What an an honor it was seeing our CEO Clara Shih take the stage at this week’s inaugural FortuneMost Powerful Women Next Gen conference, a meeting of esteemed women leaders across business, government, the arts and other sectors.
In a unique session focused on women board members, Pattie Sellers (Senior Editor at Large at Fortune and Co-founder of Fortune MPW, @pattiesellers) spoke with Gerri Elliott (board member of Whirlpool, Bed Bath and Beyond and Charlotte Russe, @gerri_elliott), Caterina Fake (Chairman of the Board of Etsy and board director of Creative Commons, @Caterina), and Clara Shih (board member of Starbucks and Hearsay Social, @clarashih).
Each shared her unique journey to the boardroom and the individual challenges they had to overcome to get there. Of course, earning a seat in the boardroom is not the end of the journey–it’s the beginning.
The two-day event is the latest iteration in a series of live events hosted by Fortune that puts the spotlight on accomplished women leaders in a myriad of different industries around the world.
This year’s event will feature a host of great speakers, including Julia Hartz (Co-Founder and President of Eventbrite.com, @juliahartz), Sallie Krawcheck (Chair of Ellevate Network and Ellevate Asset Management, former CEO at Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney, @SallieKrawcheck), Clara Shih (CEO and founder, Hearsay Social, @clarashih), among many others:
At 9:30 AM on Wednesday, December 3rd, Clara will join Gerri Elliott (Director, Whirlpool, Bed Bath & Beyond, Charlotte Russe, @gerri_elliott), Caterina Fake (Founder and CEO, Findery, @Caterina), and Pattie Sellers (Senior Editor at Large at Fortune and Co-founder of Fortune MPW, @pattiesellers) on stage at the conference to discuss strategies for landing the “right” board seats for your career.
To learn more, watch CNBC reporter Julia Boorstin (@jboorstin) interview Clara at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit in Laguna Niguel, CA last month, and explore the posts below all about financial services, technology innovation, and women in business.
Did you know that 25% fewer men graduate from college than women?
In 1975, before Title IX was implemented, 17% more men graduated from college than women in the United States, according to The Census Bureau. But, in the last few decades, the tables have turned.
And yet, even though there is a huge trend towards a more educated female population, it seems they aren’t opting for a career in financial services. Women’s rights activist Gloria Feldt recently noted that women make up 51% of the population and 47% of the workforce but only 18% of the executive leadership at corporations. In addition, only 9% of client-facing financial advisors are women, according to data from Cerulli Associates Inc.
At Raymond James, the senior leadership team actively encourages and recruits female advisors to meet the market’s needs and match female college graduates in the United States.
“Today, 15% of our financial advisors are female, which is almost double the industry average” said Raymond James CEO Paul Reilly. “But we need to move the needle and actively encourage more women to join the financial services profession.”
One way that Raymond James encourages women to become financial advisors is through their own Network for Women Advisors. This group focuses on finding and promoting ways for female advisors to thrive in their business. Additionally, Raymond James annually hosts the Women’s Symposium, a 3-day conference in St. Petersburg, Fla. for members of the Network for Women Advisors and their guests. At the symposium, attendees listen to experts in the industry discuss new trends, goal planning, sustainability, leadership, social media, and more. The Women’s Symposium is also an excellent way for the women of Raymond James to cultivate relationships with their peers and learn about new opportunities through the network.
I had the pleasure of joining these women at the Symposium last week to speak about the value of social media for growing an advisor’s business. While there, I found it to be so much more than a female conference: it was also an invaluable way to bring women together, support their careers, and give them the tools and resources to become successful financial advisors, role models to others, leaders in their industry and, indeed, leaders in life.
If you’re in the financial services industry, how are you encouraging more women to Lean In, grow their network and pursue new opportunities?