We are all Trailblazers
by Kate McAllister
Virtu Financial &
STA WIF Co-Chair
As we celebrate the 110th International Women’s Day it is both amazing and inspiring to reflect upon more than a century of achievements by women. Each generation has continued to improve its educational attainment during the course of a lifetime. Through that knowledge and the examples of female leaders, women of every passing generation have been able to leave the world a better place for the next. Our generation, on this day, is no different. Grateful of the accomplishments and successes of women before us, and motivated through a sense of responsibility to leave something better for those yet to come, we are all trailblazers.
Finance is a dynamic and highly competitive industry with its own set of unique challenges towards achieving diversity balance. It is encouraging to see financial firms represented at the top of Forbes America’s Best Employers for Women 2018. When the STA WIF initiative was formed just a few short years ago, it was designed under the premise that there has not been a better time for women in finance. While true then and now, by no means does it imply that our work towards gender equality is done.
Data in key areas show improvement, but stubbornly wide gaps still must narrow. Transparency that the data provides goes a long way towards identifying where problems exist and from there, how solutions can be formed. It’s said that admission is the first step and I continue to be encouraged by the groundswell of activity around gender pay gaps, promoting women, adding women to corporate boards, and just a general awareness around the lack of diversity in boardrooms and across senior management. This transparency, coupled with a genuine desire to effect change, will be at the foundation of our generation’s achievements.
The theme of International Women’s Day 2019 is #BalanceForBetter, a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world. Balance in all things is better, study after study show, and it drives a better working world. To paraphrase from the IWD 2019 Balance for Better website, this unified direction to guide and galvanize continuous collective action runs all year long. It doesn’t end on International Women’s Day, but rather just begins.
There is always more we can do, and we will, but we should also be proud of how far we have come. Effecting real change requires a holistic effort, with both women and men invested in a common goal.
On behalf of the STA Women in Finance Committee, I wish you a happy International Women’s Day.
How will you make a difference?