Dynamic Decade for Women in ETFs Group | ETF Trends

This week, more than 400 members of the Women in ETFs (WE) organization gathered to celebrate the group’s 10th anniversary. The New York City event was just the latest opportunity for community members to exchange ideas and learn together. 

“Our mission is to connect, support, and inspire,” explained Jessica Zaloom WE co-chapter President in New York City and WisdomTree Head of Corporate Communications & Public Relations. “How do we do that?  By bringing people in the ETF industry across the globe to champion our goals of actively choosing equality, diversity, and inclusion.”   

The organization has in-person events around the United States and in international markets across the globe. For example, to support gender equality, in March members rang the opening or closing bells in many locations. These included Amsterdam, Chicago, Frankfort, London, and Toronto. Meanwhile, a career podcast series is now in season two and has featured in 2024 leaders from American Century, Invesco, S&P Dow Jones Indices, State Street Global Advisors, and others. The Women in ETFs group also has a speakers’ bureau aimed at helping event organizers and media outlets reflect the diverse talent and expertise in today’s ETF industry.     

The Group’s Growth Mirrors the ETF Industry 

“In 2023, we added two new US chapters,” noted Jennica Ross, WE U.S. Co-President and Head of US ETF Sales & Portfolio Trading at Susquehanna International Group. “One in Southern California, which serves Los Angeles, Orange County, and other surrounding communities, and the Pacific Northwest which extends our coverage to Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska.” 

As a member, I have attended Women in ETF events over the last five years at industry conferences and in New York. I have enjoyed forming connections and seeing the community build momentum. Membership has doubled since 2019. 

A Global Community Has Emerged 

While 80% of the 10,000-plus WE members are women, there is a solid presence of men. There are 11 U.S. chapters and 20 outside the U.S. In the APAC and EMEA regions membership and opportunities to connect have climbed recently. New chapters were recently established in Australia, India, Madrid, Stockholm, and Warsaw and globally pre-existing ones have been swelling in size.   

“We are thrilled by the remarkable momentum of Women in ETFs in Canada. In 2023, our Canadian membership surged by 20%,” highlighted Tammy Cash, co-head of WE in Canada and head of marketing, Americas at Vanguard Investment Canada. “Women in ETFs will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in driving diversity and empowering women in the Canadian ETF community.” 

WE events are possible due to the many sponsors. The roster includes top players across the global ETF ecosystem including asset managers, index providers, law firms, market makers, and other issuer services companies like TMX VettaFi. As more asset managers have entered the ETF market in recent years, WE’s membership and value have followed suit. The organization is not slowing down. 

Looking For a New Generation of ETF Experts 

“We recently hosted events on two college campuses in California”, noted Jane Edmondson, co-head of the WE Southern California chapter and head of thematic strategy at TMX VettaFi. “The ratio of men to women in our industry is 4:1. We recognize change that needs the help and participation of both men and women to elevate the next generation of ‘Fearless Girls’.” 

A Fearless Girl statue has resided in the financial district of New York by State Street Global Advisors since 2017. The asset manager has sparked a discussion of the importance of gender diversity in corporate leadership. People routinely take their photos with the inspirational statue outside of the New York Stock Exchange in downtown New York. 

10th Anniversary Event 

Carla Harris was the keynote speaker at the 10th WE anniversary event. Ms. Harris previously was Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Morgan Stanley. She was previously the chair of the National Women’s Business Council. Harris spoke at the WE event about how to be a powerful, impactful, and influential leader in any environment.   

In addition, there were panel discussions and time to network with others in the WE community. Topics included key recent industry trends and a look to the future for Women in ETFs in the U.S. and internationally.  

“The 10-Year Anniversary event is a culmination of 10 years of hard work, creativity, and growth,” explained Lauren Davis, WE co-chapter president in Philadelphia and co-head of WE’s U.S. marketing and communications. Davis also works in communications at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “We are excited to reflect on the past 10 years, thank our members and sponsors for their support, and recognize the many leaders globally whose contributions have made WE what it is today.” 

The potential for the ETF industry is very bright but it will take the whole community to foster success. The Women in ETFs group is at the forefront of these efforts.  

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