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Happy Monday!

I was reading my alumnae magazine from Connecticut College and came upon a book review from a fellow graduate that I highly recommend:Pygmalion’s Chisel: For Women Who Are Never Good Enough by Tracy Hallstead. For those of you that studied more finance than Greek mythology, Pygmalion was a sculptor that believed that women are essentially flawed and set out to create the perfect woman in the form of a statue. The book analyzes our culture’s requirements for the perfect woman and the negative impact that has on women’s psyches as we try to live up to a flawed ideal and the harmful effects it has on both genders. The book examines the destructive impact of misogynistic trends in our popular culture that affects all aspects of a woman’s emotional, spiritual, physical, psychological and professional wellbeing.

The bottom line message in the book is that throughout history, successful women responded rather than reacted to the stereotypes that devalue women. The author encourages women to adopt a “new consciousness of how our culture carves us down,” and continue to question, challenge and reject the messages that are not working for you. This message brought to mind a conversation I had with a long time member recently – she shared how over the past few years having a network of strong women friends has built her confidence and fueled her progress on many levels. What could be better than that?

We have just some amazing events coming up over the next few months that are listed below. Many are space limited so register early to avoid disappointment! Also, note the fabulous line up for speakers for our May event – this is our Woodstock for women in finance across the state with over 300 people in attendance – you will not want to miss what these outstanding investors have to say and the opportunity to meet your colleagues from across the state and beyond.

Kind regards
Christine

Happy Monday!

Making news this weekend is the different way that men and women approach managing their wealth. And why does anybody care about this? I quote: “Scores of recent studies show that we’re in the midst of a tectonic gender shift around money: It’s big, slow-moving and ultimately a game-changer. Women have money now, real money: They earn a combined $29 trillion worldwide, according to the Boston Consulting Group, about $3 trillion of that in the United States. And while men still earn more, women control nearly three-quarters of all purchasing decisions. Judging by other economic indicators, those numbers will only grow. (Here’s a small fact: Did you know that since 1982 women have earned 9.1 million more associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees than men?). “

And when there is a tectonic shift on the horizon, Wall Street sits up and takes notice. Bottom line in the article – women’s approach to money – evaluating financial choices carefully, avoiding rash moves and asking a lot of questions before investing produces profits over the long term. So the difference is in how firms communicate with female clients versus their male clients (sensing a theme here?).

The whole article can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/23/business/mars-venus-and-the-handling-of-money.html?_r=0

We have just some amazing events coming up over the next few months. And if you can get to Houston in March, the workshop on Effective Communication in the Workplace is something not to be missed. See you all at an event soon!

Kind regards,
Christine

Happy Monday!

You will note that we have posted our 5th Annual Investment Outlook Panel to be held in Dallas on May 15th. We have an outstanding line up of speakers – mostly allocators this year – to share with you their views on the market. This is our biggest event of the year with 300+ people in attendance – both men and women, so get your tickets and help us get the word out.

This event is our biggest fund raiser of the year. As you know, TXWSW supports the Foundation for the Education of Young Women in its mission to deliver college preparatory eduction to economically disadvantaged young women. The Foundation has a record of 100% graduation rates from high school and the first graduates of the Dallas school graduated from college last spring. Their success is nothing short of outstanding when you consider the dropout rate for girls in Texas is 30% and many FEYW girls are first in their families to graduate from high school much less have a chance at college.

So why is educating girls important? A new Wold Bank study concluded that when women are able to earn an income, they typically reinvest 90 percent of it back into their families and communities. And, for every year a girl stays in school, her future earnings will increase exponentially. The more time a girl spends in the classroom, the higher the return on investment for her time, and the beneficiaries are stronger families and communities.
I urge you to read the full article on the Huffington Post entitled How Empowering Women in STEM Can Spur Economic Development.”

The conclusion of the article? “Since girls and women represent 50 percent of the world population, enabling them to participate in their local economies helps broaden the employment pool. The world needs thinkers, leaders and doers more than ever, so neglecting the minds of half the population means a lost opportunity to benefit from their ideas, contributions and actions. Educating girls and women and equipping them with ICT skills offers a clear return on investment for society: stronger families, stronger communities, stronger economies.”

Kind regards
Christine

Happy Monday

One of the questions I mull over from time to time, is why after all these years are there still so few women in corporate leadership? Study after study proves that adding women (note the plural) to a team improves corporate performance substantially. The book, The Difference by Scott Page shows, through some very complicated math, that any organism from a cell to a company to a solar system dies out without enough diversity. And don’t forget that women make up 51% of the population, and since 1978 women have been earning more college degrees than men.  Women do make up 40% of all managerial positions, and yet when it comes to top management positions, women make up just 9% – and this is down from a high of 14% in 2004. So the question is, what is going on and why is this problem proving so intractable?

Professor David Ross of Columbia University just completed the first large scale statistical study on the issue.  The study, which analyzed 20 years of data from the 1,500 largest US firms, identified a single significant predictor. “If a firm already has one woman in a top management position, then the odds that another woman will also have a top position is lower,” Ross says. “It’s as if women are over-distributed among firms, or spread out more evenly than chance alone would dictate.”

The study does point out that, as you would expect, male behavior plays a big role in the absence of women at the top – the study shows generally that once one woman is added to the management team, the urgency to add a second woman diminishes greatly.

A very enlightening part of the survey outlined one part of the issue that we women have control over; namely how women at the top related to each other and to the younger women at the company. I would ask each of you to read the article which you can find here: http://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/ideas-at-work/publication/1469

The good news is that with any problem, the more light that is cast on the myriad issues that create the problem in the first place, the better chance there is to address the issue. This study is (finally) a great step in that direction!

