed-fraternity.html

And lastly, for all of us who are fed up with attending event with all male panel line-ups – now there is something you can do about it! Several bloggers have set up websites to call those conference organizers out. How can you help? Just share the details! The full article can be found here: http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-32789580

We have a terrific line up of events for the summer months. Don’t forget we take August off, so sign up now for June and July.  Register early to avoid disappointment!

 

Kind regards

 

Christine

Happy Monday!

One of the reasons cited for women’s lack of success in the workplace is their confidence levels. A new survey from Bloomberg suggests that women actually have reasons to be less confident – and that their attitudes reflect reality not a lack of confidence. An excerpt from the article: “A number of studies support Beninger’s viewpoint. Last year, we analyzed Bloomberg data and found that, even when they have similar levels of experience and similar educations, women with MBAs are paid less than men. Women also have a harder time than men finding a sponsor, a key figure who can act as an advocate for them in the workplace; are disliked as bosses by both men and women; and are more often penalized for trying to negotiate compensation.” The full article can be found here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-22/the-real-reason-men-are-more-confident-than-women-about-getting-jobs

The next article is from CNN on the bias that women on Capitol Hill face. According to the articles, there are unofficial policies in place to keep female staffers from spending time alone with their male bosses. Policies like these cast women in the role of temptress, masking it as a protective measure while placing the blame squarely with the women. It also reduces a woman’s career mobility if certain high level jobs are off limits. The full article can be found here:http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/18/opinions/drexler-women-on-capitol-hill/index.html

And lastly, there was a great article on ‘shoe gate’ aptly titled “Shoes That Put Women in Their Place.” In case you missed it last week, several women were barred from a Cannes film festival event for (horrors) wearing flats. High heels have become synonymous with female beauty and power, and yet beginning in the 18th century, for men, wearing heels was a sign of frivolity and less than rational thought. High heels were thought to be frivolous and better suited to women who were unfit for both education and citizenship. High heels were, however, linked to sex appeal and were the (only) featured clothing in 19th century pornography and on the pin-up girls of the 20th century.  In the 1980’s as more women entered the workforce, high heels were seen as part of a woman’s ‘power tools’ linking sex appeal to a woman’s professional power – the issue with this of course is that if one’s perceived power is linked to a woman’s sexual allure, the shelf life can be rather short. The article suggests that for the 21st century, “it should be clear that a woman’s power has nothing to do with her heel height.” The full article can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/24/opinion/sunday/shoes-that-put-women-in-their-place.html?_r=0

We have a terrific line up of events for the summer months. Don’t forget we take August off, so sign up now for June and July.  Register early to avoid disappointment!

 

Kind regards

 

Christine

Happy Monday!

The big news last week was the fact that the City of Austin Manager’s office believed that with the incoming City Council being made up of a majority of women meant that special training was needed to deal with this majority of women.  They hired a former city manager from Florida whose qualifications included the fact that he had worked with a majority women city council in the past and has an 11 year old daughter. The points he made – women ask more questions and don’t listen to financial arguments. Horrifyingly the audience that was subjected to this training also included a majority of women. The full article can be found here and there are a ton of u-tube videos out there as well:http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/05/14/austin-greets-first-majority-female-city-council-session-with-special-training-on-dealing-with-women/

On a positive note, studies have shown that having a working mother has educational, economic and social benefits for children. The full article can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/17/upshot/mounting-evidence-of-some-advantages-for-children-of-working-mothers.html?_r=0&abt=0002&abg=0

Which leads me to a fascinating article on upper East Side stay-at- home moms who have advanced degrees, engage in ‘intensive mothering,’ and get year- end bonuses from their husbands based on their performance. Makes having a full time job sound less complicated and more enjoyable than dealing with this minefield: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/17/opinion/sunday/poor-little-rich-women.html

One of the symptoms of too few women in VC, female-led start ups dropped in 2015 to 37%. Women-run companies received just 3% of VC funding and 9% of seed funding. The full article can be found here:http://www.wsj.com/articles/women-started-smaller-percentage-of-u-s-businesses-in-2014-1431560888

And from the doing your job better file, the new advice on how to deal with stress is not to avoid it, but to embrace it:http://www.wsj.com/articles/use-stress-to-your-advantage-1431700708  And one of my favorites for the week: The Tyranny of Constant Contact: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/17/style/the-tyranny-of-constant-contact.html

We have a terrific line up of events for May. Come out and meet our new committee members and share your ideas for future events! Register early to avoid disappointment!

 

Kind regards

 

Christine

 

 

Happy Monday!

I wanted to start with a tribute to Dave Goldberg – as I noted last week, he was a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur in his own right and was a known advocate for women in an industry that is known to be less than inclusive. An article on his work and life can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/04/technology/david-goldbergs-lifetime-of-advocating-for-women.html

And from the attention-grapping headlines file, CalSTRS CIO Christopher Ailman notes that the private equity world, in terms of manager make up is not diversifying fast enough from ‘pale, male and stale.’ Board diversity is also on his agenda. The full article can be found here:http://www.pionline.com/article/20150428/ONLINE/150429867/managers-not-diversifying-fast-enough-from-pale-male-and-stale-8212-calstrs-ailman

Which brings me to the next article, apparently with application rates down at MBA programs, B-schools are trying to attract women and will need to move beyond their locker-room reputation to do so: http://www.wsj.com/articles/why-business-schools-are-fighting-over-top-women-1430957422

A professor from MIT spent the last five years delving into the subject of how gender affects the career paths of stock analysts. The upshot of her research? Gender discrimination exists. Her advice to women to combat it – do more networking. The full article can be found here:http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-professor-finds-gender-bias-on-wall-street-1430709411

And lastly, an interesting study on the differences between male and female investors noted distinct differences in the way men and women approached investing. And the bottom line? We do better when we work together and allow our individual strengths to complement each other! The full article can be found here: http://www.wsj.com/articles/male-investors-vs-female-investors-how-do-they-compare-1430709406

We have a terrific line up of events for May. Come out and meet our new committee members and share your ideas for future events! Register early to avoid disappointment!

 

Kind regards

 

Christine

Happy Monday!

This will be short and sweet today – catching up after our move last week!

First article comes from the Dallas morning news ‘Female Venture Capital Funds alter the Status Quo.’ If you cannot join the VC boys club, start your own! http://www.dallasnews.com/business/small-business/20150418-female-run-venture-capital-funds-alter-the-status-quo.ece

From Bloomberg, an academic journal told female scientists if they wanted their work published, they needed to team up with a man: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-30/academic-journal-tells-female-scientists-work-with-a-man-if-you-want-to-get-published

In the aftermath of the Ellen Pao case, Sheryl Sandberg did an interview with Bloomberg and Richard Branson and noted that while for men, success and likability are correlated, the opposite is true – the more successful a woman is, the less she is liked and seen as a sympathetic figure. This may explain why powerful women are treated so negatively in the press. The full article can be found here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/24/sheryl-sandberg-ellen-pao_n_7137420.html

And on a sad note, Sheryl Sandberg’s husband passed away suddenly. Aside from being a successful entrepreneur in his own right, he was a man that also helped his wife find success on her own terms. By all accounts their marriage was a true partnership. My thoughts and prayers go out to their family: http://fortune.com/2015/05/02/remembering-dave-goldberg/

We have a terrific line up of events for May. Come out and meet our new committee members and share your ideas for future events! Register early to avoid disappointment!

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Monday!

I want to thank all of you who came out for our event last Thursday. It was so great to see so many of you there and have a chance to catch up. We really do have an amazing group of members and I am proud to know so many of you.

I would also like to thank our generous sponsors listed here in no particular order – without you the event would not have been the success that it was: Atlantic Trust, Paradigm, RBC, KPMG, Carlson Capital, Akin Gump, Morgan Stanley, Dimensional, ILS Capital, JP Morgan Asset Management, Crestline Investors, Vinson & Elkins, Sallie Behnke – Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, Newhouse + Noblin, Hayman Capital, Haynes & Boone, Elm Park Capital, Texas Capital Bank, Kaufman Rossin Fund Services, Corina Scoggins, Wanda Potts, Lori Lindley, Mari Kooi, Christine Breck, Betsy Ewing & James Elkus, Ellen Wood, Becky Roof, Carrie & Joe Martinez, Carla Knobloch, Alison Hermann, Jim Sheehan, Ashley Baum, ORIX Foundation, Lori Lofye, e360 Power, Jackson Walker, EIV Capital, Burgher Haggard, Heather Nelson – Morgan Stanley Prime Brokerage.

Click here to enjoy photos from this event.

Just a few quick articles this morning – one woman’s approach to the gender pay disparity – shed some light on it by sharing how much you make with your male colleagues! Read her story here:http://money.cnn.com/2015/04/15/smallbusiness/saadia-muzaffar-womens-circle/

One more reason to care about equal pay for women – the old saying ‘your wealth is your health’ also means that being underpaid has serious health consequences for women. The full story can be found here:http://www.self.com/life/work/2015/03/women-equal-pay-day/

And we have read a lot about venture capital being a man’s world – the same is true in private equity:http://www.pionline.com/article/20150406/PRINT/304069977/private-equity-is-changing-but-still-a-mans-world

We have a terrific line up of events for May. Come out and meet our new committee members and share your ideas for future events! Register early to avoid disappointment!

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Monday!

As you may be aware, we have our biggest event of the year coming up April 23rd in Dallas with over 200 people registered and counting. For those of you who have not attended one of these events yet, this is a great opportunity to meet your fellow members from around the state and it supports a great cause.

TXWSW has been a proud supporter of The Young Women’s Preparatory Network (YWPN) since 2008. YWPN, formerly known as the Foundation for the Education of Young Women, has made some amazing progress since they were founded 10 years ago. During that time they have educated, inspired and touched the lives of 4,500 young women across the state. In 2014, 100% of their seniors were admitted to 4 year colleges and their 146 graduates earned $15.8 million in merit based scholarships. Those impressive statistics are made more so by the fact that 70% of the students come from economically disadvantaged homes and 73% of those girls will be first generation college graduates. The YWPN schools are producing life changing results for these students and the families they will have, and we are proud to be able to continue to support them in their mission with money raised from your generous contributions and volunteerism.

