Get Paid What You’re Worth. Many people have no idea what they’re worth and salaries can fluctuate quite a bit based on demand, skills, and experience. Make sure you know what you are worth by understanding your skills and contribution to the company as well as what the going rate is for your position internally and outside of your company. This is important for everyone, but extremely important for women who still get paid 77 cents to the dollar of their male counterparts and won’t reach pay parity for another 50 years.
As a part of my series about strong female finance leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nadine Pizarro. Nadine is the Director of Marketing at Stout, a global advisory and consulting firm specializing in Investment Banking, Valuation Advisory, Dispute Consulting, and Management Consulting services. In this role, she provides strategic leadership in the development and execution of the marketing programs for the Valuation Advisory business line. Nadine has worked in marketing, client, and project management roles across the financial industry for 20 years. Nadine has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Illinois and a Master’s in Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the Banking/Finance field?
I’ve always been interested in understanding the underlying motivation of what drives people to behave a certain way, especially when it comes to money. There’s so much to understand about people’s relationship with money — how they feel about it, how they interact with it, and what’s behind “why we buy.” Our relationship with money is emotional and as a result, irrational. The subject of behavioral economics has always been fascinating to me and there’s no better place to learn about human behavior than in the finance industry.
Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occurred to you in your career so far?
There’s a lot of responsibility that comes with working in the finance industry. You immediately become an expert on money management to your family, your friends, and even strangers. The first time I really understood what that meant was when I was working in the retirement industry. My company offered an online solution to help employees manage their employee-sponsored retirement accounts and we went to a client site to help education employees on the service as well as the importance of saving for retirement. It was extremely humbling to talk with each employee and learn more about their hopes and dreams for the future as well as their fears and challenges. These individuals were looking to me for help and that’s when I was able to see first-hand the impact that we were having on people’s lives. One of the things that I love about working in the finance industry is the ability to help people accomplish their lifelong goals.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
There’s so much opportunity to transform marketing in the finance industry from changing public opinion and perception of the industry to becoming relevant, tangible, and authentic to how we engage customers. At Stout, we are focused on all of that. Our brand is built on the strength of our people and in turn, what that means for our culture as well as our clients. In a very short amount of time, we have rebranded our company, relaunched our website, and are now focused on driving engagement with our core audiences and increasing our brand presence in the industry with our new Stout Ambassador, PGA Tour Professional, Sam Ryder. Anything we can do to help people understand that we are there to help them make more informed decisions is going to be impactful. It’s a really exciting time to work in financial marketing.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
At Stout, we take great pride in putting clients first. Our approach to client service is based on understanding clients’ needs, always adding value for our clients, and setting and managing client expectations, all while being responsive every step of the way. Our professionals are committed to their work and bring a positive, team-oriented approach to any engagement, big or small, no matter the location, industry, or task at hand. We believe it’s this commitment and dedication that really differentiates us.
Our net promoter score is consistently in the +90s, which is indicative of our clients’ trust. The average net promoter score for companies in the financial industry is +44 so that’s a huge testament to our commitment to client service.
Wall Street and Finance used to be an “all white boys club”. This has changed a lot recently. In your opinion, what caused this change?
I think there’s a realization that women and men are fundamentally different and that’s a strength, not a weakness. But, up until that point, the advice for working women has always been to conform to men and act like “one of the guys,” whether that’s dressing in a pants suit, learning how to golf, or speaking out more in a meeting.
There have been a couple of pivotal moments over the last 10 years that have really shifted how the industry, as a whole, views women and the value they bring to the table.
The first pivotal moment is the 2008 financial crisis. Many experts look back on that time and feel that there was too much groupthink and risk-taking at the senior levels on Wall Street and that things may have turned out differently, if there had been more women at the top to provide different perspectives. 2008 really served as a wake-up call to the industry that diversification at the top was needed.
The second moment happened about five years when some research was published to support the idea that more diverse leadership teams outperform male-dominated ones. As we all know, the finance industry is driven by numbers and I think that research reinforced the idea that more diversification is needed and is better for business.
Of course, despite the progress, we still have a lot more work to do to achieve parity. According to this report in CNBC, less than 17 percent of senior positions in investment banks are held by women. In your opinion or experience, what 3 things can be done by a)individuals b)companies and /or c) society to support this movement going forward?
There are a number of things that need to be done to support women, not just in the financial services industry, but in the workforce:
· Improve paid-leave policies — The U.S. is one of a few countries that doesn’t offer a paid leave policy resulting in only 12% of the population receiving paid parental leave. While I feel fortunate to have worked for employers with generous maternity leave policies, paid-leave is a standard policy in all industrialized countries that has proven benefits to our own health, society, and the economy.
· Provide flexible and affordable childcare options — There aren’t many affordable childcare options that work for a modern mother. In my hometown, there are two after-school programs that are in such high demand that parents have to wait in line all night to secure a spot for their child. In addition, most childcare facilities are open during a standard workday (8–6), but as we all know, there is no standard workday anymore. As a working mother with a pretty routine schedule, I am still constantly juggling my work schedule with my childcare schedule with my train schedule. How do moms with nonstandard work hours (shifts, nights, weekends, holidays) do it? And then, there’s the cost, which is completely out-of-reach for the majority of Americans.