So we have a ton of great events coming up this quarter. You will note we have the joint Cyber Vulnerability events with the CFA Society in each city coming up next week. If you are an investor, CFO or Compliance Officer, you will want to attend these events to learn more about how to protect yourself and your firm.  In Austin we have a great opportunity to have dinner with 2 CIOs and hear what these brilliant investors are up to. We also have a Family Office event in Dallas that you will not want to miss, so check out our event line up and get signed up as many of these events are space limited.

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

Kind regards,
Christine

Happy Monday and Happy New Year!

Last week I got a great article on how to manage New Year’s resolutions that really resonated with me because I am pretty awful at resolutions! The bottom line of the article was to not bother with resolutions but basically work all year at making your routine more efficient, and the author gives some great tips on this. My favorite tip was to get up 20 minutes early – before anyone else – and use that 20 minutes each day to get things done that you never seem to have time for! Love that! I have attached the full article at the bottom of the events schedule for those of you that want to read the whole thing.

So we have a ton of great events coming up this month! For our Houston women, we have a committee recruiting brunch next weekend – please attend if you want to learn more about volunteering or want to share event suggestions with us! In Austin we have a great opportunity to have dinner with 2 CIOs and hear what these brilliant investors are up to. We also have a Family Office event in Dallas that you will not want to miss, so check out our event line up and get signed up as many of these events are space limited.

We will look forward to seeing you all in the New Year!

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Monday!

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas last week, and on behalf of the Board, Advisory Board, Angels and Committee Members, we want to wish you and yours a Happy Healthy and Successful 2014!

As you will see from the list below, we have a VERY full schedule for the coming year with terrific speakers and fun venues. And of course the most important thing about our events is you – our members – attending events means both a chance to build your network of fabulous women as well as the opportunity to mentor women new to the field. The holidays remind us that life is a cycle of giving and receiving – certainly I know from speaking to the women that are critical to running this organization; the women who give their time to us that there is certainly work involved, but the reward, the receiving, comes from the gift of meeting other terrific women who love finance and the network of friends who share a similar love of their career.

So enjoy this holiday week and we will look forward to seeing you all in the New Year!

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Friday!

With Thanksgiving next week, on behalf of the Board, I want to express our grateful thanks to our committee chairs, our committee members, Advisory Board and Angels for their service. We are an all volunteer organization, and without their service, we would not be able to bring you the great events month after month, year after year.

These women are listed on our webpage, so before your next event, please look them up, and seek them out – they are terrific, tireless women and ones that you will want to get to know!

If you have an interest in joining a committee, please email us at info@txwsw.com and we will put you in touch with the appropriate committee head!

So huge thank you to these women for all they do, and huge thanks to all of you for your support. Happy Thanksgiving week!

Kind regards

Christine

Happy Tuesday!

So my bedtime reading this past week is a great book – The New Soft War on Women by Caryl Rivers and Rosalind Barnett. The book is a departure from my usual finance non-fiction reading, and an absolutely fascinating study of women in the workforce. Here is a great synopsis:

Are women finally breaking through the glass ceiling and achieving promotions and pay equity, free from the gender discrimination of the past? In this well-researched book, the authors cite numerous current statistics demonstrating that women with similar qualifications as their male counterparts still earn less for comparable positions. Bias is more subtle than previously and wages a soft war on working women. Female executives such as Melissa Mayer and Hilary Clinton who do achieve top jobs face scrutiny and more criticism than males and risk falling off the glass cliff with one small misstep. Most gender-diversity programs are ineffective. Furthermore, men are gaining ground in traditionally female occupations, like nursing. The authors reassure working mothers with mommy guilt that evidence shows children’s development is not adversely affected by working moms. To win the competition for promotions, women are encouraged to network and claim credit for their accomplishments despite the risk of being disliked for it. If there’s anything encouraging, it’s that competence can trump gender stereotypes, and there’s hope if women continue to fight for equality. –Cindy Kryszak

One of the points that the book made strongly was that to be a success, women need to have a solid network and not be afraid to blow their own horn. Even as the year comes to a busy close, take time to get out and build your network; engage in activities that raise your profile, and above all, don’t be afraid to share your accomplishments with your network and co-workers. I know this sounds like something way outside your comfort zone, but work is not school. There are no report cards that let everyone know what a great job you did – we all have to be our own advocates to get the promotions and compensation we want and deserve!

And speaking of networking, we have our holiday parties coming up – we hope you will be able to join us and raise a glass of cheer to celebrate the end of another wonderful year. We look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

Kind regards,

Christine

Happy Friday!

I am pleased to share with you all that the Board has elected Pamela Brylski as chair of the Houston Networking Committee. We are thrilled to have her energy and enthusiasm brought to our Houston Chapter. The Board would also like to thank Carol Carole and Leah Miller for their service and leadership in running the committee the last 4 years. We would also like to welcome Carla Knobloch of the Brown Foundation and Rhonda Smith of the Houston Municipal Retirement System to the Advisory Board. We are honored to have both women on board, and I know you will all look forward to meeting them.

We have our holiday parties coming up – we hope you will be able to join us and raise a glass of cheer to celebrate the end of another wonderful year. Have a terrific weekend, and we look forward to seeing you all at an event soon!

Kind regards,

Christine

Happy Veteran’s Day

We have just finished the three casino nights in Austin, Dallas and Houston, and I am thrilled to say that we were able to raise over $30,000 and had over 300 people attend the events in the three cities. Huge thanks to our sponsors who made the events possible, to all those of you who came out and supported us, to our Philanthropy Committee Chairs (Marianne Dwight, Somer Washington, Carter Wimberly and Raluca Dalea), and a special thanks to Heather Sauber for organizing us all!