For the event on Thursday, we have an all-star lineup of investors giving their global market outlook including Mary Erdoes of JP Morgan, Katie Stockton of BTIG, Elena Ranguelova of Investcorp and Lilian Zhou will be joining us from Shanghai. Britt Harris from TRS will be moderating and we look forward to his questions. Men and women are welcome to attend the April 23rd event, so please help us get the word out – it is a great event with TWO cocktail hours! Plenty of great networking as well as great content!

If you cannot attend the event this week, please keep an eye out for the events we will have in the Fall in Austin and Houston where you can make a contribution in your local community.

We have a terrific line up of events for April. Come out and meet our new committee members and share your ideas for future events! Register early to avoid disappointment!

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Monday!

There are many articles detailing the dearth of women leaders at the top – women start out in equal numbers in the workforce and the numbers thin disproportionately by the time they get to the C-Suite. One of the proposed solutions, from the Huffington Post this week, is that the US adopt paid maternity leave.  The article notes that without proper paid maternity leave, many women are forced out of the workforce during their child rearing years, and the more women that stay in the workforce, the more likely it is that they will reach the C-Suite. The article makes a compelling case, and can be found here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/10/women-boards-maternity-leave_n_7040404.html

A video on Bloomberg also explores the topic: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2015-04-10/maternity-leave-a-labor-crisis-for-working-women

Also from Bloomberg, a great interview with the female Dean of the University of Michigan’s business school on why there are so few women in MBA programs – in her opinion, because the programs are run by men for men. The full article can be found here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-10/a-business-school-dean-explains-why-so-few-women-have-a-job-like-hers

On the VC front, there is reaction in Silicon Valley to the Ellen Pao case that defies the verdict:http://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2015-03-30/how-has-silicon-valley-reacted-to-ellen-pao-verdict-

And from Forbes – what it means to lead ‘like a woman’ http://www.forbes.com/sites/yec/2015/03/24/what-it-really-means-to-lead-like-a-woman/

And lastly, we have our biggest event of the year coming up April 23rd in Dallas – you will not want to miss this as we have an all-star lineup of investors giving their global market outlook including Mary Erdoes of JP Morgan, Katie Stockton of BTIG, Elena Ranguelova of Investcorp and Lilian Zhou will be joining us from Shanghai. Britt Harris from TRS will be moderating and we look forward to his questions. The event supports the Young Women’s College Preparatory network that supports 7 schools in Texas that provide a college preparatory education to underserved young girls across the state.  And why is girls’ education so important? Studies show that if you change the outcome for a young girl, you change the outcome for future generations – an investment that pays dividends. And young girls trying to get an education are under siege:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/10/world/schoolgirls-are-facing-more-threats-united-nations-reports.html?_r=0

Men and women are welcome to attend the April 23rd event, so please help us get the word out – it is a great event with TWO cocktail hours, so plenty of great networking as well as great content!

We have a terrific line up of events for April. Come out and meet our new committee members and share your ideas for future events! Register early to avoid disappointment!

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Monday!

Just 2 articles this week and all on Ellen Pao – in the first, the Wall Street Journal published the first interview with Ellen Pao post the trial – the title says it all Pao: Gender Issues Won’t ‘Go Away.’ http://www.wsj.com/articles/ellen-pao-says-gender-issues-wont-go-away-after-kleiner-trial-1428292861  Even though Pao lost the trial, her suit has brought national attention to just how few women there are in the VC space and raises the question why that is. Certainly some of the behavior at Kleiner itself is to blame like male partners on the road showing up at a female associate’s room in a bathrobe and drink in hand – not something that anyone would want to face. Yuck. Disappointing though was the other women at Kleiner testifying on the firm’s behalf – Mary Meeker’s testimony that the atmosphere at Kleiner was an improvement compared to  her time at Morgan Stanley back in the day – but the question is, is that saying much? And how much damage do we women do when we don’t support one another?

Which brings us to the next article – Glass Ceiling: Invisible but in the News” details the fact that we have been talking about the glass ceiling for THIRTY FIVE years, and it is still firmly in place. The analogy is always one of being on the ladder and breaking up through the ceiling. After all these years, maybe a better approach is not only coming from the bottom up, but all those women and men that care about diversity and the improved results it generates would be well served to be hammering at that ceiling from the top and lending a hand to pull more diverse candidates up. The full article can be found here: http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-phrase-glass-ceiling-stretches-back-decades-1428089010

And lastly, we have our biggest event of the year coming up April 23rd in Dallas – you will not want to miss this as we have an all-star lineup of investors giving their global market outlook including Mary Erdoes of JP Morgan, Katie Stockton of BTIG, Elena Ranguelova of Investcorp and Lilian Zhou will be joining us from Shanghai. Britt Harris from TRS will be moderating and we look forward to his questions. The event supports the Young Women’s College Preparatory network that supports 7 schools in Texas that provide a college preparatory education to underserved young girls across the state.  And why is girls’ education so important? Studies show that if you change the outcome for a young girl, you change the outcome for future generations – an investment that pays dividends. And young girls trying to get an education are under siege:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/10/world/schoolgirls-are-facing-more-threats-united-nations-reports.html?_r=0

Men and women are welcome to attend the April 23rd event, so please help us get the word out – it is a great event with TWO cocktail hours, so plenty of great networking as well as great content!

We have a terrific line up of events for April. Come out and meet our new committee members and share your ideas for future events! Register early to avoid disappointment!

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Monday!

 

The big news this week is that Ellen Pao has lost her discrimination case against Kleiner Perkins. This loss came in spite of the fact that the trial judge found enough evidence of bias that he instructed the jury to consider punitive damages. A friend of mine active in the venture world said this case will be like the Anita Hill case – one that broke ground and that we look back on as an error in judgement shaped by society’s biases at the time. The full article can be found here:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/28/technology/ellen-pao-kleiner-perkins-case-decision.html?_r=0 And how the trial shook things up: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/28/technology/ellen-pao-disrupts-how-silicon-valley-does-business.html?rref=technology&module=Ribbon&version=context&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Technology&pgtype=article

CNN did a great interview this week with two sisters who have beat the odds and become CEO’s of public companies in the US. The common denominator? They had strong support from a father who was a successful corporate executive himself and encouraged them to follow in his footsteps. The power of mentoring in action. The full article can be found here:http://money.cnn.com/2015/03/26/investing/sister-ceos-powerful-women-campbell-soup-frontier/

The Federal Reserve just released a study on the pay disparity between men and women at the top levels of management. The biggest takeaway – women get less incentive compensation than their male peers, so they don’t have as much to gain when the companies they run perform well, but have much more exposure on the downside. The full article can be found here:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-24/here-s-how-top-female-executives-end-up-getting-paid-less-than-men

In a recent Preqin study, it turns out the Hong Kong leans the pack when it comes to diversity in the C-Suite of hedge funds. To find out how other countries stack up, read on: http://thetally.efinancialnews.com/2015/03/female-hedge-fund-manager-seeking-senior-role-head-hong-kong/

And lastly, we have our biggest event of the year coming up April 23rd in Dallas – you will not want to miss this as we have an all-star lineup of investors giving their global market outlook including Mary Erdoes of JP Morgan, Katie Stockton of BTIG, Elena Ranguelova of Investcorp and Lilian Zhou will be joining us from Shanghai. Britt Harris from TRS will be moderating and we look forward to his questions. The event supports the Young Women’s College Preparatory network that supports 7 schools in Texas that provide a college preparatory education to underserved young girls across the state.  And why is girls’ education so important? Studies show that if you change the outcome for a young girl, you change the outcome for future generations – an investment that pays dividends. And young girls trying to get an education are under siege:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/10/world/schoolgirls-are-facing-more-threats-united-nations-reports.html?_r=0

Men and women are welcome to attend the April 23rd event, so please help us get the word out – it is a great event with TWO cocktail hours, so plenty of great networking as well as great content!

We have a terrific line up of events for April. Come out and meet our new committee members and share your ideas for future events! Register early to avoid disappointment!

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Monday!

On the subject of breaking ground for women, did you know that the US does not have the likeness of a woman on any of its paper currency? Gail Collins wrote a great article exploring the subject that can be found here:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/21/opinion/gail-collins-a-womans-place-is-on-the-20-dollar-bill.html?_r=0

And the discussion as to why there are so few women in finance has spread all the way to South Africa in an article based on John Coates’ work titled Less Testosterone Could Make for Better Banks. The full article can be found here:http://www.bdlive.co.za/opinion/columnists/2015/03/20/less-testosterone-could-make-for-much-better-banks

The Kleiner Perkins’ gender discrimination trial continued last week, and the NY Times did a great article on the subtleties of the lawsuit – this trial is not about the ‘boom-boom room’ culture that went on trial in the late ‘90’s – this trial tells the story of more subtle bias – an employee review that faults a woman for being too aggressive, and praises that behavior in her male colleagues. Of being left out of dinners because her presence would be a downer just because of her gender. The full article can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/17/opinion/venture-capitals-boys-club-on-trial.html

The last article provides some insight as to why there are so few female directors. The title says it all: Many U.S. boards lack vision, just tick boxes in search for women directors. The full article can be found here:http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/20/us-usa-companies-boards-idUSKBN0MG21920150320

And lastly, we have our biggest event of the year coming up April 23rd in Dallas – you will not want to miss this as we have an all-star lineup of investors giving their global market outlook including Mary Erdoes of JP Morgan, Katie Stockton of BTIG, Elena Ranguelova of Investcorp and Lilian Zhou will be joining us from Shanghai. Britt Harris from TRS will be moderating and we look forward to his questions. The event supports the Young Women’s College Preparatory network that supports 7 schools in Texas that provide a college preparatory education to underserved young girls across the state.  And why is girls’ education so important? Studies show that if you change the outcome for a young girl, you change the outcome for future generations – an investment that pays dividends. And young girls trying to get an education are under siege:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/10/world/schoolgirls-are-facing-more-threats-united-nations-reports.html?_r=0

Men and women are welcome to attend the April 23rd event, so please help us get the word out – it is a great event with TWO cocktail hours, so plenty of great networking as well as great content!

We have 2 great events for March and a terrific line up of events for April. Come out and meet our new committee members and share your ideas for future events! Register early to avoid disappointment!

Kind regards

Christine

 

Happy Monday!

