Last week, I dropped by my SIL’s office for birthday hugs. During the mini-celebration, SIL mentioned she had something in the car for me, so we walked outside together and she handed me two articles from wealth management.com. This event is good for two reasons.
1. A financial adviser likes my blog. Win.
2. I got a second hug.
While I was driving home, I scanned the articles (who reads and drives? raise your hand.) and smiled to learn that Edward Jones is joining the ranks in female upward leadership mobility.
On January 1, 2019, Ms. Penny Pennington will become the first woman to lead Edward Jones. We (women in finance. women in general. my SIL and I.) are excited to see her step into the managing partner position at Edward Jones. Not only is she taking the leadership position at one of the most prestigious brokerage firms in the US; at 55 years old, she is defying the ageism ink-blot. Read the article from the Ten to Watch section of wealthmanagement.com here.
It’s a hopeful time for women, especially for gender-parity in workplace leadership. I am witnessing huge punch-throughs in the glass ceiling. Women are doing smash-n-grabs all over the place and I’m jumping with joy. I don’t believe for a nanosecond that the ability, talent, passion, will and intelligence to effectively lead was ever absent from the female collective. What I know is that the establishment didn’t believe or want to believe that a woman could lead and lead well.
One of my first experiences with adulting and misogyny shook me to my core. I watched this exceptionally talented woman get passed over for a VP position at an insurance conglomerate. It was terrifyingly clear she was perfect for the job, but of course, it went to a cross-eyed dolt with a bad haircut. She walked out as a result and I admired her courage, but how it happened stayed with me. I watched this type of thing occur over and over through the years.
On a positive note, throughout my career, I’ve noted small incremental changes for the better. One wee victory comes to mind. A few years ago, a co-worker of mine did the unmentionable. She was a graduate of a top notch university and her male predecessor (who had the exact same position) was also. They both had commensurate experience, so I’d say equals in every way. She discovered his beginning salary was more than hers. This brave, young woman jumped the invisible boundary of salary silence and convention and approached the CEO with the data in hand. Yee ha!
These small little wins have a created a wave and a resulting fluidity. Women are empowering women and thank goodness, men are empowering men to empower women. Of course, small steps, but it’s darn good to see value and inclusion for women not only in the home, but in the workplace.