As you know, the money we have raised goes to support the six girls’ schools across Texas started by the Foundation for the Education of Young Women. Our money goes to support the college dreams of the underserved young students and change the trajectory their lives are one from one of poverty to a way out through education and a career. So thank you all for your support of these amazing schools. If you were unable to attend, but would like to contribute, you may do so by visiting our GIVE page http://txwsw.com/give/

An article in the NY Times this past week “Standing Up for the Rights of New Fathers” details one new father’s lawsuit against his employer, Time Warner. His suit argues that female employees of Time Warner are entitled to 10 weeks maternity leave, and new fathers are not given any paid time off at all. This is the first suit of its kind in the US, and I think it will prove to be a game changer for women. For women to achieve equal opportunity at work, having children needs to be seen as a family issue, not a woman’s issue. I have heard of many women of childbearing years being passed over for promotion or simply not hired because it was likely that they would have a baby and either quit or step back too much to be effective. When childcare becomes the reality for both parents, it levels the playing field for women and ultimately will begin to open doors that have previously been closed.

My favorite quote from the article: And when men take time off after the birth of a child, it can have lasting ripple effects. Not only does it help create a connection with the child, but it sets the stage for a more egalitarian division of labor at home over the longer term. It could also help equalize the perception when women take time off. “If it is true that women will not be equal in the workplace until men are equal at home,” Ms. Calvert added, “it has greater repercussions as well.”

Below are the upcoming events through the end of the year – take a moment to check them out and sign up! I look forward to seeing you all at an event soon.

Kind regards,

Christine

Huge congratulations to the Houston Philanthropy Committee on a very successful Casino Night last week. We had over 115 people in attendance and a good time was had by all in support of a good cause. Huge thanks again to Andrews Kurth for hosting us and to all of our terrific sponsors. I would also like to single out Nancy Bostic, Carter Wimberley and Raluca Dalea for their tireless efforts in getting this event off the ground and making it a great success. And thanks to all of you who came out and supported their efforts.

There is a great article in Fortune this month titled “Where are all the Women at Finance Conferences?” that I would urge you to read – it is posted on our LinkedIn group. It notes that in the next decade fully half the wealth in the US will be controlled by women and yet, looking at conference speaker line-ups, women are largely absent. So the question is, as industry practitioners, should we care about this? I think the answer is resounding yes. The article goes on to note that “a report earlier this year from Rothstein Kass indicated hedge funds owned by women outperformed the HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index in the third quarter of 2012, netting an 8.95% return vs. 2.69%. I would think these women fund managers would have something of interest to say to the audiences at the Dow Jones and Wall Street Journal conferences.”

I attend my share of conferences and when I bring up the lack of women speakers to the organizers, I am often told that they cannot find any women to speak. As an organization, we are now up to 1800 members, so there obviously are plenty of potential speakers just in our group – so I would encourage each of you to seek out speaking opportunities. I promise you, after the first one, it will get easier. As seasoned professionals, you have a valued opinion, and part of the onus falls on you to be willing to share it! Does this sound like something a bit outside of your comfort zone? Probably.  Will sharing your opinion make our industry a richer one? Most definitely!

We have re-scheduled our Austin golf event for Sunday, November 3rd, so please join us for that. Additionally, our members have been offered a discount for the BUYOUTS conference to be held in Dallas in December. If you are an LP who would like to speak at the event, please contact me at info@txwsw.com   Also, in Austin, we have our Casino Night next month, so help us get out the word! We have lots of great events on the calendar, so sign up, bring a friend and see you all at an event soon!

Happy Monday!

Just a note to our Austin members – the rain is forcing us to postpone the golf event this week. We will let you all know the revised date tomorrow!

This is a busy week for us – we have the HOUSTON CASINO NIGHT on Thursday – I hope to see many of you there! We are almost sold out, so if you plan to attend, please grab your spouse, friend, or colleague and sign up for a fun evening benefiting a great cause! We also have the DALLAS HEAVY HITTERS DINNER this week as well. That is also almost sold out, so reserve your spot today!

Just a reminder that Rothstein Kass has asked Texas Wall Street Women members to participate in their annual Women in Alternatives survey. As you may recall from last year, Rothstein does a terrific report on the subject. The report will be shared with our members, so to help them make the report more comprehensive, we need all of you to participate!

Please take a moment to fill  out the Women in Alternatives survey: http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e8621ja5hlgwtf2z/start

See you all at an event soon!

Kind regards,

Christine

Happy Tuesday!

Huge congratulations to the Dallas Networking and Philanthropy Committee for hosting a very successful Casino night supporting our Dallas and Fort Worth schools! I especially want to thank Somer Washington and Tiffany Ramirez for their leadership and hard work. Without them, the event would not have been possible much less the great success that it was! I would also like to thank all our sponsors and all of you who attended the event.

On another note, Rothstein Kass has asked Texas Wall Street Women members to participate in their annual Women in Alternatives survey. As you may recall from last year, Rothstein does a terrific report on the subject. The report will be shared with our members, so to help them make the report more comprehensive, we need all of you to participate!

Please take a moment to fill  out the Women in Alternatives survey: http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e8621ja5hlgwtf2z/start

We have some GREAT events for you all in October – our Casino Night in Houston, the Heavy Hitters Dinner in Dallas and an Introduction to Golf in Austin. So sign up, bring a friend and see you all at an event soon!

Kind regards,

Christine

Happy Monday!

