I know a lot of my blog’s readers are men working in financial services – advisors, traders, asset managers, etc. I am going to ask you guys to do something…
Sonya Dreizler is a consultant to investment firms and RIAs as well as an author, speaker and subject matter expert in impact investing and ESG. When I needed some advice this summer about how to attract more women advisors to our first Weatlh/Stack conference, she gave me some really helpful ideas that were easy to implement. Around the same time, she began a series of blog posts about the issues women face in the financial services industry that I would say was the most important work done in financial blogging of 2019.
Women shared their stories and experiences – tales of harassment, discrimination and even outright assault – and Sonya catalogued each one into a particular category to show how harmful this stuff truly is. I’m not going to lie – some of it is shocking and really hard to read.
I think it’s a big breakthrough for women to relate these stories in their own words, and to have these stories out in the open. But if men don’t read them and discuss them amongst themselves, nothing will change. It’s all of our responsibility, women and men, to create an environment where everyone is respected, listened to and treated nicely. Improvement will not come about as a result of a battle of the sexes. We have to understand each other and work together. The alternative is that we end up in an anachronistic industry that gets left behind as society moves forward.
The first step is understanding the harm that’s been done to women’s careers and confidence by some of the worst elements in our industry. We’ve got to understand the problem so that we can come to consensus about how to fix it.
In that spirit, I am asking you to click over to Sonya’s ‘Do Better’ series and read through some of it. Share it with your colleagues who may not be aware of it. Talk about it among the men you work with. Examine your own office environment and ask yourself if it is an environment that fosters respect and opportunity for all of your co-workers. I appreciate your taking the time to read these posts and think about what you can do to help bring about positive change in our industry.