09.19.2017

STA Women in Finance: So Much More to Do

This article first appeared in the magazine of the STA’s 84th Annual Market Structure Conference, which was held Sep. 13-15 in Washington, D.C.

Eighteen months ago, the STA Women in Finance, “STA WIF” initiative made its official launch. As a committee operating under the STA Association, STA WIF has had a series of “firsts” and inaugural events. While all those involved in the effort are pleased with the initial success, there is so much more that can, and will be done. Under the leadership of STA Secretary Jodie Mrotek, Geneva Capital and a dedicated committee comprised of 12 representatives from those affiliates with an active effort, we’re confident 2018 will bring many highlights.

2017 started with a panel discussion at STA Chicago’s Mid Winter Meeting titled “The Changing Face of Finance” that included a networking event. In March, STA WIF held its inaugural Evening of Recognition & Education event titled, Gender Diversity: Including Men in the Conversation. The program featured the Ken Heath Award, which recognizes those men who have made a “notable and genuine contribution to the advancement of women in finance”. Shortly thereafter, STA WIF organized its second Spring Campaign, a nationwide effort with STA affiliates hosting networking events with the goals of raising awareness and funds for women veterans. Women veterans are the largest growing group of veterans and are underserved, 60% experience housing instability, and one fourth of women vets experience PTSD. Also notable is that post 9/11 women veterans have the largest share of unemployment. All proceeds went to the Foundation for Women Warriors. According to Foundation for Women Warriors Executive Director Jodie Grenier, the event came “….just in time for summer where a lot of veteran moms struggle with childcare. We will be able to ensure the kids have fun at camps and mom has peace of mind while remaining employed or in school”. While these events serve as meaningful examples of accomplishment, it is the scores of other actions taken at the local affiliate level that demonstrate a true grass roots and genuine effort that will serve many.

As we gather in Washington, D.C. we are pleased to announce that the 2nd Annual Women in Finance Symposium will once again kick-off STA’s Market Structure Conference. The Symposium will have Susan Estes, CEO of OpenDoor Trading as its keynote presenter.  Then a panel discussion with senior women professionals will share personal experiences that shaped their careers. What were their greatest challenges and how did they overcome them? Specific techniques for being an effective sponsor or mentor and career guidance for mid to upper female managers will be highlighted. We are pleased to announce that moderating this panel will be Brian Fagen, Deutsche Bank. Having a senior male executive as moderator we believe highlights one of STA WIF’s core beliefs that corporations that engage men in their gender diversity strategies achieve better results.

We hope you will all take time to learn more about STA WIF and become involved in the effort.

Finally, we would like to thank, Thomson Reuters, Exclusive Sponsor of this year’s Women in Finance Symposium. Their sponsorship will enable us to do more in the coming year and we greatly appreciate their support.

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