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How To Survive a Male-Dominated Industry

Denise Mel, chief marketing officer of Wealth Migrate believes that women have come a long way since the First Lady of Finance, Victoria Woodhull.

In 1870, Woodhull together her sister, Tennessee Clafin, opened Woodhull Clafin & Co. to become the first female stockbrokers on Wall Street. However, they did not qualify for a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, which was something only achieved by women in 1967. Subsequently, Woodhull also became the first woman to run for the US presidency in 1872.

After starting her career in the predominantly SA financial market, Denise Mel learned quickly that this was no place for ‘girls who weren’t prepared to put on their big girl panties’. She realised that she had a hard road ahead of her to disprove the notion that men are the daredevils when it comes to finance and like to take risks, while woman are too cautious and want security.

How to succeed in a male-dominated industry, according to Mel:

  1. Mentorship, leadership,and motivation

You may be resilient, but going it alone can be very hard. Seeking out a mentor can be invaluable as they understand the challenges you face and can use their experiences to guide you in the industry. A mentor can help push you harder, highlight opportunities and nurture confidence.

  1. Patience, perseverance and positivity

Maintaining a positive attitude, with a good measure of perseverance and the ‘patience of Job’ can stand you in good stead.

  1. Networking and making contacts

Networking is a big part of the job in corporate industries, as well as the financial sector. Very often, this is done in environments that are not always female friendly, but breaking through this barrier is necessary to embrace and learn from the challenges it brings.

  1. Strength, structure and confidence

The financial sector is very results driven. There is no time to lose; you need to prove yourself and sometimes it’s necessary to be a little outspoken. Having a structured work environment, and being organised and technically strong is a key component. Having a good work/life balance is vital to help earn you respect and recognition for a job well done. Mel says she personally doesn’t “believe that women have an inherent risk aversion, but that women might take more risks if they had more money.”

Money To Invest

So how do women work towards accumulating money money to invest in their wealth? Abigail Johnson, CEO of Fidelity Investments says, “No matter how senior you get in an organisation, no matter how well you’re perceived to be doing, your job is never done.” There is the obvious and well-taught approach to investing that includes increasing your income, controlling your spending habits, defining your long-term investment objectives, saving and creating a safety net. Then, says Johnson, women should:

  1. Invest no matter what is happening in the market

If you invest periodically, you will be dollar cost averaging the market to minimise your risk should the market decline. If you think it’s a bad time to invest, simply cut back on how much you are investing.

  1. Diversify your investments

The best way to protect yourself against unexpected surprises is to diversify your investments across different asset classes. A global real estate portfolio is one of them.

  1. Diversify your income sources

You have to be prepared to ride the difficulties that come with an instable job market. Create a passive income stream with monthly or quarterly payouts that will provide you with an additional source of income for savings and debt reduction. This may also cover your salary should you lose your employment in a recession. Multiple income sources can represent a form of financial independence and wealth creation.

Mel believes that women make great investors for the following key reasons and we should capitalise on our greatness:

  • Woman are nurturers and tend to nurture their investments.
  • We learn from other women. If we find something that works, we naturally want to share it with other women and establish great relationships with our investment networks.
  • We’re great shoppers, so researching great investments comes rather easily for us.
  • We’re not afraid to try something new and we mostly have a natural tendency to be patient and disciplined enough to stick to an investment plan and save consistently for the future.

Mel works to inspire all women to create financial independence through knowledge and confidence. It is time that women take charge and create their path to financial freedom from any age though alternative real estate investing.

Women & Wealth Event

Redefine your relationship with money at the Women & Wealth event, where different female speakers will share their journey to financial independence and key lessons on how to create wealth.

Date: 16 September 2017

Venue: Radisson Blu, V&A Waterfront

Start time: 08h00 for 09h00

End time: 13h30

Tickets: R150 for adults (18+) and R70 for young adults (13 to 17 years)

To buy tickets, visit Quicket.

Source: Wealth Migrate. Image: Pixabay

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