Opportunities in Finance for Women

Webull 03/24/2022

While female representation is not hard to come by in the financial industry as a whole, this isn't the case the closer you get to the C-Suite. This doesn't mean it's not possible, though; many women do indeed find themselves in the position of CEO or other higher-up roles after starting from the bottom.

In recent years, the percentage of women in finance has increased dramatically. Although, they still make up much less of the industry than men. Despite this, finance companies with at least 30% of leadership positions filled by women are reported to display higher equity returns, some reports say. This is just one of the many things that show how crucial it is to have female voices heard at the top, and having a diverse group of executives not only can improve productivity, but the overall success rate of a business.

How to Break into the Industry

Studies suggest that men tend to earn more than women in any industry, but this is particularly true for those working in the finance sector. This can deter women from entering the career field, as it can feel daunting to pursue something that feels heavily influenced by men in a way that may seem like growth is inaccessible. Fortunately, the resources currently available to women make this less of a concern than it has been in the past.

A good starting point for a woman interested in a finance career is to seek out specialized education that can lead to a career path in finance, like a finance degree or MBA. The past decade has seen a ten percent increase in women enrolled in top business programs, resulting in a record number of female business school graduates. With more women than ever before coming out of these finance and business schools and landing positions at finance firms, new doors are opened, and more opportunities begin to present themselves to a more diverse group. The industry is always changing, which means the people and businesses within it need to be malleable. This can lead to exciting challenges that make room for women to thrive and rise to the occasion.

With this in mind, note that you don't necessarily need a finance or business degree to find yourself in finance. Many enter the field with different experiences or educational backgrounds; if your interest lies in the financial industry, there's a path for you—where you are in your career and your stage of life will not affect your ability to succeed as a finance professional.

No matter where you end up or how you get there, it's important to work hard and stand out amongst your peers, displaying confidence in your abilities. Not only can you prove to others that you are capable of succeeding, but you can prove it to yourself, as well.

Advice from Finance Professionals

You can learn a lot from people in positions you desire to one day be in yourself. Taking advice from women who are currently leading finance professionals and following in their footsteps can help you become the best you can be and allow more opportunities to come knocking.

Here's a few tips from women who found success in the industry:

• Clare Woodman, Morgan Stanley CEO, believes that you should always be as prepared as possible. You can't be perfect, but you can plan to the best of your ability.

• LexION CEO Elle Kaplan's knack to learn keeps her going—when learning motivates you, every day becomes its own world of opportunity.

• Women should volunteer to take on difficult or complex tasks and project to ensure that their voices are out there, displaying to the world just how much they can really accomplish, according to Western Union executive VP and Chief Legal Officer, Caroline Tsai.

• Alison Nest, investment solutions managing director at Morgan Stanley, emphasizes the necessity of stepping outside of your comfort zone, enabling you to go further and gain experience you otherwise wouldn't.

• Edie Hunt, Goldman Sachs Chief Diversity Officer, notes that your passion is crucial to determining your success; work toward it and put in the work it takes to achieve your goals.

The message each piece of advice has is that you need to put 110% into everything you do, and refuse to let anyone or anything get in the way of your passions and desire to be successful. Don't wait for someone else to give you an opportunity; make one for yourself.