How to create opportunities for women in finance

The world has not reached the point where things are equal: though we are making great strides toward equality, it still requires efforts on all fronts to be able to create paths everyone can walk down.

One way to do this is to examine those areas where inequality is still an issue. For example, the business and finance world is still unfortunately one that is predominantly male. The issue is that even if we remove all legal barriers for different people participating, that doesn’t mean they will. Barriers don’t have to be legal to still be barriers.

As Investopedia notes:

“A 2013 Mergis Group Women in Finance survey indicated that less than half of women in the fields of accounting and finance are satisfied with their careers. When asked to compare obstacles they face at work, nearly three-quarters of female respondents reported facing a different set than their male colleagues.”

That means even women in finance are discouraged from being there. No doubt this will then trickle down to those women who wish to enter. This is in no way encouraging. So what can we change?

One way is to encourage young women who have an interest in finance jobs, with various initiatives, to help provide a strong foundation for their future. The FinancialPost reports on SheBiz, “a daylong [Canadian] event … held for more than 500 female high school students from more than 10 schools throughout Toronto and the surrounding area.”

Speaking to the post, Rachel Megitt, chairwoman of SheBiz, said:

“Diversity breeds new thought and new ideas, and ultimately that breeds better productivity, better results and better return for shareholders. What SheBiz tries to do is educate young women about the choices that they are making at a high school level so to not close doors in the future.”

Businesses themselves can begin working on better models, by making allowances for what kind of pressures women face. Just because there are equal opportunities for all genders doesn’t mean that all will equally apply. Pressures are still much more on people who are not men, for example, in various ways.

But by focusing on creating a strong support basis, by encouraging women from a younger age, as seen with SheBiz, we can do more to help foster a future environment of solidarity and diversity where everyone benefits.