Category Archives: women and investing

Women and Money, Time for Women to Teach Each Other

Working on the laptop and doing some website changes.  Kind of listening to the TV in the other room.  Realized the morning show out of Austin (Texas) had a speaker explaining how the role of women in personal finance has changed.  Started actively listening to statistics about how women own homes, are Chief Financial Officers (CFO) of their lives and the lives of their families, and how we care for our families and often other generations of friends and family members.  Basically the conversation hit all the topics we as women already know because we live it.

Then I really paid attention and realized the speaker was– a man.   So I walked to the TV to see the male speaker telling the woman talk host all this information.  The visual reminded me that about 70% of the people in the financial advisory and investment communities in the U.S. are men, even though there are more women than men in the  overall population.

Oh HAPPY DAY when we see as many women financial advisors, brokers, insurance agents, and teachers of financial literacy in our neighborhoods as we see Starbucks or Walgreens.

Doesn’t it seem odd to you that men remain our biggest resource for financial “stuff”?  We can change that!

This isn’t about men versus women.  It is about choices.  Some women prefer to learn from men.  Others prefer to learn from women.  With such under-representation of women in the advisory and investment communities, we as women need to teach each other the basics to balance out the equation.  This gives us a choice in who is teaching us, and benefiting from it.

Thanks for reading my posts and being interested enough in your financial future to learn the fundamentals.  Please help by sharing  your knowledge so the next “experts” on the morning shows are women.  It could be you.  Start in your living room with a few friends.  Buy my book to start, or find other resources which speak to you.  It’s easier than you think.

 

 

 

 

 

Women and Money, Gender Lens Investing IV

This is the fourth Women and Money post in a series about gender lens investing.

lensfunny
The first post introduced the concept of investing through a screening process, referred to as a lens. The second gives an overview of socially responsible investing as an established type of lens investing. The third answers the question “Why gender lens investing?” and promises to look at the role of board of directors (also referred to as the board) and high level business executives in publicly traded companies. This, the fourth post, gives a brief overview of each of these two leadership groups. Understanding why they are important to the company is critical to understanding how gender lens investing works.

Business executives and boards of directors can be found in both privately and publicly held companies. For gender lens investing, I am referring to publicly traded companies. These companies offer securities such as stocks and bonds to the general public through an exchange. One of the most well-known U.S. exchanges is the New York Stock Exchange, but there are many more. This is a simplified definition and to learn more, just perform a quick search on the Internet for more information about publicly traded companies.

With gender lens investing, the gender of the members of board and the company’s business executives is looked at through the lens. It is a pretty simple process; just compare the number of women to the number of men serving in these top level leadership and management positions.

lensfunnyboard-of-directors

So you may be wondering why a blog about women and money has a graphic titled Board of Directors with all male figures. The reason is simple. Men currently hold the majority of the board positions of publicly traded companies

Board members and business executives are tasked with working together to reach common goals for the company. However, their roles for achieving this are different.

Board members in publicly traded companies are elected by shareholders. Shareholders have ownership in the business. Perhaps you have owned stock or mutual funds and received forms to vote concerning selecting a board member. Maybe you have been asked to complete a proxy so someone is authorized to vote on a proposal on your behalf. This shows how shareholders are given the opportunity to influence the board and its decisions. Board members not only oversee the management of the company, but they also serve as a connector between the company (including what is referred to below as C-level executives) and the shareholders. Board members have considerable influence over the organization. They also have significant responsibility to the shareholders.

Gender lens investing evaluates the overall relationship between the number of women and men who are members of the company’s board of directors.

C- level Executiveslensfunny

c-level

Unlike members of the board, business executives are employees of the business. The graphic above cleverly showing “C- level” and an executive meeting room may not mean much to you. However, C-level refers to the most senior and influential positions in a company. You have heard of them, CEO (Chief Executive Officer, CFO (Chief Financial Officer), CIO (Chief Information Officer), COO (Chief Operating Officer) and others. The term C-level executives is also commonly used for these important positions. C-level executives hold the highest levels of leadership and decision making authority in the company. Correspondingly, these executives are usually the most highly compensated of all the employees. Compensation may consist of not only salaries, but bonuses, stock options, etc.

As with members of boards of publicly traded companies, C-level executive positions currently are predominately held by men.

Gender lens investing also evaluates the overall relationship between the numbers of women and men who are C-level executives.

To summarize, a publicly traded company is one which offers shares of ownership to the public through an exchange. A publicly traded company has both a board of directors and business executives. Gender lens investing looks at the number of women and men holding these key positions as part of the filtering process, seeking those who meet the criteria established by the investment company, or even by an individual investor.

Coming in the next Money and Women, Gender Lens Investing post: Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund as an example of gender lens investing.

You may also read this information on scribd.com by clicking here.

(This information is designed to educate you about basic financial management concepts. Questions relevant to personal finances specific to the individual should be address to an appropriate professional to ensure that the situation has been evaluated carefully and appropriately. The Authors and Publisher specifically disclaim any liability loss, or risk which is incurred as a consequence directly or indirectly from the use and application of any contents of this work.)

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright2014©by Debra Hadsall

Women and Money, Gender Lens Investing, Part II

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Let’s continue together on our journey to learn about this option of gender lens investing.

Investing through a lens is not a new concept. I first experienced it as a financial advisor when socially responsible investing became more popular. Some people are more driven by their social conscience than by the overall rate of return on an investment.  For them, using a “lens” or screening process of the companies in which they invest became the solution.

I see gender lens investing as an extension of socially responsible investing. So it helps to first understand the more established investment option called socially responsible investing.

A socially responsible investment is the result of screening publicly traded businesses based on certain criteria which seek both financial gain and social good or benefit.

Companies are evaluated and selected based on certain criteria. Some of the common criteria evaluated through the lens are:

  •  Support of sustainability of the environment through corporate policies and actions.
  •  Corporate commitment to workforce diversity in training and promotion   opportunities as well as to fair workplace practices.
  • Companies which avoid certain industries, such as those involved in weapons, alcohol, tobacco, pornography, and gambling.

I am writing a post for a blog. The intent is to keep it short and stick with the basics. If socially responsible investing interests you, please learn more through your financial advisor or by simply googling it on the web. There are now many companies offering socially responsible investing. Among them is a company called Pax World Funds. They are part of the story of gender lens investing and a partnership with an organization called Ellevate.  More next time!

Debra Hadsall

www.ffptalk.com

(This information is designed to educate you about basic financial management concepts. Questions relevant to personal finances specific to the individual should be address to an appropriate professional to ensure that the situation has been evaluated carefully and appropriately. The Authors and Publisher specifically disclaim any liability loss, or risk which is incurred as a consequence directly or indirectly from the use and application of any contents of this work.)