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Women In Finance: Know Why Does Our Participation Matter

The article below was written by Helena Marchesini and edited by Giovana Lins Barbosa. Liked this type of content? Check out Her Campus Cásper Líbero for more!

Women’s space in society is increasingly being discussed, and this has been causing significant changes over time. Such debates extend to the financial environment, in which the female gender has been constantly pushed aside and denied inclusion. But the scenario is changing, and the presence of women in finance has been growing. Our participation in this area has major importance to contribute to this shift.

The involvement of women in financial services has increased over time, reaching today 46% of employees in this area. But, at the executive position, the number drops to 15%. In relation to investments, according to researches women have better long-term gains than men. Despite the greater performance, female investors are still less confident than male.

When thinking about women in finance, there is a demand for equity in companies, equal pay and less disparity between female and male participation. These requirements are also followed by the interest in greater recognition of female figures who have acted in this field, broken barriers and marked history.

Eufrásia Teixeira Leite was born in Brazil and is known as one of the first women to invest in the stock exchange. Eufrásia was born in 1850 in Rio de Janeiro. In 1873, she left the country with her sister, enriched by their parents’ heritage after their death. Even so, the Brazilian managed to multiply the money she had, returned to the country with an even bigger fortune and maintained a high economic standard throughout her entire life.

Many other women made and are making history in finance. Muriel Siebert, considered the pioneer woman in finance, was the first lady to become a member of the New York Stock Exchange in 1967, alongside 1367 male members, leaving a landmark to Wall Street and the world. Maggie Lena Walker was the first woman to found a bank, the Saint Luke’s Penny Savings Bank in 1903, and lead it as its president until her death. As an African-American she caused many positive impacts to the black community. Jane Fraser, as another example, was the first female to head Citigroup, one of the major United States’ banks, in 2021.

The change of scenery has been taking place. Júlia Abi-Sâmara, founder of As Investidoras, an investment course aimed at the female audience, believes that the main way it will happen is by more and more women bringing up financial matters in conversations with their colleagues, friends and family. “I think every woman has this role and is able to bring this subject to other women”, she says.

Júlia talks about although noticing a great interest and willingness to learn from women, the repression suffered by them can end up creating insecurities and keeping them away from learning more about finance matters. Whether it comes directly – as someone disqualifying a woman around her knowledge – or indirectly, since we often watch in movies and TV series that the one who has big amounts of money is the guy and the person being supported is the woman, these factors make us create associations that contribute to inequalities in finance. There are psychological and cultural issues that keep women away from financial talks. The lack of representativity and not seeing many females talking about money can strengthen the image of men as the owners of the financial world.

Even with some people’s unwillingness to accept women’s inclusion in finance, Júlia Abi-Sâmara reiterates the female union as a path of change. “There is resistance, but most women who face it, when surrounded by other women, receive such great support that they deal with it in a more positive way”.

As to the importance of female participation in finance, the founder of As Investidoras says it goes a long way. First, the need to talk about financial education since money is a part of everyone’s life and the exchange tool in society. Furthermore, being a woman brings risks of its own, so knowing how to take care of money and having financial independence become even more valuable in this perspective. “It is a matter of independence in a world where they say that women will always be dependent”, completes Júlia.

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Helena Marchesini

Casper Libero '24

Public Relations student | São Paulo, Brazil
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