I spoke to some inspiring young college women about finance and money

The future of finance is female

This fall, as we reflect on a year full of toxic sexual dynamics in so many of our social (and even political) institutions, I’ve been thinking about how to move forward. For my part, that means finding ways we can support young women as they begin their professional lives.

Former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen sounded the alarm when she returned last year to her undergrad alma mater (and mine), Brown University, to give a speech. Talking about the advances women have made in the world economy over the past century—as well as the disadvantages we still face—Yellen noted that although women now graduate from top professional schools (such as law and business) in numbers equal to men’s, they are still not represented equitably in high-level positions.

So when another Brown alum, Darla Jade, the executive director of Smart Woman Securities (SWS), invited me to talk to a group of college women committed to developing expertise in the financial sector, I was all in. With chapters at 25 colleges across the country, SWS provides its members with educational seminars on finance and investing, as well as with mentorship and networking opportunities.

I could relate. I spent the early years of my career mentored by the great personal finance columnist Sylvia Porter, so I was excited to talk these young women about their goals for the future. I was not disappointed. Below are just a few of the memorable young people I met:

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