Women in Finance: Industry in Transition

As gender equality issues have been highlighted, I’m excited to see more women joining an industry that desperately needs us. Families have become accustomed to traditional values. Often that looks like the man “bringing home the bacon,” so to speak—the woman bearing the children and managing the household. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Often, it makes sense, given the tasks involved have traditionally fallen into our gender’s strong suits. Unfortunately, there are so many stereotypes that go along with this way of thinking. And we’ve all become accustomed to it.

Nowadays, most families can’t afford to have one working parent. It’s probably time we shift our mindsets to reflect today’s reality. I enjoy learning from my elders more than anything, and I’ve found they enjoy learning from me too. I haven’t talked to a single Traditionalist or Baby Boomer that doesn’t admit the drastic changes we’ve seen over the last decade. I’m perplexing to some older clients because I don’t fit their vision of a “financial advisor.” Despite those challenges, I feel safe sharing my honest opinion to give hard-working, ambitious women a new opportunity to consider.

Women often withhold their talents or are not keen on sharing their opinions simply because they fear rejection. We’ve been raised to keep quiet and let the men handle the thinking, to no fault of the men whatsoever. The same goes for the men who prefer hanging with the kids and keeping up the house. Why is that wrong? You think it’s not – well, ask a Dad with his group of buddies what they think about being an at-home Dad. You will quickly see why it’s “taboo.”

I think these embedded stereotypes should be discussed openly, not only in corporate America, but at our dinner tables too. These times more than ever, every generation needs to realize that we are all unique. For example, I encourage the generation Z kids in my house to adjust their mindsets to better understand these social injustices. Politically charged nonsense, spreading hate and destruction amid a pandemic, amongst many other real and challenging world problems, are things that take a collective and conscious effort to fix.

These are essential issues, and it’s the same thing with women in the workplace. My story is unique, as is yours. We should strive to be great examples of how planning, hard-work, and drive can help you achieve whatever you desire, regardless of gender or the number of little people your raising. I hope to motivate and encourage more women to take the leap of faith and follow their passion, whatever that looks like for them.

I am proud to be a woman. I’m very feminine and also adapted “alpha” tendencies at times to survive. The shifting landscape should allow us to embrace our God-given talents working alongside our male counterparts instead of competing with them, especially in finance.

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Jes McQueen

Jes McQueen
Vice President, Investments
Partner, PHM Capital Management