There was a meeting last week at the United Nations as a follow up to the historic 1995 Beijing Conference on Gender Equality. The goal of the conference was to see what progress had been made and where it was still lagging. One of the most sobering things to come out of the conference was a study that shows that “despite the gains women have made in education, health and even political power in the course of a generation, violence against women and girls worldwide “persists at alarmingly high levels.”” And this is not just happening overseas: “about 35 percent of women worldwide — more than one in three — said they had experienced physical violence in their lifetime, the report finds. One in 10 girls under the age of 18 was forced to have sex, it says.” The full article can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/10/world/un-finds-alarmingly-high-levels-of-violence-against-women.html?_r=0

Another worthwhile article came from the Washington Post this week exploring the fact that although women make up 50% of all management roles globally, they only make up 5% of CEOs. The full article can be found here:http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/03/11/why-there-are-so-many-female-managers-but-so-few-ceos/

And kudos to ACIO magazine for asking the question – where are all the women in private equity?  Further, ACIO will be devoting the first day of the 2015 CIO Summit to discuss the burning question of why there are so few women in the asset management profession and what can be done about it. The full article can be found here: http://www.ai-cio.com/channel/NEWSMAKERS/Where_Are_All_the_Female_Private_Equity_Managers_.html

And more good news – Catalyst recently put on a 6 month training program attended by both male and female executives aimed at bringing in men as advocates to help increase men’s involvement in advancing women, and the results were very encouraging. The full article can be found here: http://www.wsj.com/articles/men-pitch-in-to-boost-women-at-work-1426029982?KEYWORDS=joann+lublin

And lastly, we have our biggest event of the year coming up April 23rd in Dallas – you will not want to miss this as we have an all-star lineup of investors giving their global market outlook including Mary Erdoes of JP Morgan, Katie Stockton of BTIG, Elena Ranguelova of Investcorp and Lilian Zhou will be joining us from Shanghai. Britt Harris from TRS will be moderating and we look forward to his questions. The event supports the Young Women’s College Preparatory network that supports 7 schools in Texas that provide a college preparatory education to underserved young girls across the state.  And why is girls’ education so important? Studies show that if you change the outcome for a young girl, you change the outcome for future generations – an investment that pays dividends. And young girls trying to get an education are under siege:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/10/world/schoolgirls-are-facing-more-threats-united-nations-reports.html?_r=0

Men and women are welcome to attend the April 23rd event, so please help us get the word out – it is a great event with TWO cocktail hours, so plenty of great networking as well as great content!

We have 2 great events for March and a terrific line up of events for April. Come out and meet our new committee members and share your ideas for future events! Register early to avoid disappointment! 

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Monday!

So there were a TON of important articles this week. My favorite A Better World Ruled by Women talks about the role male biology plays in today’s society. In his essay, Melvin Conner notes that “Male biology has brought the world war, corruption and scandal. Women are poised to lead us to a better place.” The full article can be found here:http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-better-world-run-by-women-1425657910   And speaking of women running things, Janet Yellen made headlines last week scolding the big banks for less than ethical behavior: http://www.wsj.com/articles/yellen-says-effective-supervision-of-big-banks-one-of-feds-top-priorities-1425431701

Sheryl Sandberg once again made headlines with her new movement – Lean In Together – getting men behind the Lean In movement and helping women succeed at work – her postulate is that women’s success and equality is not a zero-sum game. More profitable companies and higher GDP mean more money and promotions for everyone. And the favorite fact that I share with my husband – couples who share the housework have stronger marriages and more sex. No if that isn’t a win/win, I don’t know what is! The website:  http://leanin.org/together/  The article: How Men Can Succeed in the Bedroom and the Boardroomhttp://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/08/opinion/sunday/sheryl-sandberg-adam-grant-how-men-can-succeed-in-the-boardroom-and-the-bedroom.html?_r=0   And the interview: http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/sheryl-sandberg-helping-women-find-voice-29397045

Germany joined the trend in Europe by passing legislation mandating that 30% of corporate board slots be filled by women: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/07/world/europe/german-law-requires-more-women-on-corporate-boards.html

And an update on the Kleiner Perkins gender bias trial – last week testimony covered Ellen Pao’s performance reviews while she was with the firm. She was told that “she did not speak up enough and was too passive – but also that she spoke up too much and was pushy and entitled.” This gets at the heart of gender bias – society’s discomfort with women stepping out of their prescribed roles are punished for it: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/07/upshot/a-racy-silicon-valley-lawsuit-and-more-subtle-questions-about-sex-discrimination.html?abt=0002&abg=0

And a non-partisan thank you to Senator Barbara Mikulski who led the revolution to change the Senate dress code that prohibited women from wearing pants on the senate floor:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/03/barbara-mikuslki-pants_n_6791450.html

Kudos to Katharine Zaleski for her public apology in Fortune magazine to all the working moms she had ever worked with The title says it all:  http://fortune.com/2015/03/03/female-company-president-im-sorry-to-all-the-mothers-i-used-to-work-with/  She puts it out there that she did not understand the demands on working moms and often belittled their work ethic until she became a working mom herself. And hopefully this opens the dialogue beyond motherhood – fatherhood also has its demands as does serious illness or caring for aging parents.

And lastly, we have our biggest event of the year coming up April 23rd in Dallas – you will not want to miss this as we have an all-star lineup of investors giving their global market outlook including Mary Erdoes of JP Morgan, Katie Stockton of BTIG, Elena Ranguelova of Investcorp and Lilian Zhou will be joining us from Shanghai. Britt Harris from TRS will be moderating and we look forward to his questions. The event supports the Young Women’s College Preparatory network that supports 7 schools in Texas that provide a college preparatory education to underserved young girls across the state.  And why is girls’ education so important? Studies show that if you change the outcome for a young girl, you change the outcome for future generations – an investment that pays dividends. And young girls trying to get an education are under siege: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/10/world/schoolgirls-are-facing-more-threats-united-nations-reports.html?_r=0

Men and women are welcome to attend the April 23rd event, so please help us get the word out – it is a great event with TWO cocktail hours, so plenty of great networking as well as great content!

We have lots in store for March. Come out and meet our new committee members and share your ideas for future events! Register early to avoid disappointment!

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Monday!

Christine LaGarde made headlines last week by laying out the value proposition that “gender equality is an economic principle, not just a concept of female empowerment.” This follows a report by the IMF on women in the workplace that “suggested that closing the gender equality gap and leveling the employment playing field would benefit not just women, but the global economy as a whole.” The full interview can be found here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/23/christine-lagarde-women-in-workplace_n_6738090.html

And from the Washington Post – did you know that there are more men on corporate boards named John, Robert, William or James than there are women? Does anyone else find that disturbing? http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-leadership/wp/2014/09/24/more-women-at-the-top-higher-returns/

Especially in light of the fact that study after study shows that adding women to both boards and management produces higher returns:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-leadership/wp/2014/09/24/more-women-at-the-top-higher-returns/

From the good news file, it seems that institutions are finally looking to allocate to women and minority managers. The problem they are running up against is capacity – there are very few women and minority firms out there with the asset size and infrastructure that can take large checks. The reason? Many women and minorities have not had the multi-million bonuses that their male counterparts have so it makes starting a firm more of an uphill battle. http://www.pionline.com/article/20150223/PRINT/302239992/investors-keen-to-find-talented-minority-and-women-hedge-fund-managers

As a follow up to the Patricia Arquette Oscars speech last week, a member shared an opinion piece that her daughter wrote, and I wanted to share it with all of you. It hints at the reason gender discrimination has proved intractable – women come in all shapes, sizes and colors which makes it easier for bias among women to rear its ugly head.  As the article notes, it is not about a ‘white feminist movement,’ it is about equal rights for all women: http://www.wewomen.com/key-debates/patricia-arquette-oscars-speech-not-about-white-feminist-movement-wage-gap-s1259456.html

And lastly, we have our biggest event of the year coming up April 23rd in Dallas – you will not want to miss this as we have an all-star lineup of investors giving their global market outlook including Mary Erdoes of JP Morgan, Katie Stockton of BTIG, Elena Ranguelova of Investcorp and Lilian Zhou will be joining us from Shanghai. The event supports the Young Women’s College Preparatory network that supports 7 schools in Texas that provide a college preparatory education to underserved young girls across the state.  And why is girls’ education so important? Studies show that if you change the outcome for a young girl, you change the outcome for future generations – an investment that pays dividends. And young girls trying to get an education are under siege: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/10/world/schoolgirls-are-facing-more-threats-united-nations-reports.html?_r=0

Men and women are welcome to attend the April 23rd event, so please help us get the word out – it is a great event with TWO cocktail hours, so plenty of great networking as well as great content!

We have lots in store for March. Come out and meet our new committee members and share your ideas for future events! Register early to avoid disappointment!

 

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Monday!

For those of you that did not stay up last night and watch the Oscars (me included), Patricia Arquette used her acceptance speech time to call for equal rights and pay equality for women. Her speech is worth watching:http://money.cnn.com/2015/02/23/news/economy/patricia-arquette-pay-gap/index.html

As a follow up to last weeks’ article on gender bias found when rating professors, Nicholas Kristof wrote a great opinion piece in the NY Times titled “Straight Talk for White Men.” He notes that the evidence is overwhelming that unconscious bias is widespread and that the first step in combating it is acknowledgement.  He challenges his fellow white men to: “trying not to hire people just because they look like us, avoiding telling a young girl she’s “beautiful” while her brother is “smart.” It means acknowledging systematic bias as a step toward correcting it.” The full article can be found here:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/22/opinion/sunday/nicholas-kristof-straight-talk-for-white-men.html?_r=0

In case you had not heard, the long anticipated Kleiner Perkins bias trial starts this week.  This is shining a light on the abject lack of diversity in the space. For instance, in a study of 1,562 venture firms, only 139 had a least  1 female partner. And this lack of diversity at the VC firms has a huge impact on who gets funded – 97% of VC-backed companies in the US have a male CEO. This contrasts with the experience of women-run businesses on Kickstarter and other crowd funding sites where women-run firms out raise and outperform when given access to capital. Two interesting articles here:http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-19/kleiner-perkins-bias-trial-turns-new-focus-on-tech-gender-gap

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101963663#.

And lastly, we have our biggest event of the year coming up April 23rd in Dallas – you will not want to miss this as we have an all-star lineup of investors giving their global market outlook including Mary Erdoes of JP Morgan, Katie Stockton of BTIG, Elena Ranguelova of Investcorp and Lilian Zhou will be joining us from Shanghai. The event supports the Young Women’s College Preparatory network that supports 7 schools in Texas that provide a college preparatory education to underserved young girls across the state.  And why is girls’ education so important? Studies show that if you change the outcome for a young girl, you change the outcome for future generations – an investment that pays dividends. And young girls trying to get an education are under siege: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/10/world/schoolgirls-are-facing-more-threats-united-nations-reports.html?_r=0

Men and women are welcome to attend the April 23rd event, so please help us get the word out – it is a great event with TWO cocktail hours, so plenty of great networking as well as great content!

