International Women’s Day (“IWD”) is a global holiday celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. IWD has been observed since the early 1900s and began as a culmination of activities in the United States, Austria, Denmark Germany, Switzerland, The United Kingdom, and Russia. The United Nations (UN) adopted International Women’s Day in 1975 and is now celebrated as an official holiday in over 20 countries around the world.
At Vident, the contributions women make are valued in how we construct our principles-based indices and how we run our business. Vident Financial is unique in the financial services industry and investment management space, not only because of our products but because of the women on the senior leadership team; Chief Operating Officer, President of Vident Investment Advisory, Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel.
Denise Krisko is the President of our subsidiary, Vident Investment Advisory with over 20 years of index management experience, with an expertise in ETF management. She offers these thoughts on the diversity trends in the industry:
"When I began my career almost 30 years ago, the financial industry was more heavily dominated by men and generally much less diverse than it is now. I was fortunate to have women at higher levels that both supported my personal growth as well as corporate objectives that aligned with diversity. As I moved into higher levels of management, gaining the support of male colleagues to further champion the growth of women at all levels proved to be very successful and makes me optimistic for the continued growth of diversity in this industry. Individuals and companies are more likely to succeed when everyone has the potential to participate at every level!"
Earlier this year, Vident Financial welcomed Aisha Hunt as General Counsel – who brought considerable experience and an impressive history of handling complex legal issues under the ’40 Act and other federal securities laws. As a respected and successful female leader in the industry, she offers these thoughts on success:
“It has truly been a privilege to join Vident Financial and its subsidiaries as General Counsel and work with a wonderful team of very accomplished professionals. I continue to be encouraged by the inroads women are making in the financial services industry. I have learned that for women to truly achieve long-term success in the industry, they need more than mentorship. It is critical for women to proactively seek sponsorship from executives in their company. Sponsorship entails providing more than career advice and sharing insights on how to succeed in general or in addressing a specific career challenge. A sponsor differs from a mentor by making a long-term commitment to guide and support a woman’s career. A sponsorship commitment requires a sponsor to consistently advocate for his or her protégé’s success even during the most challenging circumstances and even if the sponsor needs to judiciously use his or her relationship capital in the company to assist the protégé in overcoming career obstacles. I am very fortunate to have had sponsors in my career who have been willing to make the necessary investment for me to advance in the industry. I look forward to more women in our industry, as well as other industries, pivoting from being content with mentorship to thoughtfully begin seeking sponsorship or serving as sponsors to assist women in advancing their careers.”
It is evident that women today need to continue to support one another through avenues like sponsorships for success in any business. Committing time, talent and other resources to invest in others creates an environment for unity and meaningful advancement for women in this and any industry.
At Vident, it is important that we set a tone of support and commitment, both with our internal team and with our external partners and clients. A tone that ultimately results in greater human productivity, better decision making and a higher probability of long-term business and investment success for all.
Happy International Women's Day!