Happy 2019 to all!
As we step into a new year of possibilities, it is a good time to reflect on the past year and all we have accomplished together. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I’d like to highlight a few of these successes, as well as give you a preview of what is planned for 100 Women in Finance in 2019.
We broke records in all three of our foundational pillars of Education, Peer Engagement and Philanthropy.
- Last year, we produced a record number of 125 education events, including our 800th education session since our inception in 2001. We expanded our range of topics to include discussions related to private equity, real estate, venture capital, fintech, blockchain and wealth management. I am particularly proud to report that in 2018, we featured more female speakers than in any previous year, an achievement we intend to exceed in each subsequent year.
- Making connections and levering relationships is a key component of our Peer Engagement pillar. Last year, we hosted 170 events designed around the interests of NextGen and senior practitioner audiences, another record for 100WF. Looking ahead, we will pursue greater connectivity for members at every stage of their professional careers.
- Philanthropy also remains important to 100WF. In support of the year’s Education theme, 100WF fundraising events have thus far generated more than $3.3 million USD (gross) for education charities. 100WF’s cumulative philanthropy since inception now approaches $50 million USD (gross), all of which supports beneficiaries in the communities where our members work and live. Our next philanthropy cycle will center on the theme of “Investing in the Next Generation” to serve the needs of pre- and early-career women in the finance industry. Our galas also provide a worthy platform to publicly recognize and celebrate industry leaders, and to be inspired by their achievements and wisdom.
We are incredibly gratified that our global membership has grown more diverse and geographically expansive. We now have 23 official locations on four continents, thanks to the recent launch of our Sydney location. Our ranks include professional women – and men – from all corners of the rapidly evolving finance industry, and our programming and membership are stronger and more relevant as a result.
I also wish to highlight a few of our highest profile current initiatives:
- 100WF’s objective to enhance the visibility of female fund managers was amplified by our launch of a publicly accessible directory. In doing so, 100WF helps the media and conference sponsors to identify a wider pool of talent for insight on global markets. This initiative also demonstrates to young women, who are still forming professional aspirations, that success at the highest levels of our industry is both possible for women, and expected.
- 100WF’s investment conferences for female fund managers and allocators have grown into highly anticipated annual industry events in three cities – New York, London and San Francisco. These gatherings connect female portfolio managers with institutional investors who seek new and diverse sources of talent and investment return.
- Investing in the Next Generation remains a strategic, industry-serving initiative. 100WF will soon have ten NextGen Groups around the world, having launched in Dublin last year, and expecting the on-boarding of a NextGen Group in Bermuda in 2019. Outreach and mentoring for pre-career female students is a core facet of 100WF-driven and collaborative programming with program partners.
Finally, your governing 100WF Global Association Board bid an appreciative farewell to several long-term members and welcomed the service of five industry leaders who reflect our increasingly diverse and global membership. We also invested in additional staff this year, enabling us to lever the growing number of volunteers to further our mission, and to respond to new opportunities that will benefit the finance industry.
In closing, please know that 100WF retains its role as the premier, global financial industry organization that empowers women at each career stage. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to join me, the Board, and other dedicated members as a Global Angel supporter of 100WF, or to make a donation to 100WF, to support our growth. There are many reasons to take this step, but none more important that enabling the strongest possible commitment to our mission.
I am so very proud of all that we accomplish, year after year, and I want to thank you – our members, volunteers, Leadership Council firms, our corporate hosts, honorees, staff and fellow Board of Directors – for your continued support and dedication.
I look forward to topping our records in the year ahead.
Lauren Malafronte, Chair, 100WF Global Association Board