We have lots in store for March. Come out and meet our new committee members and share your ideas for future events! Register early to avoid disappointment!

 

Kind regards

Christine

 

Happy Tuesday!

I hope you all enjoyed the long holiday weekend and some well-deserved time off! So some exciting news to start with – Deloitte just named its first female CEO, Cathy Engelbert. She is the first CEO of a big four firm. The full article can be found here:  http://www.wsj.com/articles/deloitte-taps-cathy-engelbert-as-chief-executive-1423492486

The Deloitte appointment notwithstanding, it always seems to me that when a company is in terrible trouble, it gets handed over to a female CEO – consider a few recent cases:  General Motors (recall issue), Duke Energy (massive environmental issue), Yahoo (obsolescence), IBM (ditto), and the Federal Reserve (massive liquidity/debt experiment). There are more, but you get the gist. And if that were not bad enough, these women who were handed companies with major issues are now not even being given the runway to try to sort them out  before being pounced on by activist investors. This makes for fascinating reading: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2015/02/09/the-women-of-the-s-p-500-and-investor-activism/?_r=0

And lastly, we have our biggest event of the year coming up April 23rd in Dallas – you will not want to miss this as we have an all-star lineup of investors giving their global market outlook including Mary Erdoes of JP Morgan, Katie Stockton of BTIG, Elena Ranguelova of Investcorp and hedge fund manager, Lilian Zhou will be joining us from Shanghai. The event supports the Young Women’s College Preparatory network that runs 7 schools in Texas that provide a college preparatory education to underserved young girls across the state.  And why is girls’ education so important? Studies show that if you change the outcome for a young girl, you change the outcome for future generations – an investment that pays dividends. And young girls trying to get an education are under siege: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/10/world/schoolgirls-are-facing-more-threats-united-nations-reports.html?_r=0

Men and women are welcome to attend the April 23rd event, so please help us get the word out – it is a great event with TWO cocktail hours, so plenty of great networking as well as great content!

We have one more event in February – a fun evening planned at the Queen Vic Pub & Kitchen, and lots in store for March. Come out and meet our new committee members and share your ideas for future events! Register early to avoid disappointment!

 

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Monday!

So lots again today – do you want to see what discrimination looks like? A Northeastern University professor built a chart using data from 14 million professor reviews culled from the website Rate My Professors and the chart graphically illustrates unconscious biases. The study suggests that “people tend to think more highly of men than women in professional settings, praise men for the same things they criticize women for, and are more likely to focus on a woman’s appearance or personality and on a man’s skills and intelligence.”  The full article can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/07/upshot/is-the-professor-bossy-or-brilliant-much-depends-on-gender.html?emc=eta1&_r=0&abt=0002&abg=0

Another great article from Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant titled Madam CEO, Get Me a Coffee. The article tackles the sad reality that in the workplace, women help more and benefit from it less. The full article can be found here:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/08/opinion/sunday/sheryl-sandberg-and-adam-grant-on-women-doing-office-housework.html

And a great article on Redefining Diversity. Lani Guinier noted that when minorities attend school, they excel when they work in study groups and support one another as opposed to trying to do it on their own. She wants to “introduce into the conversation is the power of collaboration, of bringing together people who bring different kinds of skills to solving a problem. That diversity can empower creative ways of learning.” And solving problems which the world seems to have a lot of these days. The full article can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/08/education/edlife/lani-guinier-redefines-diversity-re-evaluates-merit.html

The FT asks the question – is gender a factor in fund performance? The full article can be found here:http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/92007f04-b035-11e4-92b6-00144feab7de.html#axzz3RGR3Qcnk

And lastly, for the moms and dads with school age girls, it seems that elementary school teachers’ biases can steer girls away from math and science: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/07/upshot/how-elementary-school-teachers-biases-can-discourage-girls-from-math-and-science.html?abt=0002&abg=0

We have great events in store for you all in February – in Austin, we have a happy hour at the iconic Shady Grove. Hopefully we will have a beautiful evening to be outside. In Dallas, we have some amazing speakers for our C-Suite Dinner. This is filling up fast, so register early – you will not want to miss being able to have a small format dinner with these amazingly accomplished women. And in Houston, we have a fun evening planned at the Queen Vic Pub & Kitchen. Come out and meet our new committee members and share your ideas for future events!

 

Kind regards

Christine

 

Happy Monday!

Since it is the day after the Super Bowl, I wanted to share a few of the commercials I found very impactful, and it was great to have them shown to such a large audience. My favorites:

Like a girl does not have to be a negative stereotype: http://www.superbowl-commercials.org/35060.html

The most important one – a call for the end to domestic violence: http://www.superbowl-commercials.org/35008.html

And finally – the solution to inequality – rent-a-man: http://www.superbowl-commercials.org/35086.html

While we are in video mode, one more for all the moms out there – what your children watch shapes their world. This TED talk is very insightful: the hidden meaning in kids’ movies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nx8RRIiP53Q&feature=youtu.be

And back to finance – there was a great article last week in the FT titled “Sexism in the City.” It explores the issue of why women drop out in such great numbers in spite of all the programs set up to retain them: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/7c182ab8-9c33-11e4-b9f8-00144feabdc0.html

And why does it matter? Meet Nehal Chopra, the woman who has been posting some of the hedge fund world’s best performance: http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanvardi/2015/01/20/the-woman-who-is-posting-some-of-the-hedge-fund-worlds-best-returns/

Lastly, meet the woman who is single handedly adding more women boards in the UK – it does seem where there is a will there is a way: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2015/01/26/helena-morrissey-aiming-at-britains-glass-ceilings-gets-results/?_r=0

We have great events in store for you all in February – in Austin, we have a happy hour at the iconic Shady Grove. Hopefully we will have a beautiful evening to be outside. In Dallas, we have some amazing speakers for our C-Suite Dinner. This is filling up fast, so register early – you will not want to miss being able to have a small format dinner with these amazingly accomplished women. And in Houston, we have a fun evening planned at the Queen Vic Pub & Kitchen. Come out and meet our new committee members and share your ideas for future events!

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Monday!

As a follow up to last week’s letter, here is the full article from the Harvard Business Review appropriately titled: “Ambitious Women Face More Obstacles than Just Work-Life Balance” This is an important read, and the full article can be found here: https://hbr.org/2013/09/ambitious-women-face-more-obst

And also from the HBR this week, there was an insightful article on managing office politics for women – interestingly, given our strong interpersonal skills, office politics tops the list of things that make women uncomfortable at work. To learn how to conquer the issue, read on: https://hbr.org/2015/01/my-best-advice-for-women-navigating-office-politics

As I am sure you are all aware, the Davos Economic Forum was last week. This year 19% of 2500 delegates were women. This is a number that has barely changed since a (widely ignored) quota system was put in place to increase female participation. The interesting thing about that 19% number is that it is roughly the same percent of women on corporate boards, in senior management and in finance today. Given that we are 51% of the population and earning more degrees and advanced degrees, it will be interesting to see when this number starts to budge: http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB22656413643910774604204580416163266663180?autologin=y

We have great events in store for you all in February – in Austin, we have a happy hour at the iconic Shady Grove. Hopefully we will have a beautiful evening to be outside. In Dallas, we have some amazing speakers for our C-Suite Dinner. This is filling up fast, so register early – you will not want to miss being able to have a small format dinner with these amazingly accomplished women. And in Houston, we have a fun evening planned at the Queen Vic Pub & Kitchen. Come out and meet our new committee members and share your ideas for future events!

Kind regards
Christine

 

Happy Tuesday!

So it is official – gender does matter – at least when it comes to building better teams. A recent MIT study focused on building more effective teams noted that teams with more women outperformed teams with more men. The full article can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/18/opinion/sunday/why-some-teams-are-smarter-than-others.html?_r=0

And in another study, HBR research points out that it is not women who are holding themselves back – it is the culture of the workplace that keeps women from succeeding – and apologizing about it along the way. Very powerful reading. The full article can be found here: http://nymag.com/thecut/2014/12/stop-blaming-women-for-holding-themselves-back.html

And I wanted to share the profile of the most powerful woman in hedge funds: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102318842

Leda Braga launched Systematica this month with $8.5 billion in assets.

For those in wealth management, did you know that among baby boomers, 70% of wives are expected to outlive their husbands and women will control of $22 trillion of household assets?  Considering that most women feel underserved when looking for a financial advisor, the industry has a way to go to meet their needs:http://financialadvisoriq.com/c/1043343/107373?referrer_module=SearchSubFromFAIQ&highlight=women

Huge thank you to Heidi Lawson for presenting for us in 4 cities last week. The response from those of you who attended was overwhelmingly positive and we appreciate her for bringing us such timely and informative content. We have great events in store for you all in February – in Austin, we have a happy hour at the iconic Shady Grove. Hopefully we will have a beautiful evening to be outside. In Dallas, we have some amazing speakers for our C-Suite Dinner. This is filling up fast, so register early – you will not want to miss being able to have a small format dinner with these amazingly accomplished women. And in Houston, we have a fun evening planned at the Queen Vic Pub & Kitchen. Come out and meet our new committee members and share your ideas for future events!

Kind regards

Christine

Good Afternoon!

I deviate from my regular greeting because this is a less than happy Monday given the events in France last week. Peggy Noonan wrote a wonderful opinion piece in the weekend Journal titled “Salman Rushdie Meet Charlie Hedbo.” The subtitle says it all – free speech is not a tradition, it is the basis of civilization, and it is certainly one of the founding principles of our country. By its definition, terrorism is a frightening thing, but the consequences of giving into it are even more frightening.  The full article can be found here: http://www.wsj.com/articles/salman-rushdie-meet-charlie-hebdo-1420763547?autologin=y

As you know, the subject of my weekly emails mainly relates to the state of women in finance. Women are in the minority in this industry so I believe access to relevant information can make us feel less alone and more inspired to continue on in a business we love in spite of the challenges we face. That said, many women in the world do not even enjoy basic rights – in Saudi Arabia, women have been charged with terrorism for driving a car (now I know all the women driver jokes, but terrorism? Really?); in 2014 Boko Haram abducted more than 200 schoolgirls, many of whom are still missing today. Their crime? Getting an education.  So as you go through your day, I would ask you to take a moment to consider the plight of these women.