The main reason to join a networking group like Texas Wall Street Women is to have support for your career, and as an organization it is our mission to support our members in the achievement of their career goals. Given the rapid growth in the organization in the last 5.5 years that we have been around, I would like to think that we have been successful in helping you find the resources you need – whether it is information, a robust professional network, access to job information and even making lasting friendships along the way.

It is in that spirit of reciprocation that I ask you to help us support the students of the six schools across Texas started by the Foundation for the Education of Young Women. These schools are helping underserved girls achieve their college dreams. Why should you care about this?

As finance professionals, we know two things: 1) the global economy is a knowledge-based one. Without a college education, job prospects are poor. 2) the income gap in this country is widening at an ever increasing rate, and if history is any judge, a wide income gap fosters social unrest and violence. Then we add the following statistics to that equation – given its size and population growth, Texas will be responsible for educating about a third of the US workforce, and Texas now ranks 49th in public education spending on a per-pupil basis. I cannot imagine how this story can end well.

And this is why TXWSW has chosen to partner with the Foundation for the Education of Young Women. The first question is why only education for girls? I have stepsons and they have absolutely benefitted from being in a great school district and having us involved in their education. The simple answer is the Girl Effect – helping a girl changes the outcome for not only that one girl, but the family she will have in the future (to learn more: http://www.girleffect.org/why-girls/#&panel1-1) – or what we in finance refer to as the multiplier effect – more bang for our philanthropic buck!

These schools also focus heavily on STEM programming – math, science and technology are a big part of the curriculum and mandatory for each student, so these schools truly are preparing the students for the next generation of careers, and even careers in finance! The extra dollars we raise for the school go directly to the college readiness program. These girls start working with a college guidance counselor in sixth grade. Why so early? Because for the majority of these girls they will be the first in their family to graduate high school much less go on to college, so the support that a child in a household with educated parents has available from a very early age has to come from the schools starting in the sixth grade. They also need money for things like ACT & SAT fees and prep courses, college visits and tutoring.

I personally have been to many of the schools and met many students there over the 5.5 years. 80% of the students at the FEYW schools qualify for school lunch, many are homeless, and I have to say that I am absolutely humbled by these girls – in spite of the odds, they get up every day, get to school and work hard. Why? Because the schools have told them that if they do show up and do the work, the schools will help them achieve their college dreams – dreams that are about a better life and a way out – a way out of the cycle of poverty that their families have been trapped in for generations. A way out for the families that these girls will one day have.

And the best part of the story is that these FEYW schools are doing it. In spite of the odds, these schools are graduating these students from high school and getting them into 4 year colleges. TXWSW supports its members in their career development. Now we are asking you to support underserved girls in your community – please help us change the outcomes for these girls and the families they will have. So buy a ticket, donate a prize, and bring your friends and family to come help us support this amazing cause!

See you all at an event soon!

Kind regards,

Christine

Happy Monday!

There was an author interview in the Sunday NY Times titled Finding Satisfaction in Second Best. The author interviewed Debora Spar, who is the author of Wonder Women: Sex, Power and the Quest for Perfection. Ms. Spar is also the president of Barnard College.  The interview was both informative and interesting, but upon reflection, it was the title of the interview that I could not let go of. By all accounts, Ms. Spar is an incredibly accomplished woman – she has written a book, raised children and become president of one of the top educational institutions in the country – sounds pretty amazing to me. Certainly not someone that needs to find satisfaction in second best!

So what is it with women and perfection? Why are we always being compared to a perfect ideal and more importantly, why would we even try to hold ourselves to something that does not exist? A Buddhist teacher I know once told me that a nautilis shell is the closest thing in nature to perfection that exists, but really nothing in nature is “perfect” and yet all of creation still manages to be pretty astounding in all of its “imperfection.” The natural world we live in is hardly second best.

In the interview Ms. Spar reflects on a moment where she was home from work and heading out to a PTA meeting when her 8 year old son asked why she was leaving again. Her response was that she wanted to be a responsible member of his school community. His response was that he just wanted her to be home; so she stayed and never went to another PTA meeting, and by all accounts, Ms. Spar and her family are doing well. Is that second best or just making a choice given the limited resource of time that constrains us all?

My husband has a very challenging job and two sons still in school. He makes it to practices and school meetings when he can, and when he cannot, I have not seen him lose any sleep over it. He is also fine with leaving chores undone or picking up takeout for us when work or other demands require it. In his mind, it is all about choices and once a choice has been made,  there is no guilt and fretting. There is no trying to achieve an ideal just for the sake of it. And really, the boys are doing just great so far. So maybe the thing we really need to let go of is this label of perfection – how is it second best to be someone that is president of a university, author and mother to great children? And how great are you with what you have been able to accomplish in your life? What if the only thing keeping from you seeing it is the labels we put on ourselves and the guilt we carry around from not attaining some ideal that does not exist?

And speaking of achieving some pretty amazing goals, I would ask each and every one of you to help us with our fundraisers in your city to help us support the underserved girls in your community that are working to achieve their college dreams. As you all know, we support the six schools across Texas founded by the Foundation for the Education of Young Women – 80% of the students at the schools qualify for school lunch, and many are homeless. And in spite of the odds, these schools are graduating these students from high school and getting them into 4 year colleges. TXWSW supports its members in their career development. Now we are asking you to support underserved girls in your community – please help us change the outcomes for these girls and the families they will have. So buy a ticket, donate a prize, and bring your friends and family to come help us support this amazing cause!

See you all at an event soon!

Kind regards,

Christine

See our Upcoming Events

Happy Monday!

