During Women’s History Month, DTCC is highlighting the work of Women in Derivatives (WIND), a global not-for-profit organization that aims to attract and develop female leaders in the financial industry.
Established in 2007, WIND has almost 6,000 participants worldwide.
DTCC Connection caught up with Marisol Collazo, DTCC Managing Director for Business Development and Global Head of Strategic Partnerships, who is the Board chair of WIND. We spoke to her about what the group does to support women in the financial industry.
Tell us about your role with WIND?
MC: After joining the group more than 10 years ago, I was asked to speak on a WIND panel about how DTCC was meeting regulatory demands and supporting the industry. Soon after, I joined the WIND Board and since then, I have become increasingly involved with the group, which started with about a dozen women and today has grown to 6,000. I’m now the Board Chair where I can influence my greatest passion -- leadership development for women.
What is the role WIND plays in the industry and how does it support women?
MC: The focus for WIND is to attract, retain and educate women leaders. The pandemic has given us the opportunity to deliver a significant amount of content because of the virtual environment most of us are operating within. Now that we are meeting virtually, we are reaching more members with greater efficiency. Our strategies are targeted to women at various stages of their careers. For example, our Emerge group are young professionals entering this industry with up to five years of experience. We provide them with information, networking tools, and insight to help them become as savvy as possible as they are navigating their early careers. We also have Rising Stars, which is our 5- to 15-year category and our Trailblazers, our 15-plus category. We want to make sure we are supporting all women across their career tenure.
Why did you choose to become part of WIND?
MC: I’ve been in this business for more than 20 years and over the course of this time there’s been a noticeable absence of women in the room where strategic decisions were being made. I wanted to find these women. A male colleague told me to look into WIND. That was almost a decade ago. There, I found many amazing, talented women in an informal network where women would reach out to one another and engage in content-rich discussions on business topics. It was so empowering to be able to speak on business topics and listen to women who had a ton of expertise. I love the mission and WIND really felt like home – a place where I was able to meet similar-minded women.
WIND members were able to ring the New York Stock Exchange Closing Bell on March 10, 2021 to celebrate and honor all women in the financial industry. Why is the act of ringing the bell significant?
MC: It’s so significant given it’s Women’s History Month, and that we also celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8. It’s a way to celebrate the talented women in our industry and bring recognition to WIND, and all it does for women in finance. It’s also a way of demonstrating how individuals can take action to affect change. I like the opportunity to shine a spotlight on women who are achieving great things. Ringing the bell shows how WIND is being active in its commitment to challenges faced by women in finance today.
What is the best piece of advice for women working in finance?
MC: The best piece of advice is really to connect with other women in the industry. There is power in networking. Women – particularly those who are early in their careers – need to make creating those relationships a priority. When you are able to build deep, meaningful networks your creating opportunity to provide quantum leaps forward in years to come.
How do we encourage more women to pursue careers in finance?
MC: At WIND, we’re focused on attracting women into this industry, starting as early as high school. We have to reach women in high school or starting college so they can see themselves in finance careers and help them define finance as a pathway to success.
Why is it important to have women role models in the financial world?
MC: We know the business value of embracing diversity and it has been demonstrated from a financial perspective that companies with a more diverse board outperform those that don’t have that don’t have diverse representation in the board room. That’s why we need women in these roles.