In over a dozen years on Wall Street, I often found myself in the lonely position of being the only woman in the conference room. But fast-forward just over a decade, and I am now the CEO of a leading independent wealth management firm, LexION Capital, the only 100% woman-owned firm of its kind in the US. In my ideal world, there would be nothing remarkable about this – I look forward to the day when a woman-owned, woman-run finance firm is commonplace, not the rare exception.
When I first started LexION, I was very reluctant to pursue publicity (I refused to even post a picture of myself on the website, and I once turned down a New York Times reporter who wanted to feature the firm in an article). But one young woman posed a question that made me seriously question my press-shy approach. She asked me if I could recommend any role models for women in finance. I looked around and realized that yes – we seriously lack visible women leaders in this space.
Today, September 22nd, is American Business Women’s Day, a national holiday that was recognized in 1983 by a Congressional resolution. As business leaders, women have a unique opportunity to help reach, mentor, and inspire the next generation of professional women. I felt a responsibility to leverage that, just as my own female mentors had done for me. With this goal in mind of helping to empower women financially and in their careers, I started to share more of my own story. I want to show women everywhere that CEOs can look like me – I hope they see me and think, “If she can do it, I can do it, too.”