Taking Women To the Top

Lenore Albom, Vice President of Global Markets Chase Securities, President, Financial Womens Association of New York, New YorkLenore Albom doesnt particularly want to talk about her own career as an executive at Chase Securities, one of the nations leading bank brokerage programs. Yet, for the record, she notes that she started out as an accountant at Deloitte and Touche and that she has a Series

Lenore Albom, Vice President of Global Markets Chase Securities, President, Financial Womens Association of New York, New York

Lenore Albom doesnt particularly want to talk about her own career as an executive at Chase Securities, one of the nations leading bank brokerage programs. Yet, for the record, she notes that she started out as an accountant at Deloitte and Touche and that she has a Series 7 license, though she doesnt sell securities in her job.

But speaking as president of the Financial Womens Association (FWA) of New York, Albom will talk your ear off about how far women have come and how her organization intends to give them the tools they need to compete.

Our goal is to promote the field of finance and enable women to succeed, Albom says. The more education you have, the more prepared you are.

To that end, FWA sponsors more than 100 educational and professional development programs for its members and guests each year. The events feature conversations with women who have made it to the top. Other activities include an annual international trip for members, a Daughters 2000 program teaching young girls ages 8 to 18 about finance, and a college internship program.

Albom says part of the growth members achieve in FWA comes from serving on the membership committees that administer these programs. We build leaders through off-the-job training, she says. Albom herself began as assistant treasurer in 1989 and last year worked her way up to president.

The FWA was founded in 1956 by a group of women traders. It is based in New York, but has sister organizations in Boston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. About 15% of FWAs 1,100 members come from the brokerage industry, 23% from banking and the remainder from other facets of the finance industry, Albom says. FWAs goal is to reach 2,000 members by 2000.

The group gives women a chance to meet other like-minded individuals. We find over 90% of women join our organization to make contacts, Albom says. As our members get to know each other, they tend to do informal mentoring. We like to provide that opportunity.

FWA provides another significant opportunity. As part of its emphasis on being a national voice for women in the field of finance, FWA encourages its sponsoring corporations and other companies to appoint women to fill vacant board of directors positions.

In the Fortune 500, only 11% of the board of directors are women, Albom says. That number is creeping up slowly. ... If a corporation contacts us, we can provide rsums of women who may be qualified.

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