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5th Annual WILD Symposium Focuses on Shattering Stereotypes and Glass Ceilings

Vian Tormis
Article by Jessica Darmoni – The Title Connection

Women In Listed Derivatives (WILD), a group dedicated to helping women advance in the listed and over-the-counter derivatives space, held their 5th Annual WILD Symposium this week at the UBS Building in Chicago. Sponsored by the Options Clearing Corporation (OCC), Integritas Financial Consulting and the Burling Bank, this year’s conference focused on diversity in the Boardroom, how women can get a seat at the table and how the highest glass ceiling, the one of Oval Office, might be broken next week.

Putting Words Into Action

Craig Donohue, Executive Chairman and CEO of the OCC, made a repeat appearance, kicking off the Symposium for the second year in a row. He talked about how he is surrounded by strong women in his family and how issues impacting the female attendees are also issues he cares about.

In prepared remarks passed out to the audience, Donohue points to a 2014 Catalyst Census highlighting that only 1.4 percent of the CEOs in the S&P 500 finance and industry sector are women, compared to 5% in the overall S&P 500.   Also, only 19.8% held board seats in the financial sector versus 20.7 percent of the overall S&P index of companies.

“It is critical to advance women in the financial industry and put our words into action when it comes to the state of gender equality,” said Donohue.

With help from OCC’s Chief Human Resources Officer, Tracy Raben, Donohue put his words into action by conducting a survey on gender pay equality practices at the clearing corporation.

“While our track record is good, Tracy reminded me that there are only about 20% of women on staff and in management roles,” said Donohue. “Our challenge is getting more women in the industry and in the workforce. This is an obstacle playing out in front of an interesting backdrop as we are a week away from potentially electing the first female president. If this happens, I hope to hear glass ceilings shattering everywhere.”

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