While at the airport waiting for our flight to Phoenix for this year’s SIFMA Operations conference, we spotted the Bloomberg BusinessWeek cover for that week and a story on “The Business of Equality,” delving into gender equality issues in the workplace. We couldn’t have asked for a timelier story as we headed to the conference to lead a powerful discussion on women’s leadership.
Each year’s SIFMA Operations Conference & Exhibition is enlightening because we get to meet with industry leaders and discuss the most pressing issues and solutions in our space. Along with our partner, Donnelley Financial Solutions, we heard and participated in discussions on risk management, regulatory changes and compliance as well as how technological innovation continues to shape our industry.
At our inaugural Women’s Leadership Event, Sherry Moreland, our President and COO hosted a panel of female industry leaders who shared career insights and shed light on the key factors that inspired their success as well as the challenges they faced along the way.
A few highlights:
- Mentorship plays a vital role in the development and success of young professionals.
- Company-led mentorship initiatives and other advocacy programs drive change and female inclusion in a male-dominated field. For example, Felicia Sokalski, partner at Deloitte, discussed the company’s commitment to educating employees on self-branding and self-advocacy, skills that are valuable to both men and women.
- Ann Gonzalez of PwC and Samantha O’Neill of Fidelity Investments spoke about their respective company programs for women returning to the workplace – whether from maternity leave or other absences – and noted that initiatives like these are essential for supporting and empowering female employees.
- The audience posted insightful questions about career challenges, tackling the pay gap and the importance of company transparency in achieving equity.
- It was also encouraging to hear from and see several men in the audience as well, as their participation and support is a crucial factor to advancing women in the workplace.
Beyond the women’s event, we enjoyed connecting with conference-goers at our booth and attending various sessions throughout the week. Through these conversations, we observed a recurring topic that resonated throughout the conference: investor engagement. As Lisa Kidd Hunt of Charles Schwab noted in her keynote address, we are now in the “year of the investor” thanks to technology that has made access to the markets easier than ever.
As a leading provider of investor communications, Mediant sits at the intersection of communications, technology and investor engagement. And with technology constantly reshaping our industry, we’d love to hear from you on how one key development – cloud technology – is impacting your organization by taking a short, 2-minute survey. For each survey completed, we will make a donation to Rock the Street, Wall Street, a financial literacy program designed to engage and encourage high school girls into careers of finance.
Thank you to all who visited us at the conference and we’ll see you there next year!