The International Center for Finance partnered with the Yale SOM Women in Management Club to offer a panel discussion about “Growing Professionally in Finance.” Three distinguished female SOM alumni shared their insights and experiences about their decisions to pursue a profession in finance, why the chose the profit or non-profit sector, their career paths, and offered advice to the next generation of finance career women.
The panelists included Andrea Levere ’83, President of Prosperity Now and Heidi Carter Pearlson ’96, Founder & Managing Partner of Adamas Partners, LLC. ICF Advisory Board Member Andrea Baumann Lustig ‘86, President of Stralem & Company, Inc. was the moderator.
The ICF worked with the WIM group to identify key areas that the students would find beneficial when thinking about their future careers in the finance sector. Moderator Andrea Lustig then came up with questions and topics that could help the students in their future career decisions and to hopefully encourage more women to pursue a career in the finance sector. Some of the questions and topics discussed included:
When you walk into your office today, what is your biggest source of pressure and biggest source of satisfaction?
What are the critical factors for a successful and meaningful career?
How and why did you choose your field in finance?
Why did you choose a non-profit vs. a profit career?
How do you have a work-life balance?
Heidi Pearlson discussed her career path, how she ended up managing a hedge fund of funds, her biggest sources of pressure and satisfaction in her profession, the lack of women represented in her field and how she thinks it could be changed, and how she juggles her work-life balance. Andrea Levere also shared her sources of pressure and satisfaction in her work, why she chose a non-profit career path, negative experiences she faced being a female in a finance field, and how she worked to persevere in negative situations. All three women then answered questions from the student audience.
Having insights from both a profit and non-profit sector representative helped the students to see the many opportunities in both fields and learn from the experiences of successful female SOM graduates. Heidi and Andrea acknowledged that there are both challenges and rewards in each of their sectors but both credited their education at SOM for preparing them for the various situations that they have experienced throughout their careers.
About the International Center for Finance: The ICF brings together faculty, students and practitioners to foster leadership in the understanding, practice and management of finance from multiple perspectives. Its goal is to support innovative research and educational activities within the context of Yale School of Management’s broader perspective of business for the benefit of society.