Karen Firestone: The truths of a professional female investor

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I am the CEO of an investment company.

We have assets under management in the billions.

I am very proud of our track record and our team.

I have worked in this industry for forty years.

I have two sets of twins.

After the first, I went back to work in a week.

Maybe I didn’t stay all day.

The next time, I took a leave 30 times that amount.

I never worked part-time.

At a company’s investor day recently, not in 1990, I sat in this room:

A room of investment people at a conference in 2019.

Source: Karen Firestone

Almost no women.

When people ask me to explain why there are so few women going into our industry, I say it’s a combination of reputation and culture.

Ken Fisher is the culture.

One that doesn’t think women exist as equals.

A culture that conditions men to call young women’s rooms late at night proposing sex.

A culture that forced me, decades ago, to threaten a young man with physical harm unless he stopped harassing me.

He stopped.

A culture that allowed a man to call my extension at my first job in the industry and say something worse than what Ken Fisher said.

I hung up and never said a word.

It’s 2019.

Not anymore – Ken Fisher.

You and your type need to leave the industry before I do.

I am a professional investor too.

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