Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Markets and the Economy - Who I go to

I am sure you may have noticed that I have not been blogging that much about either the economy or the markets. (click here to link to my blog from facebook) The main reason is because there is just so much exceptional commentary ( and free!) that says it better then I can. In general I remain quite bearish on equities, and bonds. (see Rosenburg's comments) So rather then going on and on about what I think, here is SHORT list of the people and places I go to for information:
1) David Rosenburg of Gluskin Sheff - formerly of ML. Click here to subscribe to his free daily newsletter. Great for the big picture!
2) Bill Gross of PIMCO - click here to acccess his monthly commentaries. Big picture plus bond market commentaries.
3) Nouriel Roubini of RGE Monitor - Robust, global economic and market commentary. Detailed analysis requires a subscription.
4) Michael Cembalest - JP Morgan. Again, not alot free, but put him on your google alerts.
6) Blogs/Aggregators - Naked Capitalism -check out their incredible blog roll.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Glass Hammer ...and the GS Lawsuit

Nicki Gilmour is the founder of the GLASSHAMMER and one fantastic young women. If you do not know of this site please subscribe and better yet contact her to find out more about her business.

Nicki had this to say about the GS Lawsuit. She too sees the downside of litigation. There is no doubt that the low numbers of women on Wall Street, particularly in senior leadership positions, indicate that gender discrimination is still alive and well. That said it is not the ONLY reason and I truly believe there are a lot of well intending people who want to do better in the hiring, retention and promotion of women. What is needed is some open, honest and constructive dialog on WHY diversity programs and policies have failed to deliver the intended results. For a resource on this topic please download the research paper from the National Council for Research on Women.

BBC - Women's Hour - GS Class Action Suit

Airing today is a segment where I spoke to the GS Class Action Suit. Click here to listen.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Clinton Global Initiative - Women and Girls, and the NEW Girl Effect Video

This is a big week in New York City! The Clinton Global Initiative is happening, otherwise knows as CGI, gathering leaders in business, government and philanthropy from around the world. Former President Clinton started this movement in 2005 in attempt to turn "good intentions in to action and results." Love it.

"Building on President Clinton's lifetime in public service, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) reflects his belief that governments need collaboration from the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and other global leaders to effectively confront the world’s most pressing problems. After attending thousands of meetings during his career in which urgent needs were discussed but no action was taken to solve them, President Clinton saw a need to establish a new kind of meeting with an emphasis on results."

I considered attending this year but just could not make it happen. Thankfully so many of the women I know and deeply respect are there representing the gender related issues I care so passionately about. In particular my dear friend and the most fabulous Lisa Witter, author of "The She Spot" was the leader in convening a WHISPER ROOM to talk about the following:

• jobs/economic development
• leadership/women as decision makers
• innovation
• a million “new” opportunities for women that might be a catch-all for a number of different issues.

The need to invest in women and girls is front and center at this gathering as it is now broadly accepted that they hold the key to economic growth and security for all. There were many sessions where a gender lens was applied, as well as this dedicated plenary to "Empowering Women and Girls" featuring Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. ( click here to watch )

Here is a list of what this incredible initiative has accomplished.

Last but not least. Jennifer Buffet, President of the NOVO Foundation is an amazing philanthropist and I am honored to call, a personal friend. NOVO "seeks to foster a transformation in global society from a culture of domination and exploitation to collaboration and partnership, empowering women and girls as the primary agents of change." I think they are the largest foundation dedicated to women and girls and they do incredible work.

Just released at CGI is this brand new GIRL EFFECT Video. If you have not seen it - click here.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"Third Wave of Feminism Urged by Prominent Canadian Women"

"Influential Canadian women say the promise of equality that was dangled before them during the 1960s and ’70s has never been fully met and a “third wave” of feminism is needed to revive the drive." Go Canada! As a Canadian citizen living in the US thinks makes me extremely proud. Read the full article int he Globe and Mail here. The departing Governor-General MichaĆ«lle Jean convened 200 prominent women to talk about how to advance gender equality in Canada and from a first hand report from a dear friend who was there, she rocked it!!! This article got over 600 comments! 600.

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Goldman Bias Suit Offers Wall Street an Opening" - Jacki Zehner

I have much to say on this topic. So much. Bloomberg asked me to write something for them and here it is. I have received many incredible emails in response to it, from men in particular. Many men have shared with me their frustrations in trying to hire, retain and promote women. Further they point to the institutional challenges that exist and must be addressed if we are to move forward. I have written many times in this space how I think diversity efforts have largely failed, and I will write more on that topic.