A recent article – Leaning Out: Number of Women in Finance Declines explains that in the decade between 2002 and 2012, 200,000 women left the finance industry. During that same period, 237,000 men joined the industry. And at management levels, the percent of women declined from already low levels. The article goes on to say that the declining numbers are a mystery especially in light of the fact that fully 40% of people getting MBAs are women. So what gives here?

A Sunday article in the New York Times Harvard Case Study: Gender Equitydetails the changes made for the Harvard MBA class of 2013. Harvard’s first female president Drew Gilpin Faust appointed a new dean who pledged to do far more than his predecessors to remake gender relations at the business school. Prior to this two year experiment, “some male students, many with finance backgrounds, commandeered classroom discussions and hazed female students and younger faculty members, and openly ruminated on whom they would “kill, sleep with or marry (in cruder terms).” Then facing life after school, “this was the lopsided situation that women in business school were facing: in intellectual prestige, they were pulling even with or outpacing male peers, but they were not “touching the money,” as Nori Gerardo Lietz, a real estate private equity investor and faculty member, put it.”

And here is my favorite: At an extracurricular presentation the year before, a female student asked William Boyce, a co-founder of Highland Capital Partners, aventure capital firm, for advice for women who wanted to go into his field. “Don’t,” he laughed, according to several students present.  Male partners did not want them there, he continued, and he was doing them a favor by warning them. Some women protested or walked out, but others said they believed he was telling the truth.

As part of the two year experiment, they taught women to speak up more in class and be more assertive in defending their opinions. They also found it necessary to install stenographers in the classroom to guard against biased grading. The result? The grade gap had vaporized so fast that no one could quite say how it happened. In 2009, women at HBS represented 36% of the class and just 14% of students in the top 5% of the class. In 2013, women made up 40% of the students and 38% of the top 5% of the class. Amazing what those women could achieve when the harassment and bias were removed. If more schools follow Harvard’s lead, we may solve the mystery of the missing women in finance.

Also please note that we added a FREE wine tasting in Houston to the calendar for next week, so grab a friend and join us for a glass of wine!

See you all at an event soon!

Kind regards,

Christine

Happy Monday!

There was a great feature in the NY Times Magazine this weekend “The Opt Out Generation Wants Back In.” The author, Judith Warner reached out to three women that were interviewed in Lisa Belkin’s 2003 article on women that had stepped down from high paying careers to raise children. The article is a worthwhile read, and I wanted to share some highlights:

“Eighty-nine percent of those who “off-ramped,” as she puts it, said they wanted to resume work; but only 73 percent of these succeeded in getting back in, and only 40 percent got full-time jobs. “It was distressingly difficult to get back on track,” Hewlett told me.”

“Many of the women I spoke with were troubled by the gender-role traditionalism that crept into their marriages once they gave up work, transforming them from being their husbands’ intellectual equals into the one member of their partnership uniquely endowed with gifts for laundry or cooking and cleaning; a junior member of the household, who sometimes had to “negotiate” with her husband to get money for child care. The husbands hadn’t turned into ogres. Their intent was not to make their wives feel lesser. But when traditional gender arrangements were put into place, there was a subtle slide into inequality.”

“Over the last 10 years, the decades-long advancement of women to higher positions in business and politics seems to have stalled. According to the nonprofit research group Catalyst, women now account for just 4 percent of Fortune 500 chief executives, 17 percent of corporate board seats, 20 percent of law partners and 19 percent of Congress (thanks to a big bump in the 2012 elections). A younger generation of female high achievers, especially those who aren’t most highly privileged, aren’t getting a very hopeful message. And without women in powerful positions pushing for change, employers have less incentive to alter workplace practices that may encourage women to exit after they have children. “Once they leave the corporate workplace, their ability to imbue workplace culture with their values is gone,” Pamela Stone says of the women she has studied. “They leave, and the door closes behind them, and everything stays the same.”

“Men, too, are feeling the crunch of excessively demanding work. They now report more work-life stress than women do, according to the Families and Work Institute. They also may be penalized more than women if they try to accommodate their work schedules to the needs of their children, as research appearing in the June issue of The Journal of Social Issues shows. At a time when fewer families than ever can afford to live on less than two full-time salaries, achieving work-life balance may well be less a gender issue than an economic one.”

Don’t forget we have three casino nights planned this Fall in all three cities. These events will benefit the FEYW schools across the state. So grab your spouse, your friends and colleagues and come one, come all a party for a great cause! We also need sponsors and silent auction donations. If you want to help or would like additional information, you can reach me at cbreck@txwsw.com!

See you all at an event soon!

Kind regards,

Christine

Happy Tuesday!

I would like to invite you to all visit our updated website at txwsw.com. This has been months in the making, and I want to thank all those who contributed for their efforts. Please take a moment to check it out! You will note that we have added a new section – we are introducing paid membership for the first time. There are myriad benefits to becoming a member including great discounts at terrific hotels and other vendors, discounted event pricing, private events for our top level members, and more! So take a moment to check out the new membership levels, sign up and help the organization become self-sustaining!

As many of you know, our Fed Chair Ben Bernanke will be stepping down, and the race to replace him has been narrowed down to two candidates – Larry Summers and Janet Yellen. There was a great Op Ed in the Journal today entitled Why Yellen is the Best Fed Choice. As you would imagine, the article goes on to discuss Ms. Yellen’s long list of accomplishments, but what interested me most was this quote by the author “But in talking to many people in recent days, I’ve learned that, outside the narrow confines of economists and people who dote on central banking, Ms. Yellen, the Fed’s vice chairman, is virtually unknown. So here, as a public service, is a primer. (Full disclosure: She is a close friend.).”

