Thoughts and Takeaways from the “Investing In Women” Event, December 10, 2014

What happens when you get a group of 27 women together in a room to discuss aligning our money with our values? Great things! Our panel addressed the value of investing in women through multiple avenues:

  • investing our assets in companies with women on the board and management team
  • directing our philanthropic efforts to organizations which work to improve the lives of women and girls
  • taking steps toward our personal financial security so we are able to do more in the world

The evidence is clear – when women are in leadership roles of companies, those companies outperform. When non-profits focus on empowering women and girls, communities are transformed. And when individual women take steps toward their own financial independence, they turn their focus to strengthening their families and their communities. Investing in women has ripple effects. We can make a real difference when we are mindful about aligning our money with our values.

Panelist Carra Cote-Ackah of the Center for High-Impact Philanthropy (second from left) encouraged us to think about how to do the most good with what we have. Women as a group have enormous economic power, but many of us do not realize the impact we can have. We feel one has to be a billionaire and write very large checks to make a difference. But if we think strategically about how we deploy our financial resources, however large or small they may be, we can encourage change. Panelist Kathleen McQuiggan of Pax Ellevate Management (far left) suggested bringing a gender lens to all of our financial dealings as a way to magnify our impact, whether we’re purchasing goods and services, investing our dollars, or giving to charities. Any my goal is to empower women to make wise financial decisions, by ensuring that they are first clear on their priorities and what they want to achieve – which underlies good financial planning as well as investing and philanthropic decisions.

We were so pleased to partner with the Chester County Fund for Women and Girls for the event. Susan Mostek, Executive Director of the Fund (far right), shared with the group a bit about their unique approach to making a difference, and thanks to all our attendees we were able to make a contribution to the fund to further their great work.

Attendees reported the conversation was engaging, thought-provoking, inspiring, stimulating, insightful, refreshing, energizing, and fun. Connections were made and strengthened, ideas were hatched, and I know the conversations will continue. Many women want to take this topic to a broader venue, and I look forward to that opportunity. It was my privelege to bring such a vibrant group together.

If you would like to hear more about this topic, or to explore how you can have a different conversation about money, please feel free to reach out to me.  

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