· Get men involved — The bottom line is that the finance industry is still heavily dominated by men. To invoke any real change, women need more men to make gender diversity a business priority and incorporate it into a company’s corporate culture. This could mean a number of things, but it would include:
o Transparent and well-communicated plans that establish the business case as well as goal-setting, reporting on progress, and measuring success.
o Education and training on gender biases — becoming more aware, changing behavior, and enabling employees to address gender-biased behavior head on
o Deliberate strategies to bring more women to the top through recruiting and promotional efforts, including measurable programs that not only support women in their professional development, but provide a path to the top.
You are a “finance insider”. If you had to advise your adult child about 5 non-intuitive things one should do to become more financially literate, what would you say? Can you please give a story or example for each?
My hope is that I would have been having these types of conversations with my children from an early age. Beyond the basics of setting a budget and saving, here are some other principles I want to instill in my kids:
· Get Paid What You’re Worth. Many people have no idea what they’re worth and salaries can fluctuate quite a bit based on demand, skills, and experience. Make sure you know what you are worth by understanding your skills and contribution to the company as well as what the going rate is for your position internally and outside of your company. This is important for everyone, but extremely important for women who still get paid 77 cents to the dollar of their male counterparts and won’t reach pay parity for another 50 years.
· Invest. Just as important as it is to save, I think it’s important to invest. Whether we think about ourselves being investors, the invention of the 401(k) plan made us all investors and it’s important to have a basic understanding of the stock market and investing principles. While saving money is important for emergencies, investing allows you to grow your money and help you achieve financial goals.
· Take Control of Your Financial Future. Because women are more likely to leave the financial planning to their spouse, this principle is more for my daughter and it’s probably the most important for her to understand. As a woman, there is a good chance that we will be alone at some point in our lives and that we will be responsible for taking control of our finances. It’s critical that we play an active role in financial decisions and we don’t just defer to our significant other.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
There are so many people that I am grateful for. Every step I’ve taken in my career has been because someone (or many people) supported me. One thing that I mentioned earlier is the importance of getting men involved as a way to support women. That’s just as true at work as it is at home. I have a wonderful husband who is supportive of my career, who is a great sounding board, and who actively contributes to managing the household and caring for our kids. I would not be able to have my career if it wasn’t for the support he provided at home.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
One of my favorite quotes is, “A curious mind and an open heart can take you anywhere.” I love this quote so much because it really touches upon two values that are so important to me both professionally and personally. To me, having a curious mind is about continuous learning. Every day is a new opportunity to learn something new and just because I am a leader, doesn’t mean I am the expert. It’s important to me that I surround myself with people who know more than me and have different perspectives so I can learn from them and together, we can make the best decision for the business.
Having an open heart is about kindness, empathy, and acceptance. When you surround yourself with a diverse group of people from different cultures and backgrounds, people are not going to agree — that’s the whole point of bringing a diverse team together. But, everyone is there because of their differences and it’s so important for everyone to remember that and be open toward different ideas. Also, in the course of a day, you can’t control how someone acts towards you, but you can control how you act. I always try to keep in mind that I don’t know everyone’s story and what they’re going through that week, day or moment. Regardless of how someone acts towards me, responding in kind, can make all the difference.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
One of the things I’m most passionate about is helping women become financially independent. In the U.S., most women manage everyday household expenses, but less than 50% of women are active in long-term financial planning and decision-making, deferring the task to their significant other. However, With the divorce rate so high and with women living longer than men, it’s likely that nearly all women will be the sole financial decision maker in their lives. In addition, women face some unique situations that could have a significant impact on their financial future. Women live longer than men so they need to fund a longer retirement. At the same time, research shows that women tend to fall behind on their retirement savings because they are:
· less likely to invest
· more financially conservative and
· more likely to take time out of the workforce to care for their families or put their loved ones’ financial needs first.
These are considerations that women must account for in their financial plans and that are most likely not being thought of when the task is deferred to their spouse. It’s really critical that women become active participants and engaged with their long-term financial plans.
Thank you for all of these great insights!
About The Author:
Tyler Gallagher is the CEO and Founder of Regal Assets, a “Bitcoin IRA” company. Regal Assets is an international alternative assets firm with offices in the United States, Canada, London and Dubai focused on helping private and institutional wealth procure alternative assets for their investment portfolios. Regal Assets is an Inc. 500 company and has been featured in many publications such as Forbes, Bloomberg, Market Watch and Reuters. With offices in multiple countries, Regal Assets is uniquely positioned as an international leader in the alternative assets industry and was awarded the first ever crypto-commodities license by the DMCC in late 2017. Regal Assets is currently the only firm in the world that holds a license to legally buy and sell cryptos within the Middle East and works closely with the DMCC to help evolve and grow the understanding and application of blockchain technology. In addition to his role with Regal Assets, Tyler is a regular contributor to Forbes, Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global and Authority Magazine. Tyler has also been featured in many news publications and has been a guest expert on “The News with Ed Shultz”. Tyler is a proud member of the Forbes Finance Council a private invite only-group of hand-selected industry leaders.