On a note to inspire you:  this is how young boys react to being asked to slap a girl: http://aplus.com/a/slap-her-children-react-to-violence    And another one, listen to the fearless message of educated young women with their voices raised through the power of social media: http://www.empoweringwomennow.com/videos/3-fearless-girls-queen-latifah/

On the subject of women’s voices, there was a great article in the NY Times “Speaking While Female” by Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant detailing studies that show that if a man talks in a meeting, he gets a hearing. A woman gets interrupted. The full article can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/opinion/sunday/speaking-while-female.html?_r=0

And on the productivity front, there was a great email detailing the evils of being a slave to your email all day. One study showed that by checking your email just four times a day (instead of constantly) produced a reduction in stress equivalent to learning a relaxation technique! The full article can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/opinion/sunday/stop-checking-email-so-often.html

Regulators at both the state and federal level have recently shifted the focus of their investigations, recognizing the inherent value of bringing enforcement actions against individuals, as opposed to simply the companies that employ them. If you become the focus of a government investigation or lawsuit, even if you are only called as witness, are you really protected?   Heidi Lawson will join us in all 4 cities talking about recent case law that explores the liability issue we all face. She will share concrete steps to take to protect both yourself and your firm.  This event is a must-attend for CFOs, Compliance Officers, General Counsels and anyone serving on a board. We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Monday!

Best wishes to you all for a happy, healthy and successful 2015! Since this is the time of new beginnings and resolutions, I wanted to share a fascinating article that applies since to help you meet your goals. “Research into procrastination has noted that people have much less concern about their future selves than their present selves — and are willing to sell their future selves down the river for the sake of present ease.” But interestingly, when deadlines loom we are willing to work whatever hours it takes to meet those deliverables rather than starting ahead of time! ‘If You Want to Meet that Deadline, Play a Trick on Your Mind’ details ways to beat the procrastination bug: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/04/business/if-you-want-to-meet-that-deadline-play-a-trick-on-your-mind.html?_r=0

Regulators at both the state and federal level have recently shifted the focus of their investigations, recognizing the inherent value of bringing enforcement actions against individuals, as opposed to simply the companies that employ them.  The government is increasingly using corporate cooperation to obtain individual prosecutions.  For example, in 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission investigated hundreds of executives and charged over eighty individuals, including a former hedge fund trader, a portfolio manager, the co-chair of a board, an investment banker, an investor relations executive, an accountant, husbands who traded on information they learned from their wives, and even a group of golf buddies.  If you become the focus of a government investigation or lawsuit, even if you are only called as witness, are you really protected?  Join us next week when our guest speaker, Heidi Lawson, speaks to us about the most common misunderstandings when it comes to indemnification and insurance – and event not to be missed!

Heidi will join us in all 4 cities talking about recent case law that explores the liability issue we all face. She will share concrete steps to take to protect both yourself and your firm.  This event is a must-attend for CFOs, Compliance Officers, General Counsels and anyone serving on a board. We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

Kind regards

Christine

 

Happy Monday!

I hope you all enjoyed the short holiday week last week and are looking forward to the upcoming one! Best wishes to you all for a happy, healthy and successful for 2015.

Fascinating read on how the gender gap was alive and well with the Stanford class of 1994. This class matriculated when the internet was in its formative stages and these students were the best equipped to take advantage of its development, so it is a fascinating read: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/12/23/us/gender-gaps-stanford-94.html?_r=0

This next article is a great one to make part of your New Year’s resolutions: ‘How Successful People Handle Stress’ details that avoiding stress is not the answer, it is all about having an arsenal of coping mechanisms: http://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2014/12/09/how-successful-people-handle-stress/

And lastly, some inspiration for your Monday morning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo-kvh1w60w

Huge thank you to all our committee members for doing a fabulous job in programming our events for this year. We all owe them a debt of gratitude for their hard work and creativity in arranging and executing events for us all to enjoy. I also want to thank Somer Washington who is stepping down as Dallas Networking Chair and Carter Wimberley and Raluca Dalea who are stepping down as Co-Chairs of the Houston Philanthropy Committee – these women have done a truly outstanding job the past three years and I am very grateful for their service. We are excited to have Brianna Letzelter and Deborah Griffith as the incoming Dallas Networking chairs and they have a lot of exciting programming in store for you. Rachael Cahan and Alexandra Gottschalk will be heading our Houston Philanthropy efforts and with three additional committee members, we look forward to great things from them in 2015.

In January, we are thrilled to have Heidi Lawson, Esq. in all 4 cities talking about recent case law that explores the liability issue many firms and funds face. She will share concrete steps to take to protect both yourself and your firm.  This event is a must-attend for CFOs, Compliance Officers, General Counsels and anyone serving on a board. We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

Kind regards
Christine

Happy Monday!

Very Happy Holidays to you and yours. I hope you all enjoy the short holiday week and that your time off is filled with joyful celebration with your loved ones.

During this time of celebration, there was an interesting article detailing the demise of the RSVP. I blame Evite and the addition of ‘maybe’ when responding to an event. Someone has yet to explain to me how to have enough food for the maybes!http://www.wsj.com/articles/nobody-rsvps-anymore-1418840396?tesla=y&mg=reno64-wsj

And the CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki wrote an Op Ed in the WSJ detailing how paid maternity leave is good for business:http://www.wsj.com/articles/susan-wojcicki-paid-maternity-leave-is-good-for-business-1418773756

President Obama made history last week by becoming the first president ever to call on all female reporters during a press conference: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/case-missed-obama-made-history-today-calls-female/story?id=27722408  Women in the press have often complained about the dominance of male reporters in the field, so this was a nice milestone for them.

Huge thank you to all our committee members for doing a fabulous job in programming our events for this year. We all owe them a debt of gratitude for their hard work and creativity in arranging and executing events for us all to enjoy. I also want to thank Somer Washington who is stepping down as Dallas Networking Chair and Carter Wimberley and Raluca Dalea who are stepping down as Co-Chairs of the Houston Philanthropy Committee – these women have done a truly outstanding job the past three years and I am very grateful for their service. We are excited to have Brianna Letzelter and Deborah Griffith as the incoming Dallas Networking chairs and they have a lot of exciting programming in store for you. Rachael Cahan and Alexandra Gottschalk will be heading our Houston Philanthropy efforts and with three additional committee members, we look forward to great things from them in 2015.

In January, we are thrilled to have Heidi Lawson, Esq. in all 4 cities talking about recent case law that explores the liability issue many firms and funds face. She will share concrete steps to take to protect both yourself and your firm.  This event is a must-attend for CFOs, Compliance Officers, General Counsels and anyone serving on a board. We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

 

Kind regards
Christine

 

Happy Monday!

Lots of great articles this week starting with one for the men from this weekend’s Wall Street Journal. Aptly titled ‘Women at Work: A Guide for Men’ this is a great one to share with your male boss and colleagues. I also found it to be a helpful read in terms of identifying behavior pitfalls that could be holding me back. The full article can be found here:http://www.wsj.com/articles/women-at-work-a-guide-for-men-1418418595

The second article details the slide in women’s participation in the workforce – in 1990, the US had one of the top employment rates for women in the world at 74%, but we have now fallen to 69% today. Japan is seeing first had the devastating effects that low female workforce participation can have on their economy, so it is time to address the issues leading to the ‘motherhood trade off’ while there is time: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/14/upshot/us-employment-women-not-working.html?ref=business&abt=0002&abg=0

A very encouraging development on the move to add more women to corporate boards – Germany has passed a law mandating women’s inclusion on corporate boards. With study after study showing that adding women to corporate boards leads to improved company performance based on many metrics, one would have thought this would have been an easy issue to address, but leave it to the practical Germans to tackle the issue head on: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/27/world/europe/germany-to-mandate-womens-membership-on-corporate-boards.html?_r=0

And from the ‘get rid of the guilt’ file, social psychologist Ron Friedman has solved the whole work/life balance issue once and for all – by declaring it DEAD!  His advice: “Instead of endorsing the work-life balance myth, organizations are far better off empowering employees to integrate work and life, in ways that position them to succeed at both.”  The full article can be found here: http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/09/opinion/friedman-work-life-balance/

And lastly, from the Harvard Business Review’s article entitled ‘The Financial Services Industry’s Untapped Market – Women,’ the authors explore the question: “What is the cost to an industry that misses the lessons of leadership diversity and ignores inclusive behaviors? In the case of the financial services industry, the penalty could be more than $5 trillion in the U.S. alone.”  The full article can be found here: https://hbr.org/2014/12/the-financial-services-industrys-untapped-market

We have our last event of the year this week – please join us for the Houston Holiday luncheon on December 17th.

Huge thank you to all our committee members for doing a fabulous job in programming our events for this year. We all owe them a debt of gratitude for their hard work and creativity in arranging and executing events for us all to enjoy.

In January, we are thrilled to have Heidi Lawson, Esq. in all 4 cities talking about recent case law that explores the liability issue many firms and funds face. She will share concrete steps to take to protect both yourself and your firm.  This event is a must-attend for CFOs, Compliance Officers, General Counsels and anyone serving on a board. We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Monday!

On the subject of productivity, we all know that meetings and emails take precious hours away from actually getting work done. There was a great article in the WSJ on the most effective use of email. “Stop Wasting Everyone’s Time” details seven concrete steps we can all take to give us some time back at the end of the day. The full article can be found here:http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-stop-wasting-colleagues-time-1417562658

There was also a great piece in the NY Times – “When Talking About Bias Backfires.” In a study, a Wharton School professor noted that when stereotypes were presented to people as widely held beliefs, those people actually felt comfortable continuing to hold those biases because they felt part of a larger group. To get people to understand that the bias was a bad thing and harmful to the group that was being discriminated against, the researchers actually had to draw that conclusion for people.  The article makes for fascinating reading: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/07/opinion/sunday/adam-grant-and-sheryl-sandberg-on-discrimination-at-work.html?_r=0

And lastly, I am sure you have all seen the article about the pregnant UPS worker’s case that is being heard by the Supreme Court last week. In an opinion piece, Gail Collins notes that in the US, 2/3rds of mothers work, most of them full time, and the majority have no option to opt out because they cannot afford to not work, and a great many US employers don’t even make modest accommodations for pregnant workers: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/06/opinion/gail-collins-the-woes-of-working-women.html

We have our last event of the year next week – please join us for the Houston Holiday luncheon on December 17th. Huge thank you to all our committee members for doing a fabulous job in programming our events for this year. We all owe them a debt of gratitude for their hard work and creativity in arranging and executing events for us all to enjoy.

