Ultra-Exclusive Women's Club: SNL counts only 13 publicly traded U.S. banking companies with a female CEO-CFO team. The largest one is CIT Group, with Ellen Alemany and Carol Hayles in its two top jobs. Other duos include Centric Financial's Patti Husic and Sandra Schultz, TFB Bancorp's Mary Lynn Lenz and Danielle Thomson, and First United Corp.'s Carissa Rodeheaver and Tonya Sturm. Several members of this exclusive club contend that having multiple women in leadership can help break the stubborn status quo in the recruiting process and attract even more women to the team. At Open Bank in Los Angeles, half of its board members and five of the six people on its executive management team are women, including CEO Min Jung Kim and CFO Christine Yoon Oh. Further, more than two thirds of its overall employees are female. (Alemany, Husic and Lenz have all been part of our Most Powerful Women in Banking list more than once.)
Blind Recruitment: Westpac Bank in Australia plans to begin anonymous recruiting by the end of this year, according to its head of inclusion and diversity, Ainslie van Onselen. It will remove from the process names and anything else that gives clues to gender, cultural heritage and age, she said. "Even something like an interest, like yoga or dancing, could suggest it is a woman," she said. "We will also remove school." PwC's Jon Williams said he is skeptical about the idea as a way to eliminate bias, because at some point employers will want to do a face-to-face interview, and people still "make decisions based on interactions with other human beings."
The Philosophy of a Fintech Startup: The founder of a fintech startup called InVenture, Shivani Siroya, used to work in mergers and acquisitions at Citigroup. But now she is happily focusing full time on growing her business, which uses mobile phone technology to assess creditworthiness, issue uncollateralized loans and help build financial identities for people in Kenya who are unbanked. Siroya said she believes the key to success for InVenture is to think globally and act locally. That's why, at the recent launch of its app in Nairobi, she handed off the speechmaking duty to Amanda Donahue, head of the company's east Africa operation. "It's not a good thing if I go to Kenya and then I give a speech and leave and go back to LA," she said. "I can promote us at a global platform."
A Puzzle to be Solved: What attracted math major Holly Rostill to a career in cybersecurity is partly her interest in solving puzzles. But she said it's easy to see how other women could be deterred: the lack of female role models in the field makes it seem like an unrealistic choice to many. Overall, women account for about 10% of those in the information security profession – the same level as two years ago. To solve the puzzle of how to get those numbers up, PwC's Rostill and other women in cybersecurity suggest highlighting the successes of those who have broken through the gender barrier and emphasizing that the work is about more than just tech. Nicole Eagan, CEO of the cybersecurity company Darktrace, said the recruiting process needs to change too. "Legacy security companies hire from the same pool of men," she said. "It's an old boys' network."
How to Use Social Media: Some banks use Facebook and Twitter to broadcast promotional messages, but Umpqua's Eve Callahan frowns on that. Customers "don't want to be sold a product in a personal space," she said. "At least not yet." What Umpqua does instead is promote "random acts of kindness contests" and share content that is meant to help reduce people's fears about money (like its own podcast). For other creative ideas from banks that are active in social media, check out this story.
The Securities and Exchange Commission promoted C. Dabney O'Riordan to co-chief of the Division of Enforcement's Asset Management Unit. She's currently associate regional director in the SEC's Los Angeles office. In her new role, O'Riordan succeeds Marshall Sprung, who left the agency in April. The unit focuses on misconduct by investment advisers, investment companies, and private funds.
PNC's Paula Fryland, regional president for Philadelphia, Delaware and Southern New Jersey, will retire Friday. She has held her role for two years and plans to relocate to the west.
Changing the Narrative: Backchannel published a revision of Newsweek's March cover story about the founding fathers of Silicon Valley. Theirs tells the story of six women whose contributions are continually overlooked: Judy Estrin, who contributed to the networking protocols that form the basic architecture of the Internet; Lynn Conway, who helped pioneer supercomputing technologies at IBM before she was fired during a gender transition; Sandy Kurtzig, the first software entrepreneur to become a multimillionaire; Donna Dubinsky, the founding chief executive of Palm (as in palm pilot); Sandy Lerner, who co-invented the router while managing the computers for Stanford's Graduate School of Business; and Diane Greene, who helped found VMWare, the company that marked the advent of the virtualization industry. "What happens when you tell the history of the birth of Silicon Valley a different way?" Backchannel asks. "It offers a map to a generation of young men and women looking for new leadership models."
Zig-A-Zig-Ah: Project Everyone has revived the Spice Girls' Wannabe video as part of its #WhatIReallyReallyWant campaign. The intent is to get United Nations leaders to prioritize the needs of women and girls, as called for in the sustainable development goals they signed in September 2015. The video highlights how the lives of women and girls can improve worldwide, including equal access to quality education, equal pay, and an end child to marriages and violence against women. Posh Spice said it: "How fabulous is it that after 20 years, the legacy of the Spice Girls — 'Girl Power' — is being used to encourage and empower a whole new generation."