Tag Archives: Women’s Funding Network

“Power Unused, Power Useless” in Women’s Financial Choices, Says Jacki Zehner

Among the many impressive women I interviewed for No Excuses, Jacki Zehner stands out. The youngest woman and first female trader to become a partner at Goldman Sachs in 1996, Zehner is a founding partner of Circle Financial Group. She matches her business acumen and success with her strong commitment to philanthropy, including the Women’s Funding Network and Women Moving Millions groups that focus on women and girls.

But Jacki Zehner doesn’t stop with making and giving money; she’s on a mission to gain gender parity in the financial industry where women in leadership roles have traditionally been few, and to encourage women to invest their money in ways that help other women get a fair shake in the business world. We both spoke at the Women’s Funding Network conference in New York in April. I was honored when she subsequently quoted my belief that “power unused is power useless” in her blog.

I had a chance to talk with Zehner about her latest endeavors to advance women through financial power. Here’s what she had to say:

GF: Women have obviously always worked–whether at home or in the paid workforce, but our work has not always been valued accordingly. Now that we are 50% of the paid workforce, what are the most important one or two things women should do in your opinion to make sure their work is valued at the same financial level as men’s work, individually or collectively?

JZ: Though we are now over 50% of the workforce, we are still the vast majority in lower paid jobs without benefits and make on average only 80% of the male wage. Women at all economic levels have to become more active players to create a better collective financial future. How they can do that varies dramatically – from organizing locally to advocate for change, to funding organizations that fight for our rights in courts, to at the most senior level women CEOS and executives taking the lead in their organizations to finally, truly, drive for talented women to be represented in critical mass. (30%) We have power, we are just not fully using it. (No excuses…right Gloria??)

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Copyright 2010 Gloria Feldt