In January, we are thrilled to have Heidi Lawson, Esq. in all 4 cities talking about recent case law that explores the liability issue many firms and funds face. She will share concrete steps to take to protect both yourself and your firm.  This event is a must-attend for CFOs, Compliance Officers, General Counsels and anyone serving on a board. We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

 

Kind regards

Christine

 

Happy Monday!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday! For those of you in the asset management business, I wanted to share the link for the Emerging Manager conference sponsored by TRS and ERS. Details for the event may be found here:

http://www.trs.state.tx.us/investments/conference/home.html

Not that you even want to think of another meal at this point, but I found this article to be a bright spot that will help two career couples “When the workday ends, more fathers are heading to the kitchen.” In terms of sharing the load, this is one good example of how balance can happen. The full article can be found here:http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/24/nyregion/when-the-workday-ends-more-fathers-are-heading-to-the-kitchen.html?_r=0

On an interesting note, Harvard did a study of its own graduates to see if it could explain the gender gap at the top of corporate America. The results, detailed in “When Women’s Goals Hit a Wall of Old Realities” can be found here:http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/30/upshot/even-among-harvard-graduates-women-fall-short-of-their-work-expectations.html?_r=0&abt=0002&abg=0

I would also like to announce that we have a new cancellation policy – we will now be giving refunds if you cancel at least 8 days prior to an event. The reason behind this deadline is that we have to give a headcount seven days before events, and are responsible for paying that amount once that deadline is passed. If it is within 7 days, and you find you  are unable to attend, you may send someone in your place. Please note that all refunds will be less a $5 charge to cover bank fees that we are charged. I would also ask that for events that are ‘dutch treat’ that carry no upfront charge,  you also cancel your reservation so someone else may take your place if you are unable to attend. I know we all have busy lives and things come up last minute, however, I would note that when you ‘no show’ for events, it is very much noticed. I put this down to a problem Evite created when they added ‘maybe’ as a way to respond to a party invitation. Someone has yet to tell me how to have enough food available when someone marks ‘maybe’ on a response card!

For the holidays, we have a series of lunches in December. Please come join us for lunch with your fellow TXWSW and celebrate the holiday season!  In January, we are thrilled to have Heidi Lawson, Esq. in all 4 cities talking about recent case law that explores the liability issue many firms and funds face. She will share concrete steps to take to protect both yourself and your firm.  This event is a must-attend for CFOs, Compliance Officers, General Counsels and anyone serving on a board. We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

Kind regards

Christine

 

 

Happy Monday!

Happy Thanksgiving week to you! I hope you have a wonderful holiday surrounded by family and friends, and have much to be grateful for this year.

Two good articles this week – the first one pretty shocking: “Salle Krawcheck Says the Majority of Women’s Money is Going Unmanaged.” The reasons behind it are well worn territory – women not trusting the industry as a whole, feeling disenfranchised by the way services providers communicate with clients etc. Of course this has disastrous consequences for the owners of those assets and it represents a substantial opportunity for those that can crack the code: The full article can be found here: http://wealthmanagement.com/impact-2014/sallie-krawcheck-majority-women-s-money-going-unmanaged

“Female CEOs Make Room for Female Directors” details the fact that women are adept at finding other women who are strong board members for the companies they run.  The full article can be found here:http://online.wsj.com/articles/female-ceos-make-room-for-female-directors-1415732625

For the holidays, we have a series of lunches in December. Please come join us for lunch with your fellow TXWSW and celebrate the holiday season!  In January, we are thrilled to have Heidi Lawson, Esq. in all 4 cities talking about recent case law that explores the liability issue many firms and funds face. She will share concrete steps to take to protect both yourself and your firm.  This event is a must-attend for CFOs, Compliance Officers, General Counsels and anyone serving on a board. We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Monday!
With Thanksgiving around the corner, I found this to be an interesting read for those of you (like me) who get kitchen anxiety around the holidays: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/17/nyregion/considering-the-place-of-the-working-parent-in-the-kitchen.html  The article explores the happy memories that surround holiday meals, and how the pressure to produce it, while juggling a full time job, can increase stress, and not only around the holidays. My advice, pick your battles, take shortcuts where you can, and lose the guilt so you have time to enjoy the holiday as well!

And an update on the pay gap – an interesting article detailing some large employers’ approach to remediating the situation:http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/15/business/keeping-a-vigilant-eye-on-pay-equity-for-women.html

And lastly, there was a great series of interviews in Adam Bryant’s “Executive Women: Finding and Owning Their Voice.” The article explores what it means to 4 chief executives to have a ‘voice’ in meetings; how they navigate perceptions around assertiveness and being judged more harshly. This is a very worthwhile read. The full article can be found here:http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/11/16/business/corner-office-women-executives-owning-their-voice.html
For the holidays, we have a series of lunches in December. Please come join us for lunch with your fellow TXWSW and celebrate the holiday season! In January, we are thrilled to have Heidi Lawson, Esq. in all 4 cities talking about recent case law that explores the liability issue many firms and funds face. She will share concrete steps to take to protect both yourself and your firm. This event is a must-attend for CFOs, Compliance Officers, General Counsels and anyone serving on a board. We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

Kind regards,
Christine

Happy Monday!

Lots of news, so commentary will be short and sweet as the headlines speak for themselves. This week is Veteran’s Day – about 1% of our population serves in the military and I believe we all owe them a debt of gratitude for their service and protecting our way of life. One great article on this subject “Marine Corps Puts Women to the Test” by Michael Phillips explains how the Marines are in the midst of a large scale experiment intended to find out if women can fight in ground combat units alongside men. Semper Fi  devils –http://online.wsj.com/articles/marine-corps-puts-a-few-good-women-to-the-test-1415394846

The next, a headline from a CNN report says it all “Despite ‘Lean In’ Workplace Equality Remains Dismal:”http://money.cnn.com/2014/11/07/news/economy/women-in-business-workplace-equality-abysmal/index.html

And an update on the pay gap: http://money.cnn.com/2014/10/10/news/economy/gender-pay-gap-reason/index.html

For mothers: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/09/opinion/sunday/our-mommy-problem.html

For fathers: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/09/upshot/paternity-leave-the-rewards-and-the-remaining-stigma.html?abt=0002&abg=0

And finally, the bombshell – “The $9 Billion Witness” – this is a MUST READ: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-9-billion-witness-20141106

For our Austin members, take a moment to sign up for November’s Casino Night. Bring your significant other, colleagues and friends for this great fun evening overlooking Lady Bird Lake and downtown. I look forward to seeing you all there!

We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

 

Kind regards
Christine

Happy Monday!

With Election Day around the corner, don’t forget to get out and vote this week. So much of our industry is heavily regulated, so this is your chance to provide your input. A great article on the subject can be found here:http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/02/upshot/the-vital-role-of-the-occasional-voter.html

And for the compliance folks, I found this article “Doing No Evil, At Least in the Morning” by Matt Richtel to be absolutely fascinating.  Apparently our ability to self-regulate declines as the day goes on. This has interesting implications not only for detecting bad behavior, but also for establishing new positive behaviors. The full article can be found here:http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/02/business/that-devil-on-your-shoulder-likes-to-sleep-in.html

Lastly, there was a great interview with Fiona Reynolds of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment. She is working to harness trillions of dollars in collective assets to bring responsible investing into the mainstream. The full article can be found here: http://www.pionline.com/article/20141027/PRINT/310279976/pri-exec-harnessing-the-power-of-45-trillion/A

Please note that noon today is the deadline for our Houston C-Suite Dinner so register now to avoid disappointment.

Additionally, due to speaker schedule conflicts, we have had to postpone our Dallas C-Suite event until February. We will be giving refunds and posting the new event shortly. For our Austin members, take a moment to sign up for November’s Casino Night. Bring your significant other, colleagues and friends for this great fun evening overlooking Lady Bird Lake and downtown!

We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Monday!

In the spirit of Halloween week, I wanted to share one of my favorite quotes with you: “Do one thing everyday that scares you.” -Eleanor Roosevelt And while it would be tempting to hit the haunted hay ride this week and put a check in the box, please take a moment to think of something that you avoid out of fear – is it speaking up in meetings? Being asked to negotiate? Or taking on a project that seems too big? Fear is certainly a necessary emotion and it kept our ancestors alive, however, what we have to be afraid of today has certainly changed, but our body’s response to it has not. Here is one of my favorite articles with tips for more fearless living: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/08/fearless-living-things-to-know_n_3385765.html

I wanted to take a moment to thank Somer Washington, Board Member and Chair of the Dallas Networking Committee for the past three years. Somer will be turning her Networking Committee chairmanship over to Brianna Letzelter of Convergex and Deborah Griffith of JP Morgan on January 1st. We are thrilled to have Brianna and Deborah on board, and look forward to the great events they have in store for you all in 2015. Somer has done nothing short of an outstanding job the last three years. Under her leadership, the networking events have grown considerably as has the Dallas membership base. It has been both an honor and a pleasure to work with her, and we are all grateful for her service.

We have terrific events coming up this week that you will not want to miss! Please join us for our third annual Boots & Blackjack Casino Night in Dallas on Wednesday– grab your significant other, colleagues and friends and join us for this great fun event! Please also check out the rest of our Fall line-up – our C-Suite Dinners are filling up fast, so register early to avoid disappointment.

We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon! Happy Halloween!

 

Kind regards

Christine

 

Happy Monday!

 

I want to congratulate the Houston Philanthropy and Networking Committees on a job well done last week. The shopping night at Neiman Marcus was a great success with over 130 members in attendance.  Huge thanks to Neiman’s for hosting us and for the terrific fashion show, skilled make-up artists and great take-home gift.  I want to thank all the committee members involved for their hard work in making the event one to remember!

There was a great article in the New York Times this weekend:  Are Women Better Decision Makers by Therese Huston. It turns out the answer is yes – when any type of stress is involved. And it all comes down to biology and how women’s bodies process stress. In fact, the more stress, the better women’s decision making gets. The full article can be found here:http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/19/opinion/sunday/are-women-better-decision-makers.html

Ms. Huston’s work follows the groundbreaking research done by John Coates as detailed in his book, The Hour Between Dog and Wolf.  John Coates, former trader turned Cambridge neuroscientist wanted to understand why traders with strong performance derailed on a regular basis. It turns out “laws of financial boom and bust, it turns out, have more than a little to do with male hormones.”

