Meet The Most Powerful Women of Color in Finance

It’s no secret that the financial sector is male dominated. While 46% of financial professionals are women, only 15% hold executive level positions, according to Forbes Magazine.  Among women of color, representation is even lower. A McKinsey & Company report found that women of color are “34% less likely to make their first promotion than men in financial services.” The challenges presented by the gender gap in financial services stems from a history of discrimination, gender bias and other intersectional issues in the workplace despite women holding the same qualifications. Diversity in thought and actions, exhibited by a diverse workforce, provides better services and solutions.

In September, American Banker released their Most Powerful Women in Finance and Most Powerful Women in Banking in 2020 lists. Between the two lists, 10 out of 50 were women of color. Here are the women who are breaking the mold. 

Ida Liu

After years of experience in the fashion industry and investment banking, Ida Liu is now the CEO of Citi Private Bank North America. Under her leadership, Citi Private Bank North America continued to grow in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. Liu is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and was a Financial Times Top 100 Adviser. She champions the Forté Foundation, a professional development, education and mentorship nonprofit organization for women starting their careers. 

Yie-Hsin Hung 

Former managing director at Morgan Stanley, Yie-Hsin Hung became the CEO of New York Life Investment Management in 2015 with more than 30 years of industry experience. As an advocate for underserved factions in the investing community, her mission is to encourage women to take charge of their finances and investments. New York Life Insurance was named Company of the Year for Latinas by Latina Style in 2019 and considered a top 10 workplace for multicultural women by Working Mother in 2019.

Gunjan Kedia

As Vice Chairman of U.S. Bancorp, Gunjan Kedia initiated the processing of thousands of Paycheck Protection Program loan applications for small businesses, helping them survive during the coronavirus pandemic. She also helped expand the company’s presence in Europe. Her efforts generated $2.96 billion in revenue in 2019. Kedia is also looking to enhance a project that will increase financial awareness among marginalized communities and women. 

Joyce Chang

As Chair of Global Research at JPMorgan, Joyce Chang leads the company’s award-winning research operation. Her team analyzes climate change implications on blockchain technology and institutional investment strategies.  According to a recent CNBC article, Chang found that emerging market stocks could increase 20% in countries like Brazil, Indonesia, South Korea and Thailand within the next year. Chang frequently discusses these topics on CNBC, Bloomberg and other media outlets. She is currently on the board of directors for Trickle Up and Girls Inc. 

Nadine Chakar

As the head of State Street Global Markets — a company that oversees 6% of the world’s foreign exchange — Nadine Chakar directs trading, product and operations platforms and client solutions. Chakar has more than 30 years of experience in global wealth and asset management. She is a member of Leading Women, which is a group mentoring program for women. Chakar is also the executive sponsor for State Street’s Sustainability Employee Network and holds a board position at the Boston Medical Center. 

Nandita Bakhshi 

As president and CEO of Bank of the West, Nandita Bakhshi looks to redefine the future of banking. Her vision is rooted in a sustainable approach, utilizing diversity and global capabilities. Bakhshi belongs to the  banking industry’s 2% of female CEOs worldwide. Within her 30-year career, she has held leadership positions at TD Bank, First Data, FleetBoston and Washington Mutual. 

Ranjana Clark 

Ranjana Clark’s extensive experiences landed her the role as the Head of Global and Americas Transaction Banking and Bay Area president for MUFG. Transaction banking changes rapidly on the global scale. Within her position, she aims to keep up with the fast-paced growth by improving customer service experiences, product development and risk management.

Thasunda Brown Duckett 

As CEO of Chase Consumer Banking, Thasunda Brown Duckett oversees a banking network that serves over 25 million households in the United States. Under her leadership, Chase’s mobile app ranked first for range of services, clarity of information, ease of navigating and appearance by J.D Power. Duckett has a passion for financial inclusion and empowerment. As the executive sponsor for JPMorgan Chase’s Advancing Black Pathways program, she hopes to help Black Americans close the gap in wealth, education and career success. 

Elinor Hoover

Elinor Hoover co-founded Citi’s Consumer Disruptive Growth Conference in 2016 to solidify the coverage of tech-centered companies. She holds the Global Co-Head of Consumer Products position in Citigroup’s investment banking unit and is Co-Head of her division’s Diversity Committee. Outside of her office, Hoover serves as chair of the board of directors of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.  

Rosilyn Houston

As Chief Talent and Culture Executive at BBVA , Rosilyn Houston’s efforts embody the importance of women of color in finance. In 2019, Houston led an initiative at BBVA’s markets in Birmingham, Alabama and Houston. For each employee that received a mammogram screening during Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, BBVA sponsored an additional screening for an uninsured woman from a low-income community.