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Here’s How The Change Will Happen

Here’s How The Change Will Happen

It is well known that, when it comes to money, women get the short end of the stick: Fewer senior roles in the money industries, less money to manage, less venture capital funding.

I think a lot about how this can change. Last week, we saw two possible paths, in an interesting juxtaposition:

1) The drive for financial returns.

The research is clear that betting on women can be a profitable undertaking. Perhaps this is what’s behind Goldman Sachs’ announcement of “Launch with GS,” in which they will invest $500 million in businesses or funds run by women.

To state the blindingly obvious, Goldman is seen as a savvy investor. Whereas so far, the hope that “the smart money will see the light and invest in women” has been a pretty quixotic one, perhaps this will be the needed catalyst. (A girl’s gotta dream, right?)

[Related: Questioning the Status Quo With Intention]

2) Pressure from big investors.

The money businesses run on “other people’s money,” such as the pension funds, endowments, and foundations whose money they invest. And some of these “other people” really care about making the world a fairer place (as well as the financial returns that many believe it can drive).

Last week, a vice chairman of the Oregon Investment Council called out a private equity executive at length for his firm’s lack of diversity. (Ok, the council still voted to give the firm $500 million to manage, but, hey, it’s a start, right?)

[Related: The Old Way of Investing vs. The New Way]

3) There’s a third way, of course.

And it’s already in motion: We women can drive it.

We can do so by applying our own pressure – such as the female venture capitalists have done with #AllRaise. Part of that initiative involves company founders pledging to raise money from diverse venture capital firms, if they’re able to. (And you know that Ellevest is one of them.) Oh, and we’re still loving that badass #AllRaise Forbes cover photo.

It can also take the form of what Cindy Gallop has called a new financial ecosystem for women. Or what we at Ellevest refer to as #DisruptMoney, in which we buy from other women, in which we support other women, in which we invest in companies that advance women, in which we make investments that get money in the hands of other women, in which we fund other women. (Find more ways to #DisruptMoney here.)

It doesn’t have to be all of our money; we can make a big difference just by shifting some of our money.

Sound weird? The guys have been doing this for forever, and look at where it’s gotten them.

[Related: To Serve its Clients, the Wealth Management Industry Must Recruit and Develop More Women]

This article was originally published in Ellevest's newsletter, What The Elle. You can learn more here.

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