As I may have mentioned once or twice (or maybe like twenty times) I’m a professional investment manager. I write (my new book is live!) almost full time now, but I still find myself doing work related to my former life, like evaluating seed money startups and serving on investment committees.
I’m a member of the investment committee of my alma mater, one of the largest universities in Israel.
The committee’s makeup can easily be described as “Mia and the Boys”. There are five other committee members (all men), the investment manager himself (also a man), the senior consultant (a man, surprise!) the university’s CEO (oh my god what a man), the university’s president (yep, you guessed it: a man).
The role of an investment committee is to develop a comprehensive strategy, which may involve increasing or decreasing equity exposure. Additionally, we are responsible for approving specific investments, particularly long-term illiquid investments such as private equity funds.
Whenever I meet these money managers, I ask the usual finance-related questions. However, I always make sure to bring up the number one issue that matters to me: the need to hire more women in the industry.
I don’t mean just hiring women for administrative or investor relations roles. I mean in key managerial positions where they make critical decisions. It’s 2023, and I have yet to meet an investment fund that doesn't have to explain why they don't have women in top leadership positions.
And let me tell you something: my questions don’t make me popular among the other committee members. They shift uncomfortably in their seats and think exactly what they’ve been thinking for many years: who cares how many women are in the management team, as long as they get the job done?
It would have been much easier to play ball, to be friends with everyone. To be nice and confirm by the rules - the rules men made.
But I persevere. I’m not here to make friends.
They try to shut me up, or deliberately misunderstand my remarks. They get snarky, and angry.
And you might think - well, she can do that. She is in a position of power, secure in it, so she's not risking anything. But the men I'm angering are the same ones who may decide whether or not I get appointed to the next investment committee, which they happen to chair.
And now they won’t.
There is a price to pay for everything we do in this life. And possibly not getting another committee gig is mine. It’s a price I'm willing to pay.
So, for me, acting on what I believe is a must. And writing what I believe, and believing what I write - is also a must.
So my book is out, infused with my beliefs.
And because I also believe in cute puppies, hot men, and lots of sexy times - it’s got those things, too.