• Blog
  • 2 Min Read
  • November 16, 2023

Nurturing a Supportive Culture for Women in Finance

Gender equality in business remains an ongoing challenge. However, initiatives like the Insurance Women’s Investment Network (iWiN) and the University of Iowa Tippie School of Business Finance Advisory Board are beacons of hope. They strive to uplift and support women in the often male-dominated domains of finance and insurance. I recently had the privilege of attending meetings with both organizations and witnessed firsthand their dedication to fostering gender inclusivity and empowerment in these sectors. These gatherings illuminated the struggles, aspirations, and transformative efforts aimed at creating a more balanced and diverse industry landscape.

Insights from the iWiN Event

iWiN embodies the collective ambition of women aiming to excel in the intricate world of finance and insurance. The organization’s goal is to enable women to network and learn from other women in their industry. The attendance of eighty individuals, including a notable group of supportive male colleagues, underscored the significance of building inclusive environments. The topic, “Why Core Values Matter,” was facilitated by psychotherapist Dr. Laurie Stange. The event served as a platform for sharing insights and experiences, and highlighted the importance of nurturing a culture where women can both offer and receive guidance, support, and mentorship on their journey to higher echelons of the corporate hierarchy. The presence of male allies was a testament to the growing recognition of the need for a collaborative effort to create a more inclusive and equitable workspace. iWiN communicates with its 800 members through local events and LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/groups/5133188/.

Tackling Challenges: The University of Iowa Tippie School of Business Finance Advisory Board

At a recent University of Iowa Finance Advisory Board meeting, we focused on instilling interest in finance among women at an early age. Recognizing the existing gender disparity in the major, the board is actively working to dispel the misconceptions that often discourage young women from pursuing careers in finance. We explored why females might feel unwelcome, intimidated, or unqualified to enter the field, let alone climb to executive positions. By emphasizing the viability and opportunities within the industry, the board aims to cultivate a sense of enthusiasm and confidence, ensuring that finance is seen as an accessible and rewarding field for all aspiring individuals, regardless of gender. Classes will utilize female guest speakers who are succeeding in the field of finance. Graduate finance students are visiting high schools and professors are personally inviting females to introductory finance classes. 

Shaping a More Inclusive Future

These meetings provided valuable insights into the challenges and efforts involved in uplifting women within the realms of finance and insurance. While the iWiN event emphasized the significance of a supportive network for professional growth, the University of Iowa Finance Advisory Board highlighted the importance of early encouragement and education to broaden the horizons of young women considering a career in finance. By collectively addressing these challenges and fostering an environment that encourages diversity and inclusivity, we can pave the way for a more equitable and dynamic future in the world of finance and insurance. It is imperative that we continue to champion these initiatives, driving positive change and creating opportunities for all aspiring professionals.