#TheNew10, Canada Edition: The Bank of Canada will soon begin accepting nominations for an "iconic" woman to feature on a new bank note to be distributed in 2018. "With this new note, we can honor the achievements of Canadian women and inspire future generations to learn more about the significant contributions women have made to our country," the central bank governor, Stephen Poloz, said. Nominees must be Canadian by birth or naturalization, deceased for at least 25 years and not fictional. The nomination process will launch April 15.
C-U-Later: Debbie Matz, who has chaired the board of the National Credit Union Administration since August 2009, will step down at the end of April. She served 11 years at the NCUA, which is the regulatory agency overseeing credit unions.
Higher R-O-ETF: State Street Global Advisors has launched an exchange-traded fund that tracks companies with high levels of women in senior leadership positions. The ETF began trading this week under the ticker "SHE." It is the latest example of a trend in which asset managers are seeking to bring social causes to their U.S. investment strategies. "SHE seeks to help address gender inequality in corporate America by offering investors an opportunity to create change with capital and seek a return on gender diversity," says Kristi Mitchem, head of the Americas Institutional Client Group for State Street Global Advisors. (You may recall that Barbara Byrne worked on the launch of a similar investment option at Barclays.)
No More Arguments: More women-owned businesses mean more board opportunities are coming for women, argues Carla Harris, vice chairman of global wealth management at Morgan Stanley. Data from the National Women's Business Council – an organization Harris chairs – shows there are now 10 million U.S. women-owned businesses generating a total of $1.4 trillion in revenue and employing 8 million people. This is "a clear tipping point," Harris said in a Bloomberg video interview that partly focused on the gender gap on corporate boards. Harris said boards will find it harder to overlook female candidates with so many coming to the table as experienced business owners. Arguments that women lack the operational expertise boards seek will become "defunct." Finally, "those who don't get it will hug the data," which shows that companies with diverse boards outperform their peers.
Rising Through the Ranks?: Mercer research shows women make up 76% of support staff in the financial services industry. That figure shrinks to 44% of mid-level managers, 30% of senior managers and 21% of executives. Mercer surveyed 583 companies, with a total of 3.2 million employees across 42 countries.
Don't Wait: Some say women's lesser status on Wall Street has improved since the pre-crisis dark days, but not Sallie Krawcheck. Is it worth waiting for, though? The CEO of the forthcoming women's investment platform Ellevest said that the industry pipeline of women at junior levels now is the same as when she started working a couple decades ago – and the lack of women at higher levels is about the same too. She said one problem is that inherent biases (like managers wanting to promote someone similar to themselves) still exist, despite research showing gender-diverse teams outperform others. Krawcheck pointed out that it's less costly than ever to be an entrepreneur (try crowdfunding!) and that women have greater opportunities to make change instead of waiting for it.
Change Will Take a Generation: Asia is witnessing the rise of women in corporations and in politics, Jing Ulrich, JPMorgan Chase managing director and vice chairman of Asia Pacific, said in a video interview. But cultural biases in China and Japan continue to be a limiting factor, whether in keeping women out of the workforce entirely or in lower positions when they do opt to work. "I think this will take a generation for young women to come up and be more educated and really come into the world and be leaders rather than very junior support staff," she said.
Where Credit Is Due: Data from a Biz2Credit survey of 35,000 U.S. small-business loan applications submitted last year shows a gender gap in credit scores.The average credit score of women-owned businesses was 600 – which is 15 points lower than the average for companies owned by men. Both average scores were the same as in 2014. On average, the men's businesses generated about 60% more revenue, at $229,1115, than the women's businesses, at $142,804. Still, trendlines are on the rise for the women, with average annual revenue for their businesses up 12% from 2014. The number of women who applied for business funding in 2015 soared more than 130% from the year earlier.
Pamela Joseph is coming out of retirement (after a mere 10 months) to become president and chief operating officer of the payments giant Total System Services. She will start May 1 and immediately join the board of directors. Joseph was the vice chair of U.S. Bancorp's payments division and the chair and CEO of Elavon, its processing arm, before she retired. While in that role, she ranked as one our Most Powerful Women in Banking numerous times.
Tri-State Bank of Memphis, Tenn., has hired Christine Munson as its CEO. Munson formerly worked for First Tennessee Bank.
Carver Bancorp in New York has named Christina Maier its chief financial officer. Maier had been the CFO at Patriot National Bancorp in Stamford, Conn., since 2013.
Penns Woods Bancorp in Williamsport, Pa., has promoted Michelle Karas to chief operating officer. Karas oversees deposit operations, digital banking, IT, imaging, marketing, sales and training functions in her new role.
Activist Investors and the Gender Gap: In the last five years, the five biggest activist investors have sought 174 board seats and filled 108 of them – but only seven of their nominees were women. Five of those women got seats, representing 5% of the total wins for the activists. By contrast, the S&P filled 446 seats in the same period, with 26% of those seats going to women. "If you believe that diversity on boards is critical for long-term sustainable growth, then you have to wonder whether activists care about this – or simply want to get the company's stock price up quickly," said Douglas Chia, executive director of the Conference Board's Governance Center. "It's a serious issue at a time when most executives and directors believe you need boardroom diversity to avoid getting stuck in blind spots."
Celebrate Women by Taking Action: To celebrate International Women's Day this week, why not bring up the topic of equal pay at your workplace? Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is the under-secretary-general of the United Nations and executive director of UN Women. When asked in an interview what people can do to celebrate women, her two suggestions were to force the conversation in your workplace about whether men and women are being paid equally, and to talk with girls about rejecting violence aimed at them. The day is meant to be one of action and she urged companies to take some action on the pay gap in particular. "If you don't do anything else, pay women the same amount as their male counterparts," she said.