It has been my observation that there really are a large number of amazingly accomplished women out there to fill all those CEO, Board and Fed Chairman roles, but as women are taught from a young age, the best thing to do is keep your head down and focus on the job at hand – which by all accounts Ms. Yellen has done in a very admirable fashion. The problem is that most women don’t have a former Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve as a friend who is willing to write Op Eds for them when the job of a lifetime presents itself. My two takeaways from this for all the women coming behind Ms. Yellen – no matter what your job of a lifetime may be – 1) it helps to have a strong professional network of people who are willing to sing your praises, and 2) don’t be afraid of visibility. If they cannot find you, they cannot hire you!

Don’t forget we have three casino nights planned this Fall in all three cities. These events will benefit the FEYW schools across the state. So grab your spouse, your friends and colleagues and come one, come all a party for a great cause! We also need sponsors and silent auction donations. If you want to help or would like additional information, you can reach me at cbreck@txwsw.com!

See you all at an event soon!

Kind regards,
Christine

See our Upcoming Events

Happy Monday!

So the question of the day – does it matter whether women Lean In or Opt Out? Adam Grant, a Wharton professor and author the book “Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success” had a great article in Sunday’s NY Times entitled “Why Men Need Women.” The gist of the article is that having daughters and being surrounded by women has an impact on men’s generosity. The article in itself is a worthwhile read, and it is of course posted on our Member’s Forum and LinkedIn group. What struck me and answered today’s question came at the end of his article.

And here I will quote:  “ at work, we sorely need more women in leadership positions. We already know from considerable research that companies are better off when they have more women in top management roles, especially when it comes to innovation. Professors Dezso and Ross have recently shown that between 1992 and 2006, when companies introduced women onto their top management teams, they generated an average of 1 percent more economic value, which typically meant more than $40 million.” “We recognize the direct advantages that women as leaders bring to the table, which often include diverse perspectives, collaborative styles, dedication to mentoring and keen understanding of female employees and customers. But we’ve largely overlooked the beneficial effects that women have on the men around them.”   “It’s often said that behind every great man stands a great woman. In light of the profound influence that women can have on men’s generosity, it might be more accurate to say that in front of every great man walks a great woman. If we’re wise, we’ll follow her lead.”

One more reason to Lean In ladies!

Don’t forget we have three casino nights planned this Fall in all three cities. These events will benefit the FEYW schools across the state. So grab your spouse, your friends and colleagues and come one, come all a party for a great cause! We also need sponsors and silent auction donations. If you want to help or would like additional information, you can reach me at cbreck@txwsw.com!

See you all at an event soon!

Kind regards,
Christine

See our Upcoming Events

Happy Monday!

This weeks’ article is short and sweet so it is included in its entirety!

Tired? Of What… by Rachael Bertsche

According to a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16% of women ages 18-44 say they are worn out most days, or every day compared with only 9% of men in the same age range. Is it because women are working outside the house and handling childcare duties? The study doesn’t specify, but Francine M. Deutsch, professor of psychology at Mount Holyoke College and author of Halving It All, has a thought. “I bet it’s not the women who share the work in the home and the breadwinning with their partners,” she says. “Equality is an antidote to exhaustion.”

Don’t forget we have three casino nights planned this Fall in all three cities. These events will benefit the FEYW schools across the state. So grab your spouse, your friends and colleagues and come one, come all a party for a great cause! We also need sponsors and silent auction donations. If you want to help or would like additional information, you can reach me at cbreck@txwsw.com!

See you all at an event soon!

Kind regards,
Christine

See our Upcoming Events

Happy Monday!

And happy 4th of July week to you and your families! It is amazing when you consider this country’s history and the freedoms that we have all grown up with. This truly is the land of opportunity, and education is one of the critical tools for opening doors for us to pursue our dreams. So it is with great pride this week that I share with you the following:

The two FEYW schools with a twelfth grade (Dallas and Austin) are sending 100% of their graduates on to four year colleges with more than $9 million in academic and merit based scholarships – over $90,000 per student on average”

In this year’s graduating class, more than 75% of the students will be first in their family to attend college. Given that over 70% of FEYW students statewide come from economically disadvantaged homes, many of these girls have overcome large obstacles just to make it through high school”

The Dallas FEYW school had its first graduating class in 2009, and those students are now graduating from college. To read their inspiring stories, go to www.feyw.org

As many of you know, TXWSW is a statewide partner and strong supporter of the FEYW schools across the state. These schools are changing lives and the opportunity set not only for these young women, but the families they in turn will have, and we are grateful to be a part of it and celebrate their success!

And speaking of celebrate, we have three casino nights planned this Fall in all three cities. These events will benefit the FEYW schools across the state. So grab your spouse, your friends and colleagues and come one, come all to a party for a great cause! We also need sponsors and silent auction donations. If you want to help or would like additional information, you can reach me at cbreck@txwsw.com

See you all at an event soon!

Kind regards,
Christine

See our Upcoming Events

Happy Monday!

There was a brilliant article this weekend that is my must read for the week – Messages Galore, But No Time to Think – to me, one of the most powerful quotes in the article was “Nobody can think anymore because they are constantly interrupted.” I was in a presentation with the fund manager I am working with, and they noted that one of the things they committed to as a partnership is that during all meetings, their cell phones are off. On the surface, this would seem to be common sense, but when I thought about it, how many meetings have I been in over the years where I and other meeting participants were stealthily checking our messages? The conclusion of the article was to never forget the value of face to face or voice to voice communication “An actual unrehearsed conversation – requiring sustained attention and spontaneous reactions – may be old fashioned, but it just might turn up something new!” And I would add is the way to deepening friendships and other relationships.

