Bob and I are about to head out to the SRI Conference in Colorado Springs, and we both wanted to take this opportunity to discuss the state of our industry, and highlight an issue that’s become more and more prominent in the past few years: The way our colleagues are treated, both in general, and specifically at conferences.
First, some background: a few weeks ago, a fairly major figure in our industry made a number of morally reprehensible comments about women at a major financial services conference. In the wake of this event, major investors, including pension funds and others, have pulled almost 3 Billion dollars in assets out of his firm. This is the first time we’ve seen real consequences for behavior like this, and we hope that the industry will stand up and take notice.
But more needs to be done. Our friend Sonya Dreizler, who runs a consulting service for advisers that are trying to incorporate Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing into their practices, was at the conference in question, and has taken a leadership role to try to change our industry. We’ve been reading and following her “Do Better” series, where she’s been collecting stories from women in the financial services industry. These stories can be difficult to read, but we believe it’s important for us to confront the reality of the industry we work in.
Yesterday (as of this writing), Sonya put out a call on Linkedin:
We’re proud to answer this call. This blog is our firm’s public facing voice, and I can think of no better way to use our platform than to boost the stories that Sonya is telling. So I’ll stop now, and let her words speak for themselves:
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, we’ve seen many articles about why there are so few women in financial services, as well as surveys and statistics about sexual harassment and discrimination. While statistics and surveys are helpful for measuring the issue, I want to share real stories from real women about their experiences with sexual harassment and gender discrimination.
Sonya also gave a great keynote at last year’s SRI Conference where she touched on these topics. Here’s what she said on the topic:
I’m proud to serve with Sonya on the Advisory Board for the InvestmentNews ESG & Impact Forum. If you’re a financial professional, I hope you’ll join us there. We’re trying to make this an open and inclusive event.