July 8, 2019
Dear FWA Members, Sponsors and Friends,
I am deeply honored and thrilled to be the 57th President of the Financial Women’s Association! It is humbling to take up this role, in the footsteps of so many incredible women who have come before me.
Before we look to the year ahead, I want to give you some insight into my background. I am a financial advisor in Morgan Stanley’s Wealth Management Division, having spent over two decades in Corporate & Investment Banking as a Senior Banker, responsible for building and managing strategic global relationships for some of the world’s largest consumer products, retail and pharma companies. Diversity & Inclusion is also vitally important to me, and I have played leadership roles in promoting more inclusive workplaces throughout my career.
It is not a coincidence that the growth of my professional career coincided with my involvement in the FWA. I have learned so much in each of the positions I have held, and especially enjoyed developing strategic programming for such signature events as the International Conference to Brazil and the Summit. My experience with global corporates and now individual investors gives me a unique perspective on the markets and how they impact our economy and our careers. Best of all, I have been able to mentor rising talent through the M2M and Pacesetter programs.
Top Three Questions asked of a President-Elect
1) Why do you want to be FWA PRESIDENT?
I passionately believe in this organization and its mission – it is the best path to honor the past and raise up the future. I have been influenced by many women throughout my career, but none as much as my mother – a single parent who exemplified fierce independence and career excellence. My six years of working in The Netherlands taught me cultural awareness and the value of an “outsider’s” perspective. Finally, I recognize the challenges faced by the Sandwich Generation – caring for aging parents alongside young children – having been there myself. The FWA is an amazing organization that will encourage our senior women in their own journeys and to support the next generation of leaders. Know that I am committed to facing the current and future challenges of our industry TOGETHER as we become the VOICE – or perhaps the CHORUS – for advancing women.
2) What is your theme?
The FWA President traditionally sets the theme for the year, which carries over into our programming. We have had some great ones – including this past year’s Corporate Citizenship. However, I can’t help looking back to our “Founding Mothers” and our own mission during this historical year for women. So, this year, our mission IS our theme: “Accelerating the Leadership and Success of Women across the financial community in all industries.”
While sometimes it feels that the leadership and success of women in finance is not accelerating (and indeed may be stagnating), we will continue to be the vehicle for change through our incredible committees, with our leadership, office, corporate partners and you – our powerful members. Without abandoning our terrific programs or work within Corporate Citizenship, this year, we will focus where the FWA started – the markets. We will ensure our programming covers the global capital markets as well as areas often overlooked – transaction banking, risk, compliance, technology and the “back office”. Each of these areas of our industry offer opportunities for powerful careers and require technical as well as “soft skills”.
This will be a Bridge Year – from our past to our future. We will continue the organizational work already begun, through the implementation of our Strategic Roadmap, developed by the Board. It will guide us as we become a model of best practices, sustainable revenue generation and expertise in our industry.
We also will focus on fostering Allies & Advocates, especially through our Men’s Alliance Committee. An Ally will be someone who supports you – an Advocate will put their own career and reputation on the line to ensure their female colleague’s voice is heard in working groups and women are included in meetings. They are the push-back to the Backlash and the FWA will play a role in fostering this behavior as we continue to mentor our women. Being an Ally/Advocate is a learned behavior and we have a 63-year track record of teaching excellence! I am confident we can lead the way.
Of course, we will continue the 4 signature events, which support our organization:
- The Holiday Benefit
- The International Business Conference
- The Awards Ceremony
- The 4th Annual Summit
3) Where are we going for the International Business Conference?
Choosing the location of the FWA International Business Conference is one of the most fun privileges of being President. We have been exploring markets globally since 1978 and each conference offers an amazing perspective – we have access to government, corporate and women leaders.
So, in 2020, the FWA will be going to a country it has never visited before; a global leader in innovation, entrepreneurship, cybersecurity, water and financial technology, agriculture, and health & life sciences…Israel!
As we embark on this year together, I encourage each of you to help build the Bridge to the Future – join a committee and get involved. I promise it will be worth it!
FWA President 2019-20