And to come at it from the perspective of mathematics, Scott Page detailed in his book, The Difference, how diversity in groups can lead to better decision making. But we start to go down the path of complex systems here, and that is a lot for a Monday morning!

We have terrific events coming up in October that you will not want to miss! We have our third annual Boots & Blackjack Casino Night in Dallas next week – grab your significant other, colleagues and friends and join us for this great fun event! We also have dinner with 2 dynamic CIOs in Austin. You will not want to miss what they have to say!

 

We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

 

Kind regards

Christine

 

Happy Monday!

The news at the end of the week was Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella telling women they should not ask for a raise but “should trust faith and karma to reward them appropriately.” Needless to say, this caused an outcry, and Mr. Nadella backing off his statement.  Claire Cain Miller wrote a great article on the subject exploring the paradox of whether to ask or not to ask in Tech Executive’s Remark Highlights a Paradox on Women’s Wages.  The issue is that studies show that women do not ask for raises, and when they do they are penalized because notions of gender roles do not match women’s roles in the workplace. To quote: “it basically violates the expectations about how we think women are supposed to be,” said Linda Babcock, an economics professor at Carnegie Mellon University and a leading researcher on women and pay negotiations. “The literature talks about women being communal, kind, interested in others, helpful, not aggressive. When people violate expectations, there’s backlash against them.” The full article can be found here:http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/11/upshot/satya-nadellas-advice-on-raises-stirs-wider-discussion-among-women.html?_r=0&abt=0002&abg=0

We have terrific events coming up in October that you will not want to miss! In Houston, Neiman Marcus is hosting us for a cocktail party and private event including an award winning makeup artist, fashion show, great food and great company all to support girl’s education, so you can have fun and give back to the community at the same time! And speaking of fundraisers, we have our third annual Boots & Blackjack Casino Night in Dallas – grab your significant other, colleagues and friends and join us for this great fun event! Lastly, and certainly not least, we have dinner with 2 dynamic CIOs in Austin. You will not want to miss what they have to say!

We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Thursday!

I am sneaking in one more letter this week because the topic is both important and timely since conference season is in full swing.

The article entitled “Why I will no longer Speak on all male panels” by Scott Gilmore is both a must read and a must share. This self-described member of the boys club relates his experience at a recent NYC conference where the question was asked why were there no women on the panel? His reflection: “ I recognize that if you ignore 50 per cent of the population, you’re never going to achieve what is potentially possible. It is absurd to suggest any enterprise that intentionally excluded half the talent pool could thrive.”  I think the point here is well taken. I am asked repeatedly how we are able to get women to turn up at our events. Any of you who attend conferences and industry gatherings know that women are a minority at those events, and that is certainly not the case at ours. My question back to them is “How many women do you have speaking at your events?” And this is not a women versus men thing. To Scott’s point, why would you want to exclude the opinions of half of the talent pool?

His conclusion at the end of the event? He will never again join a panel without women included. I applaud him for his stance. My husband, who is a very frequent speaker, is also taking up this charge.  So pass this along, and here is to more diversity of opinions at conferences! The full article may be found here: http://www.macleans.ca/society/life/i-will-no-longer-speak-on-all-male-panels/

We have terrific events coming up in October that you will not want to miss! In Houston, Neiman Marcus is hosting us for a cocktail party and private event including an award winning makeup artist, fashion show, great food and great company all to support girl’s education, so you can have fun and give back to the community at the same time! And speaking of fundraisers, we have our third annual Boots & Blackjack Casino Night in Dallas – grab your significant other, colleagues and friends and join us for this great fun event! Lastly, and certainly not least, we have dinner with 2 dynamic CIOs in Austin. You will not want to miss what they have to say!

We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

 

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Monday!

Forbes published a terrific article detailing Credit Suisse’s Gender 3000: Women in Senior Management. The headline, “More Women on the Board Means Higher Returns for Firms” says it all. The statistics are stunning – having more women around does lead to outperformance on many levels. The issue, which the report and article detail, is that there is still a shortage of women in the pipeline, and even more worrisome, women in management were limited to running the support functions. The article begs the question that if markets are efficient, and adding women to boards and senior management improves returns, why are companies not adding more women to these roles? The full article can be found here:http://www.forbes.com/sites/karenhigginbottom/2014/10/02/more-women-on-the-board-means-higher-returns-for-firms/

The next article tackles the lack of diversity in asset management. From CIO magazine, the article is aptly titled “Whiteout.” I will quote “Nearly 90% of senior money managers in the US are white. African Americans make up 12% of the nation’s workforce, and but hold 1% of top investment roles. The same story goes for Hispanic and Latino populations, which account for 16% of the overall job market and 2% of high-level investors. Women represent 47% of the workforce, and 18% of asset managers. Serve your country in the military, and your chances of finding employment in financial services drops by about 30%. For people with disabilities, their likelihood falls by roughly 13%. Those who see asset management as a true meritocracy have either failed to consider the next step in their logic, or—more alarmingly—they have considered it.” The full article can be found here:  http://www.ai-cio.com/channel/NEWSMAKERS/Whiteout.html

And from the “what can I do about the situation” file? There was a great opinion piece in the Washington Post “Women Should and Do Have the Power to Speak Up” by Amanda Burns. While I truly believe there are no ‘shoulds’ in life, only choices (‘should’ creates guilt and guilt is just a waste of precious time), I very much took the author’s point that if women do not speak up, it is a wasted opportunity. We are 51% of the population and have a different perspective, so find your voice and be a part of the conversation. The full article can be found here:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/women-should–and-do–have-the-power-to-speak-up/2014/10/03/6fd480b2-48a5-11e4-a046-120a8a855cca_story.html

If the first two articles made you want to drop out of the workforce, my favorite article of the week came from the New York Times: “The Contrarians on Stress: It Can Be Good for You.” The article explains that while having too much work can feel overwhelming, boredom and menial chores (laundry anyone?) can be just as bad for your health! And all stress is not created equal. Not having challenges in our lives can lead to depression-like symptoms. The full article can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/04/your-money/the-contrarians-on-stress-it-can-be-good-for-you-.html?_r=0

We have terrific events coming up in October that you will not want to miss! In Houston, Neiman Marcus is hosting us for a cocktail party and private event including an award winning makeup artist, fashion show, great food and great company all to support girl’s education, so you can have fun and give back to the community at the same time! And speaking of fundraisers, we have our third annual Boots & Blackjack Casino Night in Dallas – grab your significant other, colleagues and friends and join us for this great fun event! Lastly, and certainly not least, we have dinner with 2 dynamic CIOs in Austin. You will not want to miss what they have to say!

We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Monday!

Lots of news today on many fronts! My favorite piece came from my husband, so we will start with that. As readers of this letter know, one of the issues women face is their treatment in the media and how deprecating comments about women can influence the way society views us. Last week, Kimberly Guilfoyle of Fox News did a story on United Arab Emirates Air Force Major Mariam Al Mansouri  bringing attention to an inspiring story of a woman shattering yet another glass ceiling. During the broadcast, one of Ms. Guilfoyle’s colleages giggled and asked if this constituted “b**bs on the ground.” Women in the workplace are no stranger to comments like this, and are often encouraged to just look the other way – boys being boys and all. The attached letter is a brilliant response to what a group of MEN believe is the appropriate response to the Fox anchor’s sexist remarks. Please take a moment to read it and share it:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/an-open-letter-to-fox-news

There was also a great interview with Penny Herscher, CEO of First Rain. In this insightful interview, Ms. Herscher shares how parenting taught her to be a better leader – “the things you learn raising a child are great skills for nurturing a team and bringing a project to life.” Adam Bryant’s full article can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/28/business/penny-herscher-of-firstrain-what-parents-can-teach-a-ceo.html?_r=0

And lastly, an article on my holy grail subject of productivity – it seems, just like so much in life, it is about state of mind:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/28/upshot/looking-at-productivity-as-a-state-of-mind.html?abt=0002&abg=0

We have terrific events coming up in October that you will not want to miss! In Houston, Neiman Marcus is hosting us for a cocktail party and private event including an award winning makeup artist, fashion show, great food and great company all to support girl’s education, so you can have fun and give back to the community at the same time! And speaking of fundraisers, we have our third annual Boots & Blackjack Casino Night in Dallas – grab your significant other, colleagues and friends and join us for this great fun event! Lastly, and certainly not least, we have dinner with 2 dynamic CIOs in Austin. You will not want to miss what they have to say!

We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Monday!

I am just back from 5 days in Big Bend, so I did not get a whole lot of reading done – well, none really. If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend it as a place to visit. Our state is enormous and both the state and national parks are both breathtaking and vast. Aside from the vistas and the spectacular topography, the thing that struck me most about the region is the spaciousness and silence. In the spirit of silence and its restorative powers, today’s letter will be short.

We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Tuesday!

Some days I look at my To Do list and throwing up my hands in surrender actually seems like an option. And it is not only work – it is the demands of having a house and my family, and of course wanting to have time for myself and my friends. All things I love, but when I let it pile on, I sometimes feel like I don’t know where to start. So this weekend when a client emailed me James Clears’ article The Physics of Productivity: Newton’s Laws of Getting Stuff Done, it was a godsend. The full article can be found here:  http://lifehacker.com/the-physics-of-productivity-newtons-laws-of-getting-st-1630176840  I won’t try to paraphrase it because in the spirt of productivity, it will be faster if you just read it!

And one more article for inspiration: I am a (not so closet) fan of Shark Tank, so I read Barbara Corcoran’s blog post with interest: The Most Successful Entrepreneurs Don’t Quit – I think this advice can be applied not only to entrepreneurs, but to all people trying to attain success. The full article can he found here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20140906172705-264544111-the-best-entrepreneurs-don-t-know-when-to-quit  Bottom line? No guts no glory!

You will note that we have our first 2014 event in Fort Worth under our new leadership in the city. I hope you will all join Shoshana and Allison for a great fun event at Reata Restaurant! Come join us for drinks and snacks, and the opportunity to meet Principal Mia Hall who runs the Young Women’s Leadership School of Fort Worth. It promises to be a great fun evening!

