Women in ETFs prepares for 10-year anniversary

The group has over 10,000 members

Tom Eckett

Jessica Lana and Roxanne Sanguinetti

Women in ETFs London chapter co-heads Jessica Lana and Roxane Sanguinetti have encouraged both women and male allies in the ETF industry to become members of the group as it celebrates its 10-year anniversary.

Women in ETFs, which was founded in January 2014, has grown to over 10,000 members across the globe, with 13 chapters based in EMEA alone.

The group aims to support and inspire the careers of women, support diversity and encourage male allies in the ETF industry.

This is achieved thanks to its 50 sponsors that enable Women in ETFs to offer free educational and professional development events for members.

Ahead of Women in ETFs’ 10-year anniversary, ETF Stream spoke to Roxane Sanguinetti, head of strategy at GHCO, and Jessica Lana, vice president, institutional commodity sales EMEA, ETFs, at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML), about the need to inspire the next generation of women in the ETF industry and the importance of involving men in the conversation.

How has the membership grown in recent years?

Lana (pictured left): Women in ETFs is an association that brings together women and men in the ETF industry through education and mentoring events among other initiatives. Our mission is to develop female and male talent and recognise the achievements of women and men in the industry.

Our three missions are to connect – create opportunities for professional advancement – support – offer guidance to the next generation of women in ETFs – and inspire – provide forums for education. After starting 10 years ago, we have finally reached 10,000 members globally.

Who are the types of members? Can anyone join?

Sanguinetti (pictured right): Our sponsors allow us to have free membership for anyone to join. You can sign up on the website and this gives you access to our events and the mentorship. We want to stress that membership is not just for women as the conversations we want to have should have men involved. We actually want to encourage more male speakers on our panels as we want men to speak up about diversity and inclusion.

Why is Women in ETFs such an important initiative for the ETF industry?

Lana: I am very fortunate enough to have always worked for firms with an inclusion environment in the finance industry, where there are many new initiatives for women. Women in ETFs is so important, however, because this does not happen at every firm. Progress has already been made since the time I started in the industry in 2008, when it was more difficult to be a woman in finance. At our events today, I see a lot of female graduates attending so it is great to be inspiring the next generation.

Sanguinetti: In times of crisis, diversity and inclusive initiatives goes out of the window because companies focus on other priorities. However, firms need to understand that it helps to have a more balanced workforce which is why it is crucial for Women in ETFs to keep helping with its initiatives.

What are your experiences of being a woman in the ETF industry?

Lana: The ETF industry has been very inclusive for both women and men. I have been very fortunate to work for firms that have had a diverse workforce so my experience has been good. Women in ETFs has had a real impact on the ETF industry, especially in recent years.

Sanguinetti: The ETF ecosystem has strong female role models such as Deborah Fuhr as well as many other heads or board members. The way the ETF industry grew meant it had many women in leadership roles. On the trading side, it is a constant battle in increase the diversity across teams, however, areas such as sales is more balanced that what you would find in other areas of finance.

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