In 1967, an ambitious woman named Muriel Siebert purchased a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. She was one woman among nearly 1,400 men who could buy and sell shares directly on the trading floor. The NYSE was so male-dominated, in fact, there wasn’t even a ladies’ room on the trading floor. It took a good two decades more before a women’s restroom was installed near the prestigious Stock Exchange Luncheon Club, an addition spurred by Muriel’s threat to install a porta-potty if her demands weren’t met. Today, we applaud Muriel and all the women who’ve made crunching numbers their life’s work—even when met with some serious gender bias.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: .4 Percent
Whether you’re a CPA, a retail cashier or the CEO of your household, understanding finance is crucial to staying afloat. Recent data shows what I’m sure many of us probably already knew: Women are pretty awesome with money. According to Fidelity Investments, women are better investors than men, with women saving .4 percent more and also earning .4 percent more annually than men who invest.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Trish Costello, Founder and CEO of Portfolia
If you’ve got some money tucked away but are unsure what to do with it, send a check my way. Just kidding. But seriously, you may want to consider investing. Does that word sound off alarms in your head and handbag? Well, ladies, you’re not alone. Thankfully, there’s a host of women who are blasting through the boys’ investor club and getting business done. Today’s Woman to Watch, Trish Costello, is one such enterprising lady, and she founded her business, Portfolia, with the goal of involving more women in entrepreneurial investing.
Trish definitely knows the VC world and what makes for a great investment. She was the co-founder and CEO of the Kauffman Fellows Program, and former mentees recognize Trish for her aptitude and integrity, pillars of why she’s seen such success in her career. So, with Trish’s guidance, it’s no wonder Portfolia is getting so much attention.
When you join Portfolia with a minimum $10,000 investment, expert investors do the work for you, but you’re also able to gain some investment know-how. Currently, there are six key industries Portfolia focuses its funds on: active aging, software as a service, organics, family, data/AI and femtech. Portfolia invests in about six to 10 companies in each fund, from the seed level to Series C funding. Members can get as involved as they like in the funding process, are able to watch entrepreneurs pitch and present, ask questions along the way and even talk to Portfolia deal teams about specifics.
Since women haven’t had a long history of being encouraged to invest, I love Trish’s reasons why your investment in entrepreneurial companies matters. First, your money does the talking, meaning it helps decide which companies hit the marketplace. It also means you make sure women-focused businesses have a fighting chance, including those featuring products male investors often steer away from, like breast pumps and plus-size clothing. And since women make most of the purchases in the United States, it means we already have an understanding of what consumers want—a key advantage when investing in entrepreneurial businesses.
There’s no better time than now to help create a whole new world of successful entrepreneurial companies for and backed by women. As Trish says, “We can now create investing processes and cultures that work for us. It’s our time!”
QUITE THE QUOTE
Ladies, we never accomplish our objectives with just one goal in mind. When we earn that paycheck, we do it for our bank accounts, our pride, our families, our careers. It’s like what activist Marian Wright Edelman said:
“Never work just for money or for power. They won’t save your soul or help you sleep at night.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.