At the beginning of my sophomore year in college, I began my journey into the world of finance. I quickly found out that, unlike the majority of my peers, I did not have any relatives in the field to guide me. Fortunately, the summer after my sophomore year I landed an internship at a big financial firm in New York where I had a terrific female boss. She began to teach me what I needed to know to succeed in the industry; both the big things — like the differences in workplace culture for women at investment banks and asset management firms – and the smaller things, such as how to leave a voicemail with your contact information at the end of the message.
I’ve heard people say women have it hard and millennials have it easy. However, I think things are different when we talk about women millennials. Because we are just now beginning to grow in numbers within the field of finance, I believe women of my generation may find it somewhat harder because there are a dearth of female mentors. As we begin to make up a greater portion of the finance world (females were 56% of the finance and insurance workforce in 2012 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), the numbers aren’t there for one-on-one female mentorship. While we work hard to make our way onto Wall Street, the women a generation before us had to work harder to overcome gender barriers surrounding the workplace. The result is a difficult to navigate field with a skewed amount of female mentors.