Rising Regulators: Federal and state regulators have been playing closer attention to the online-lending sector this year, particularly online small-business lending. Among key players to watch in the debate over how to regulate the industry are Jessica Rich at the Federal Trade Commission and Ann Marie Wiersch at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. "To be meaningful, [self-regulatory] types of efforts need robust procedures to monitor compliance and tangible consequences when the rules aren't followed," said Rich, director of the FTC's consumer protection bureau. Wiersch, a researcher at the Cleveland Fed, is helping to shape the policy agenda. Also keep an eye on Jan Lynn Owen, commissioner of the California Department of Business Oversight. "These online lenders are filling a need in today's economy, and we have no desire to squelch the industry or innovation," Owen said. "We have a duty, however, to protect consumers and businesses, and they have more and more at stake as this industry grows."
Not Fast Enough: There hasn't been enough progress curbing sexism against women in asset management. Elizabeth Corley, vice-chairwoman of Allianz Global Investors, says it's been years since she experienced sexist behavior but that her rank may insulate her from it. "The more senior you become, the more you are accredited gender-free status," she said. "If you are relatively senior in your [company], you may not see everything that is going on." Brenda Trenowden, chairwoman of the 30% Club, a group pushing for higher female representation on the boards of U.K. companies, said the culture is changing - but not fast enough. "I do think the culture in some of the asset managers is old style and I know anecdotally a lot of women who have found the culture has not suited them and ended up leaving the industry," she said.
Human Touch in a Machine World: As ATMs and newer technologies reshape branch banking, Desiree Dixon of Navy Federal Credit Union sheds light on the continuing (perhaps increasing?) importance of personal touch for tellers, still nearly half a million strong in the U.S. Navy Federal serves the military and their families and is the country's largest credit union. A military spouse and Marine Corps brat herself, Dixon says being able to relate to the members she works with has been one of the greatest factors in her success. "I can always find a way to relate, and being a military spouse, I'm able to give them some insight on my personal life," she said. "I can tell them what my husband and I have done when it comes to savings, purchasing a home, or buying a car. I'm able to relay that information to them. Our members trust what we're saying and what we're about."
Government Intervention: A panel of Indian members of Parliament says the government needs to enforce its recommendation that banks' female employees receive more flexible working hours. It has also recommended that the government ensure banks make at least 15% of their branches all-women centers, "especially in those parts of the country where discrimination against women has traditionally been on higher side than the rest of the country... It will make womenfolk feel comfortable to access a banking system that is devoid of gender biases as well as non-discriminatory towards them."
Optimistic Women: Bank of America released a study that suggests 54% of female entrepreneurs expect their revenue to increase in the next 12 months, compared to 48% of males; and 60% of female small business owners expect to grow their businesses over the next five years, versus 52% for the men. "Female entrepreneurs are excited about the future and focused on the success of their small businesses. They are demonstrating much greater levels of optimism than their male counterparts," said Sharon Miller, managing director and head of small business at Bank of America.
Heather Cox, chief executive of Citigroup's fintech unit, is headed to USAA in the fall to take on the newly created role of chief technology and digital officer. She will oversee information technology, digital strategy and operations, and experience design. Yolande Piazza, the chief operating officer of Citi FinTech, will assume interim responsibility for Cox's duties. Cox joined Citi in 2014, also in a newly created role, from Capital One. In 2015, she was named American Banker's Digital Banker of the Year and was No. 7 on American Banker's list of The 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking.
Old Dominion National Bank in McLean, Va., has hired Stephanie Lykins-Harvey, formerly of Cardinal Bank in McLean, as director of retail banking.
Susan Neilson will resign as chief operating officer of Patriot National Bancorp in Stamford, Conn., at the end of the week.
1st Mariner Bank in Baltimore has named Deborah Williams a vice president of commercial banking. She will lead commercial banking efforts in the Northeast and Harford County markets.
Binders Full of Women: Where are all the women in Congress? That Hillary Clinton won her party's presidential nomination last month is undoubtedly a welcome crack in the glass ceiling. But female representation in government more broadly is falling. In 1997, the U.S. ranked 52nd in the world for female representation in government. This year, it fell to 97th. Let Vox tell you why women don't run for office, why it matters and how to fix it. (If nothing else, be sure to check out the infographics and charts.)
The First Rule of Running Club...: Saudi Arabia sent four women to compete in the Olympics in Rio, but at home, women aren't allowed to drive, or even attend sporting events, much less compete in them. Enter the Jeddah Running Collective, a running club with more than 100 members of both sexes and a mission to promote an active lifestyle and fight for gender equality. "We stand on our belief that running has no gender and we strongly implement non-discriminatory acts in the group," said a cofounder of the group, who (understandably) was identified only by a first name, Rod. "We are all aware and know the consequences of the things that might happen... While we're out in public, we have several plans in case of the worst scenario." The club has broadened members' social circles, improved their health (studies show 44% of Saudi women are obese or overweight) and even helped them quit smoking. And it's given women a taste of freedom in a regime that controls many aspects of their lives. "I don't think about anything," one member said. "I don't see how people are looking, or staring, or what they are saying. I just feel proud to be a part of the change that's coming."