Thanks to Bloomberg for inviting me to write this piece and to my very special, personal editor who challenged me to think about my intent in writing it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Class Action Launched Against GS

A class action law suit was filed today against Goldman Sachs. The entire suit can be found on this link. ( click here ) The details are below.

National Class Action Lawsuit in Federal Court Charges Violations of Federal and Local Civil Rights Laws
Business Wire
NEW YORK -- September 15, 2010
Goldman Sachs has engaged in systemic and pervasive discrimination against its female professional employees, a lawsuit filed today in federal court in New York alleges.
The lawsuit, Chen-Oster v. Goldman Sachs, Inc., Case No. 10-6950 (S.D.N.Y.), filed by three highly-credentialed women represented by Outten & Golden LLP and Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, accuses Goldman Sachs, a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm, of engaging in a pattern and practice of gender discrimination against its female Associates, Vice Presidents, and Managing Directors. The women allege violations of federal and city laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the New York City Human Rights Law.
The case is pending before United States District Court Judge Leonard Sand.

According to the complaint, the ``violations of [Goldman Sachs'] female employees' rights are systemic, are based upon company-wide policies and practices, and are the result of unchecked gender bias that pervades Goldman Sachs' corporate culture. They have not been isolated or exceptional incidents, but rather the regular and predictable result of Goldman Sachs' company-wide policies and practices.''

``The gender-equality issues raised by this lawsuit are all too familiar – Goldman Sachs systematically undervalues the efforts and achievements of its female employees. This is an important step in our efforts to eradicate discrimination within the financial-services industry,'' said plaintiffs' attorney Adam T. Klein of Outten & Golden LLP of New York, New York.
``This case challenges Goldman Sachs' practice of treating its talented female professionals like disposable, second class citizens,'' said plaintiffs' attorney Kelly M. Dermody of Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP of San Francisco, California. “By coming forward, the plaintiffs are working to ensure a level playing field across Wall Street.”
The complaint charges that, among other things, Goldman Sachs compensates its female professionals less than similar male professionals, disproportionately promotes men over equally or more qualified women, and offers better business opportunities and professional support to its male professionals.
Attorneys Adam T. Klein, Cara E. Greene, and Jennifer Liu of
Outten & Golden LLP and Kelly M. Dermody, Anne Shaver, and Heather Wong of Lieff Cabraser Heimann and Bernstein LLP represent the plaintiffs.
The case is Chen-Oster v. Goldman Sachs, Inc., Case No. 10-6950 (S.D.N.Y.).

So where do I stand on this as a former GS partner ( trader ), an executive who worked in human capital management for two years with a focus on diversity, compensation, lateral hiring, succession planning, performance measurement and more? I am working on that entry................. more soon.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Trust and Kindness

I am back from a 6 day whirlwind New York visit, my first since moving to Park City. I have so much to write about I cannot even stand it but tonight the post will be brief. I attended a three day retreat for Women Moving Millions and we had some very talented facilitators and some amazing speakers. ( more on that tomorrow) In opening the session they asked all the participants to do two things. The first - to look around the room, look at the faces present and imagine that you could trust every single person completely. Further imagine yourself as being completely trustworthy to others. Completely. She gave us time to digest that feeling and WOW. YOU think about that. Think about how your life, your actions, might be different if everyone you came across was completely trustworthy. In the moment and for ever more. Second she asked us to not be nice. Not nice. But she then asked us to make sure we were kind. Nice is telling someone they look like they lost weight when they haven't because you know it would mean a lot to them to hear you say it. Kind is helping them to in fact lose it. ( my example) This set the stage for the whole retreat and I am taking these two things out with me in the world. These are big ideas and I love them. The whole weekend was just such a gift. Such a blessing. Such a well of abundance and possibility. I will look forward to sharing more.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

On the road...

Sorry for the lack on entries this past week. The getting settled in to the new home thing is a heck of a lot of work! This week I am in New York for a road trip. Meetings with the team of SHEWRITES, Pat Mitchell of the Paley Center for Media, The Economist, Bloomberg and more. This weekend I will be at a three day Women Moving Millions retreat where we will be in strategy sessions around what next for this amazing group of women donors! Lots to write about when I get back. Have a great weekend.