On May 08, 2020, the Global Finale of the KWHS Investment Competition––a prestigious international high school competition––came to a close. The Fieldston School’s team, Females in Finance, had advanced to the Global Finale after placing 3rd in their region consisting of North American, European, African, and Oceanian teams. Although they did not place in the Top 3 internationally, they accomplished much more than they could have imagined given that they were KWHS rookies. But, the end of the investment competition was only a beginning for this team.
Females in Finance (FIF) was founded by Rosemary Jiang with the mission of helping young women become financially literate. According to the Harvard Business School, females make up only 6% of senior roles in private equity and only 9% of senior roles in venture capital.
FIF hopes to change this by educating young women on finance and investing.
At the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, Females in Finance was just one club in the Fieldston School. But, by January, the group had already started a second branch in the Fieldston Middle School called G.I.F.T. (Girls Investing Finance & Trading) As popularity and interest grew, the team began to outreach (using their new website) to new schools hoping to establish more FIF branches.
This process was spearheaded by the organization’s Outreach Director, Vivian Lee. Lee says, “Spreading financial literacy to girls is what Females in Finance was created for. As Outreach Director, I am so proud to be spreading our mission all over the country!” Numerous interviews were conducted between April and July of select leaders for new branches. After a careful selection process, 9 schools across the nation were chosen to be a part of the Females in Finance organization. Each branch will be led by 1-2 female students and will be closely monitored throughout the year by the leadership team.
In the meantime, the team is also working hard to expand and create new programs within the Fieldston school. Program Director Natalie Chen has been working on forming the Fieldston Wharton Investment Competition team for next year. Chen says that “the goal was to expand within the school and specifically target younger students to join the team so that Females in Finance can live on at Fieldston as the founding team graduates.” As such, the team has acquired two new promising teammates.
In addition, the leadership team is starting a mentorship program where female finance professionals are paired with high schoolers. “We believe that with our mentorship program, students will be able to make connections in the field and learn about what it means to be a female in finance,” says Jiang.
Vice President Olivia Pollack has been working with her school’s Investment Club President Noah Cordon-Siskind to create a monthly finance meeting for all students at Fieldston.
This initiative will teach attendees the importance of financial literacy in addition to the basics of finance in eight lessons.
As for the future, the team has its eyes set on becoming a non-profit organization.
“Becoming a 501(c)(3) will legitimize all of the hard work that we have been doing” said Pollack. “It could also open up new opportunities for corporate sponsorships as well as grants, which would immensely help our expansion and ability to create change.” added Jiang.
As for now, Females in Finance has already made great strides to make finance a more gender-diverse industry.
For more information, please visit here.
Illustration by Natalie Chen.