In the 15 years that I’ve been working with clients more and more we see women at the heads of families.
You have more women controlling wealth, than you’ve had in the past, and we know women will control even more wealth in the future. A function of their longevity, and their own success around the world.
Too often, the providers in this industry are not diverse from a gender perspective, or diverse period, and they come at engaging women at the lens of needing a pink deck. And, what we really need in this industry, are people who are willing to engage with women as people.
I feel strongly that we need to create an environment in which women feel comfortable asking questions, and frankly, first and foremost listening to their concerns.
It’s important to make sure that the women are educated, that they feel comfortable with the portfolio, with the strategy that’s in place and that we’re inclusive.
Bernstein does a really good job at getting clients to think a little bit deeper and to say, “Gee. What is really important to me? What are my hopes and dreams for me, for my family, and for my grandkids? And, how do we use these dollars to support those hopes and dreams?”
Even though our job is managing money, it is so much bigger than that, because we’re really facilitating a conversation about what matters most. And, what matters most to women, no surprise, not differently than anybody else—but we found that women are most passionate about their families, about communicating with their children, about their wealth, raising their kids with good values, and of course taking care of their parents as well.
We also do work with clients, when they’re going through a divorce, or after a divorce, when they’re navigating the next steps in the next chapter of their life. So, I enjoy the, the educational aspect of it, of giving them the data that they need, but also watching someone come in, who could be at times, emotionally fragile, and watch them grow and own their own power, so by towards the end of the process, they feel empowered and they’re making good choices and feel better about moving forward.
We have education programs and events at the firm that are women only, which is great, because there is a sense of community and networking that you see occur in those all-women events, that is a very different dynamic, than, sort of a mixed-gender event.
What made my role really meaningful for me, was connecting on a way that I felt really quite passionate about. And, it was clear to me that we needed to break through the noise, and identify women in our network that we could bring forward and create forums for engagement and outcomes. And it has really made me proud to see the engagement that we’ve created, to see the success that we’ve been building.
I think it’s a great time to be in business for women right now, because there are open discussions, because organizations are focusing on diversity and inclusion broadly, and ultimately, I think that makes organizations just a better place overall.
AB really supports women leadership, and the wealth and investment teams, for example, are headed by women. And on the aggregate, we’re probably more than 50% women across over 40 to 45 people at a very, sort of very key roles at the firm, and that to me is very inspiring.
It’s a great time to be a woman in business today, because there is a greater awareness of the often unintentional challenges that women have faced, and a real desire to counterbalance them. Women can’t just fit themselves into corporations, but rather women can start to shape the way that corporations behave in a way that makes everyone benefit.
For more tips on becoming financially engaged, explore Women & Wealth, a new Bernstein podcast series designed to educate, empower, and inspire female investors, and for additional thought leadership, check out the related blogs here.
The views expressed herein do not constitute research, investment advice or trade recommendations and do not necessarily represent the views of all AB portfolio-management teams.