Pledge 1%'s #WomenWhoLead series celebrates female leaders who are paving the way for the next generation. While our featured leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, they are united in their efforts to promote equality for all women in the workplace. We’ve asked them to share a bit about their journey to success, as well as lessons they’ve learned along the way.
What is your current role? Briefly describe in 1-2 sentences.
Responsible for business development, strategic and growth operations and investor relations, among many other critical organizational functions.
This year's International Women's Day theme is "Embrace Equity." What does this mean to you? How can we build workplaces that are more equitable and inclusive?
We must do better to ensure women are represented equally across the workforce.
First, entrepreneurship is one of the key levers to unlock intergenerational wealth for women. While they represent more than half the population, women account for less than a third of entrepreneurs. Despite receiving less than half of the investment capital of their male peers, female-founded companies deliver twice as much revenue per dollar invested. In this light, we must re-shape the power dynamic of venture. If you’re a fellow entrepreneur and have built a strong venture-backed business, you hold the keys to your captable. We must hold VC more accountable for their inequitable power dynamics and encourage founders to work together.
Second, firms with strong female representation on their boards are 28% more likely to outperform their peers, while firms with gender-diverse executive teams are 25% more likely to outperform. So, we also must hold small to large companies more accountable for their culture. Corporate transparency must be celebrated. When these companies release meaningful data on workforce composition alongside rates of recruitment, promotion, retention and diverse employees, it: illustrates a company understands and takes seriously the fact that discrimination is a systemic problem; demonstrates the depth of the company's commitment to accountability; and provides data that allow investors and other stakeholders to assess and compare the effectiveness of firm-wide programs.
Third, we within the financial industry must build OUTCOMES BASED SOLUTIONS AND PRODUCTS. Our industry has not had to align our business incentives with that of our consumers and we’ve isolated huge (soon to be the majority) groups of consumers- failing to build trust, fragmenting the market and perpetuating a cycle of wealth inequality that’s stunted our society for too long. Outcomes-based products and services look like: action-oriented education, affordable and equitable lending and non-predatory credit, to name a few.
Lastly, all of us as investors must play our part. Shareholder advocacy must be practiced and participated in to help hold the companies we care most about keep to our standards of inclusionary impact.
More money into the hands of more women is one of the greatest opportunities we have to slow climate change, scale economic output and stabilize the social turmoil of our time. Investing in companies -small to large- that clearly illustrate their impact on equality and broader access for all are the ONLY companies worth investing in. Not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because they consistently outperform their peers.
Do you have any mentors or role models who have helped you on your personal journey?
I'm grateful for a brilliant group of mentors and advisors who have helped guide me throughout my career. For role models, I think they can be found in any woman defying the odds to build a better, safer, more effective economy. Women who embody the best of our shared strength. Women like Billie Jean King, The Williams Sisters, Sara Blakely... the list is endless and growing everyday.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Never run away something, run towards something the fuels you.
The past few years have brought many new and unprecedented challenges. What keeps you motivated or inspires you to stay optimistic?
We've built a business focused on improving the health and well-being of all. Our work connects us with people who have, despite many obstacles, improved their financial health with help from the products we are building at Nav.it. I turn to these stories anytime I'm discouraged or stressed as a clear reminder that our team is doing brilliant work to help improve the health and stability of so many. With stories like these, it's easy to stay inspired, optimistic and on-course.
Pledge 1% helps companies of all sizes and stages leverage their assets for social good. Why do you think it's important that companies prioritize social impact? Do you have any specific stories or examples from your work or colleagues you can share?
We can no longer afford to do well and not do good. Time’s up. That’s most directly seen in our lacking response to climate change but persistent societal inequities that are too often overlooked are also a direct link to our failing environment. COVID was a major setback for women’s rights and education and because of it, UNICEF estimates over 10 million more girls are at risk for becoming child brides in the next 10 years.
Impact investing is one of the clearest, most efficient ways to challenge systemic inequalities because like it or not, societal power is now held by the private sector. And data shows us impact-focused strategies are not concessionary.
My own social impact efforts are often geared towards the economic development of women. Why women? 90% of a woman’s income goes back to the community vs 40% of male income and globally, countries are losing $160 trillion in wealth because of differences in lifetime earnings between women and men.
The data is clear, women are better stewards of capital. So we must prioritize women across every chain of the workforce.
With regards to the impact economy, we must ensure women have equal access to education and resources that help keep them in the workforce, champion their economic independence.
If you could describe yourself in one word what would that be and why?
Relentless. I don't believe in giving up on a good idea or when it's simply the right thing to do.
Do you have any unique or useful life hacks to help get through your day?
Never start the day catching up on emails. Do something for yourself first. Workout, morning walk, meditation. I find exercising your body is the best way to clear your mind to make everyday a success.
Do you have any go-to apps or tools use love to use?
Besides Nav.it? I'm a quantified-self freak. I love Whoop, Mirror, and Aaptive for fitness. Duolingo to brush up on my Spanish and every reading app as I'm also an obsessive reader.
What are you looking forward to this year? Are there any goals (personal or professional), activities, or experiences you are excited about?
Scaling Nav.it at Work! It's be so exciting to see our new solution for the workforce be so well received and I'm really looking forward to expanding our partnerships with companies at the forefront of employee wellness and health.
Personally, I'm focused on caring for and sharing new adventures with my family and friends.