Many thanks to all who attended the brunch in Austin on Sunday. It was very relaxing, and a pleasure to spend time with you all! I would also like to give huge thanks to both Haynes and Boone and Andrews Kurth for hosting TXWSW for the Fall Casino Nights. Please help us get the word out – sign up today for early bird pricing and please consider becoming a sponsor. To learn more, please email info@txwsw.com and we will send you an information package!

We are in the process of revamping our website and need your help! We are looking for member testimonials and would love to hear from YOU! Let us know how TXWSW has served you. We would love to hear your thoughts, and be able to share them with prospective members! Please email us at info@txwsw.com to participate!

See you all at an event soon!

Kind regards,
Christine

See our Upcoming Events

Happy Monday!

There was a great article in the NY Times this weekend – Progress at Work, But Mothers Still Pay a Price – the article notes that since the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963, the gender wage gap has narrowed from 60% to 80%. Progress no doubt until you consider that a woman has to work 52 years to earn what a man makes in 40 years, and at every educational level, women continue to earn less than men with the same credentials. Additionally, motherhood imposes about twice the earning penalty in the US compared with what women face in countries that have expansive publicly financed childcare systems. Women earn 5% less per hour per child than comparable workers who are childless women. Mothers are also less likely to be hired if they leave or change jobs.

When you consider the Pew Study statistics of 40% of households were women are the primary breadwinners, this has staggering consequences for our economy. The article is on both our LinkedIn group and our member’s forum. Please take a moment to read it!

We are in the process of revamping our website and need your help! We are looking for member testimonials and would love to hear from YOU! Let us know how TXWSW has served you. We would love to hear your thoughts, and be able to share them with prospective members! Please email us at info@txwsw.com to participate!

See you all at an event soon!

Kind regards,
Christine

See our Upcoming Events

Happy Monday!

So the question of whether to work or not to work was put to rest last week when the Pew Research Center reported that four in 10 families with children under the age of 18 are now headed by women who are the sole or primary breadwinners. It is remarkable how profound the shift has been: In 1960 just 11 percent of all households with children under 18 included mothers who were either the sole or primary source of income for the family.

An article this weekend in the New York Times – The Triumph of the Working Mother – went on to point out that at all income levels, mothers who work reported less sadness, anger and episodes of diagnosed depression than their stay-at-home counterparts. Employed moms spend fewer hours with their children than stay at home mothers, but interestingly they spend more time with their children than homemakers did in 1965! And fathers nearly tripled their amount of time with children. A review of nearly 70 studies in the US finds no significant negative effects of maternal employment on the intellectual achievement of young children, and in low-income families, children whose mothers had stable jobs had fewer behavioral problems than children whose mothers experienced job instability or who did not work at all.

So all this is to say that women are in the workforce to stay – so access to opportunities and equal pay matter. The greatest investor in the world, Warren Buffet is bullish on women – read his recent editorial and find out why. All these articles are on our LinkedIn group and in our members’ forum. They make for great reading!

See you all at an event soon!

Kind regards,
Christine

See our Upcoming Events

Happy Tuesday!

I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend. Hopefully by now all of you have seen the Paul Tudor Jones video with his thoughts on why there are so few women traders. If you have not seen the video, I would encourage you to watch it. What is horrifying is that this is not the first time he has been asked to comment on this subject in front of a room full of predominantly women. Mr. Tudor Jones suggests that the reason there are so few female traders is that once women have children, they lose interest in anything else. I suggest that the reason there are so few women traders and women on Wall Street in general, is Mr. Tudor Jones’ attitude. Over the course of my career, I have heard many instances of women not being hired or passed over for promotion because of the fear that they were in their child bearing years and would “just quit anyway.” What I have seen is that the opposite is true – if women can be given a flexible work schedule for a short period, they prefer to stay engaged and are incredibly productive.

And here is the rub – this is not only about having children. At some point in everyone’s life, there will be a period where we need to step back – whether it be for children, aging parents or personal illness – these reasons transcend age, race and gender. As a society, we need to recognize Mr. Tudor-Jones words for what they are – not so subtle gender discrimination. In his mind, gender is a valid reason to keep women away from a very lucrative table, and he would not even give a woman a chance to show what she can do, so she is out of the game before she starts. If you substituted race for gender in the last sentence, can you imagine the outcry?

The positive thing about all this is that a powerful trader is now on record for his discriminatory views, and what can come of this is an honest dialogue which can change the landscape for any woman wanting to enter and stay in this field because of the job she does – not because her chair is taken away before she has been given a chance.

See you all at an event soon!

Kind regards,
Christine

See our Upcoming Events

Happy Friday!

I wanted to share with you a note from one of our long time members and active committee volunteers:
After 7 great years with a Dallas hedge fund, structural changes in the firm and subsequent right-sizing of the business forced me to look for other employment. With many local hedge funds contracting and closing, I was nervous about my prospects in the Dallas job market. In the first phase of my job search, I reached out to my core group of industry contacts, mostly built through my years of networking in various industry organizations and events, including TXWSW. On a Wednesday evening, around 7pm, I sent out an email to around 70 people. By 11pm that night, I had set up my first interview. At the end of the next day, I had received more than 40 calls and emails from all sorts of people offering assistance…to forward my resume, tell me about an opportunity, offer to meet for lunch or coffee to discuss possibilities and brainstorm, etc. I was overwhelmed and humbled by the response.

In the subsequent 3 weeks that followed that email, I had 12 interviews (for 12 very different opportunities) and received 2 terrific offers.