TXWSW is also pleased to announce the formation of chapters in San Antonio (lead by Neala Moore) and Fort Worth (lead by Shoshana Thoma-Isgar and Allison Westmoreland). We will be holding 4 events a year in each city for our members there. If you would like to volunteer for a committee, please email us at info@txwsw.com

We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Tuesday!

Some days I look at my To Do list and throwing up my hands in surrender actually seems like an option. And it is not only work – it is the demands of having a house and my family, and of course wanting to have time for myself and my friends. All things I love, but when I let it pile on, I sometimes feel like I don’t know where to start. So this weekend when a client emailed me James Clears’ article The Physics of Productivity: Newton’s Laws of Getting Stuff Done, it was a godsend. The full article can be found here: http://lifehacker.com/the-physics-of-productivity-newtons-laws-of-getting-st-1630176840 I won’t try to paraphrase it because in the spirt of productivity, it will be faster if you just read it!

And one more article for inspiration: I am a (not so closet) fan of Shark Tank, so I read Barbara Corcoran’s blog post with interest: The Most Successful Entrepreneurs Don’t Quit – I think this advice can be applied not only to entrepreneurs, but to all people trying to attain success. The full article can he found here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20140906172705-264544111-the-best-entrepreneurs-don-t-know-when-to-quit Bottom line? No guts no glory!

You will note that we have our first 2014 event in Fort Worth under our new leadership in the city. I hope you will all join Shoshana and Allison for a great fun event at Reata Restaurant! Come join us for drinks and snacks, and the opportunity to meet Principal Mia Hall who runs the Young Women’s Leadership School of Fort Worth. It promises to be a great fun evening!

TXWSW is also pleased to announce the formation of chapters in San Antonio (lead by Neala Moore) and Fort Worth (lead by Shoshana Thoma-Isgar and Allison Westmoreland). We will be holding 4 events a year in each city for our members there. If you would like to volunteer for a committee, please email us at info@txwsw.com

We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Tuesday!

I hope you all enjoyed the long holiday weekend! Even though it still feels like summer, it is nice to be back in the routine of work and school. We have some truly outstanding events lined up for you this Fall. Our committees have really outdone themselves, and we all owe them a huge vote of thanks for their work! Many events are space limited, so please register early to avoid disappointment.

A 2006 Time Magazine article identified America’s 10 best senators. They were given titles like ‘The Debater,’ ‘The Wise Man,’ ‘The Dealmaker’ and “The Statistician.’ In the entire lengthy article, there was not one mention of their figure, their sartorial choices or anything other than their professional attributes. So fast forward to 2014 and an advance review of Senator Kristen Gillibrand’s upcoming book Off the Sidelines where she recounts the following:  “One male colleague passed by as she was in the gym. “Good thing you’re working out, because you wouldn’t want to get porky!” He commented. A southern congressman remarked, “You know, Kirsten, you’re pretty even when you’re fat.” An admired senior senator squeezed he waist and said, “Don’t lose too much weight, now. I like my girls chubby.”

All politics aside literally and figuratively, I think author Dave Schwartz’s comments hit the nail on the head: “Maybe her male colleagues were trying to reassure or flatter Gillibrand. Maybe they thought they were lightly teasing a friend. But men need to realize that the only time women want to be reminded that men are looking at their bodies is when there is a mutual romantic interest. Otherwise, women would prefer to operate under the illusion that men only pay attention to their intelligence and talent. No woman in the halls of Congress should be the target of comments regarding her physical appearance. If it happens in places of power and government how are women supposed to fight it elsewhere?” You can find the full article here: http://www.viralglobalnews.com/u-s-stories/senator-kirsten-gillibrand-recalls-sexist-comments-made-in-congress/15648/

And another article on the same subject: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/she-the-people/wp/2014/08/29/why-kirsten-gillibrands-story-didnt-surprise-any-woman-on-capitol-hill/   I would hope that Senator Gillibrand’s sharing of this story would make people aware that comments like these are not workplace appropriate.

TXWSW is also pleased to announce the formation of chapters in San Antonio (lead by Neala Moore) and Fort Worth (lead by Shoshana Thoma-Isgar and Allison Westmoreland). We will be holding 4 events a year in each city for our members there. If you would like to volunteer for a committee, please email us at info@txwsw.com

We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

 

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Monday!

On the subject of diversity on boards, one of the topics of discussion at a recent Council of Institutional Investors Conference in the spring in Washington D.C was the limited number of women and people with diverse backgrounds serving on corporate boards. To help corporations find more diverse candidates,  CalPERS, CalSTERS and GMI Ratings, a company recently purchased by MSCI, have developed the Diverse Director DataSource known as “3D”, a database designed to be a clearinghouse for potential corporate director candidates with a special emphasis on a more diverse range of backgrounds, perspectives, skills and experience.  Interested candidates can register for inclusion in the database by creating an online profile.  Staff review the profiles for basic qualifications and accuracy and approved candidate profiles are included in relevant search reports. Subscriptions are available for shareowners, nominating committees and commercial executive/director search firms.

If any of our members would be interested in pursuing such opportunities, the website is: http://www.gmi3d.com/home

If you are interested in serving on a board, but feel your skills need sharpening, there are wonderful organizations out there, like Texas’ very own Board Connection http://www.theboardconnection.org/ that will give you the training and mentorship you need.

TXWSW is also pleased to announce the formation of chapters in San Antonio (lead by Neala Moore) and San Antonio (lead by Shoshana Thoma-Isgar and Allison Westmoreland). We will be holding 4 events a year in each city for our members there. If you would like to volunteer for a committee, please email us at info@txwsw.com

We have some outstanding events lined up for you this Fall. Our committees have really outdone themselves, and we all owe them a huge vote of thanks for their work! Take a look at our Upcoming Events lineup. Many events are space limited, so please register early to avoid disappointment!

We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Monday!

From the ‘women on boards’ front, Canada’s Prime Minister is gaining traction with their campaign to add more women to boards. This is helped by the fact that the companies that have real diversity on their boards are reporting better financial results. The interview can be found here: http://www.bloomberg.com/video/canada-s-labor-minister-discusses-women-on-corporate-boards-FrBxYfuKTIa84Pmpdnp1jQ.html

And from outside the world of finance, the NBA Players Association just hired Michele A. Roberts to be their new head. Ms. Roberts’ story details an inspiring journey from the housing projects in the Bronx to become the first female leader of a major North American professional sports union. You can read her story here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/17/sports/basketball/michele-roberts-nba-unions-new-leader-confronts-gender-barriers.html?_r=0

TXWSW is also pleased to announce the formation of chapters in San Antonio (lead by Neala Moore) and San Antonio (lead by Shoshana Thoma-Isgar and Allison Westmoreland). We will be holding 4 events a year in each city for our members there. If you would like to volunteer for a committee, please email us at info@txwsw.com

We have some outstanding events lined up for you this Fall. Our committees have really outdone themselves, and we all owe them a huge vote of thanks for their work! Take a look at our Upcoming Events lineup. Many events are space limited, so please register early to avoid disappointment!

We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Monday!

I think we can all agree that women having children is essential to the ongoing health of civilization – any civilization. No more children means no more human race. At the same time, adding more women to the workforce produces dramatic economic benefits.  A  Booz & Co. study estimated, for example, “that if female employment rates were to match male rates in the United States, overall GDP would rise by 5%. In Japan, such initiatives could increase GDP by 9%. In developing economies, the effect soars into the double digits.”  Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sees an increase in women’s participation in the workforce as the key to helping Japan’s economy out of the stagnation trap it has been in for decades.

So the question then is, for US women, why is it so hard to both work and have children? Out of 185 countries, only the US and Papua New Guinea don’t have paid maternity leave. And I am not suggesting we go to extreme European length leaves, but companies with paid leave programs have decreased attrition for women with children by up to 50%. Given how costly it is to bring on and train new staff, this has to be a win/win for everyone.  Claire Cain Miller takes on this topic in her article that can be found here:http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/10/upshot/can-family-leave-policies-be-too-generous-it-seems-so.html

And while we are on the subject of women and economic opportunity, it seems that men and women are far apart on their views on the economy and economic opportunity, and this could help shape the midterm elections. From ‘this is so obvious’ file, is it any wonder that women, who make up 51% of the population, now head four in 10 American households with children under age 18 as either the sole or primary earner for her family, and are paid 77% of what their male counterparts earn feel like economic opportunity is beyond their grasp? Janet Hook’s article makes for interesting reading: http://online.wsj.com/articles/male-female-split-on-economic-issues-promises-to-shape-midterm-elections-1407352003?KEYWORDS=janet+hook

Lastly, from the ‘common sense’ file, there was a great article on the watchdog work economist Anat Admati is doing on the best way to strengthen the US financial system. Her argument is reminiscent of the principles of the Glass-Steagall Act which mandated a simple, yet elegant premise: the most effective way to control risk is not to let someone gamble with other people’s money.  Binyamin Appelbaum’s article makes for good reading:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/10/business/when-she-talks-banks-shudder.html?_r=0

We have some outstanding events lined up for you this Fall. Our committees have really outdone themselves, and we all owe them a huge vote of thanks for their work! Take a look at our Upcoming Events lineup. Many events are space limited, so please  register early to avoid disappointment!

We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Monday!

The most impactful article for me this week was one that has applications beyond the topic it was written on. “An Appeal to Our Inner Judge” by Howard Ross http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/03/jobs/an-appeal-to-our-inner-judge.html was about the human tendency to judge a book by its cover – to let surface first impressions govern what we think about a person based on how they look, the way they dress etc. I certainly have been guilty of this  – both judging people harshly who have turned out to be great connections as well as being disappointed by someone I put on a pedestal based on their background or looks. The advice in the article is one of applying mindfulness principles when assessing both people and situations. The advice in the article can apply to not only interviewing or meeting people, but also to asset management, risk management and compliance. The idea of stepping back and figuring out our biases and how they impact our decision making is a powerful one.

I also want to bring your attention to a great article in last week’s NYTimes featuring TXWSW’s very own Janet Briaud of Briaud Wealth Advisors: “The Special Challenges of Retiring from a Business You Own” by  Tim Gray is a worthwhile read!

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/26/your-money/the-special-challenges-of-retiring-from-a-business-you-own.html

We have some great events lined up for you this Fall. Take a look at our Upcoming Events lineup and register early to avoid disappointment!

We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

Kind regards

Christine