As a member of Citigroup Inc.'s internal advisory board, Linda Descano had heard from myriad female executives who said they wanted to talk about money but felt they couldn't for one reason or another. One sentiment that came up repeatedly was: How can I sit in front of an adviser and talk about money if I know nothing?

That was 10 years ago, and after speaking to women from all walks of life, Descano concluded that the financial industry either wasn't respecting women or wasn't recognizing their role as financial decision-makers. Thus Women & Co., a financial community for women, Citigroup-backed then and now, was born. Its mission hasn't wavered.

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