I began my job search concerned that I had only a month to find a new job and ended up concerned that I had only a month to wrap up my work at my prior firm! I attribute 100% of the ease and swiftness of my job search to networking. It was my core group of contacts and their willingness to forward my resume to their contacts that expanded the scope of my search. I met with one fund manager who told me that he had received my resume from three different people…that is the power of a good network.

Networking is important in any field but it is vital in a close knit industry like the Texas investment community. Over the past 5 years, I have focused on strategically building my network. I made it my personal goal to get plugged in and stay actively involved in the Dallas investment industry. My recent experience certainly reinforced my belief that networking is key to career advancement and success.

For every person searching for a new opportunity, there will always be someone brighter or more qualified than you. What will set you apart is the people that you know. Your network is the true key to opening doors for you. Never underestimate the power of having others advocate for you. You may not be able to get a seat at the table unless someone you know is willing to pull up a chair.

How good is your network? The time to start building it is when you don’t need it! See you all at an event soon!

See you all at an event soon!

Kind regards,
Christine

See our Upcoming Events

Happy Wednesday!

There was a great article today in the New York Times that you can find on our LinkedIn Group – “How the IRS Hurts Mothers.” It is amazing that the way the tax code is written, it actually penalizes high earning women in a dual income household. Please take a moment to read it and pass it along!

We have some great events this Spring – Sarah Campbell is again opening her home to us for tea in April. We have nationally recognized make-up artists pampering us in Houston and we have our ever-popular Spring lunch in Dallas.

Please also note that we are doing our big May event in partnership with The Dallas CFA Society and the Texas Hedge Fund Association. This event is open to men and women and we look forward to seeing you all there.
We look forward to seeing you at an event soon!

See you all at an event soon!

Kind regards,
Christine

See our Upcoming Events

Happy Tuesday:

We our holding our biggest event of the year this Thursday, March 9th in Dallas. This will be TXWSW’s 8th annual State of the Markets event and we have nothing short of a fabulous line up planned! To begin, back by popular demand, we haveDanielle DiMartino Booth, formerly with the Dallas Fed and Dr. Lev Borodovsky, Editor of the Wall Street Journal’s Daily Shot discussing the economy in a debate style format led by Dallas Children’s investment director Ryan Bailey. Next, we have award winning CIOs from across the country sharing their thoughts on asset allocation, opportunities and pitfalls in today’s market led by Nili Gilbert. This event is open to the public and supports the Young Women’s Preparatory Network – please buy your ticket today and help us get the word out! More details may be found here.

For those of you new to Texas Wall Street Women, our philanthropy partner is the Young Women’s Preparatory Network. YWPN counts 8 schools in its network and their mission is to provide a college preparatory education to underserved girls across Texas. The schools have a foundation in STEM education and provide the students with a rigorous education including pre-AP and AP courses. To learn more about YWPN, I would personally ask you to please take 5 minutes to watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wP9aYBgmh0U

For those of you that cannot attend this week’s event and enjoy the benefits of TXWSW membership, even if it is only reading this weekly blog, I would ask you to please consider even a small donation to YWPN to help us help them in their mission of breaking the cycle of poverty for these 4,000+ girls and the families they have someday. Whatever you can afford, we are grateful for your generous support. You may learn more here: http://txwsw.com/give/

If you would like to attend this week’s event as a sponsor or learn more about corporate sponsorship of TXWSW, please reach out to our marketing director, Bianca King at developmentdirector@txwsw.com and she will be happy to assist you.

We have some terrific events lined up for you this year and look forward to seeing you all at an event in 2017! To learn more about our 2017 events, please visit www.txwsw.com

Happy Monday:

Congratulations to the YWPN schools in Lubbock and Fort Worth for being awarded blue ribbon status by the US Secretary of Education. These Texas schools join an esteemed list of 329 outstanding schools across the country. TXWSW has 3 events scheduled this Fall where you can come out and meet the YWPN staff. The full article can be found here: http://youngwomensprep.org/two-young-womens-preparatory-network-schools-are-named-the-best-in-the-nation/

We talk a lot about the pay gap in my blog, but Dallas-based Ralph Heffelman of ICMC highlighted the need to bridge the financial literacy gap between men and women. Why is this important? We are all guilty of delegating chores and typically men end up managing the finances, however, between death and divorce, it is highly likely that women will need to control household finances so it is important that women educate themselves sooner rather than later. This seems silly sharing this advice with women in finance, but think about your family, friends and neighbors who may be in different professions, and also for your children – it is never too early to start. The full article can be found here: http://www.icmc.com/bridge-financial-literacy-gap-women-men/

Speaking of gaps, the number of female CEOs reached a record level in 2016, but they still make up only 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs. The full article can be found here:  http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/29/investing/female-ceos-record-high/

The next article explores why so few women make it to the top and the title says it all – “Women Hit the Glass Ceiling Earlier Than You Think.” Read on: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/women-hit-glass-ceiling-earlier-than-you-think-rachel-schall-thomas

The previous article is an excerpt from a longer study that McKinsey & Company published on the state of Women in the Workplace in 2016. The upshot? Women fall behind early in their careers and keep losing ground with every step. The full report can be found here:http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/women-in-the-workplace-2016

The good news is that the neuroscience community has developed behavioral games that are gender blind to collect data on cognitive and emotional aptitudes that can recommend careers in an objective and bias-free way. The full article can be found here:https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/09/perfect-job-unbiased-workplace-mercer-pymetrics-app/

We have some fabulous events lined up for the Fall so please check out the schedule and register soon! We thank you all for your continued support as we continue to grow and look forward to seeing you all soon! Also, don’t forget to join our Facebook page and private LinkedIn Group both of which give you the opportunity to engage with your fellow members online! Please visit www.txwsw.com to learn more and register for events.