Financial Feminists: Top 5 Women in Finance

Who run the world? Girls. Well, women. Whether you’re just starting your journey to female financial success or well on your way to total domination, here are five women in finance who deserve all the snaps. 

Thasunda Brown Duckett

Chief Executive Officer of TIAA (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America), Thasunda Brown Duckett is one of the most powerful Black women in finance today. She’s no stranger to banking leadership, having been CEO of Chase Consumer Banking before moving to TIAA. Duckett created the Otis and Rosie Brown Foundation to highlight the achievements of self-made individuals who give back to their communities. As the fourth Black woman to be a Fortune 500 CEO, Duckett is especially dedicated to advocating for communities of color, and supporting their educational and career success. 

Ida Liu

A Chinese-American fluent in Mandarin and Spanish, Ida Liu currently serves as Global Head of Citi Private Bank. She has been with Citi Bank since 2007, when she launched the Fashion, Retail, and Entertainment Group. Under her leadership, Citi Bank blew past projections by 12 percent in 2020, despite the ongoing global pandemic. It was that achievement that boosted her into her current role as Global Head from her previous role as Head of Citi’s North American private bank. In 2021, Liu saw a 27 percent increase in female clients at the bank, which is the highest jump the bank has seen in years. She is a passionate advocate for diversity and gender equality in the workplace—pushing especially for inclusivity on behalf of those with Asian American and Pacific Island (AAPI) heritage.

Anu Aiyengar

In 1999, Anu Aiyengar interviewed for a position at a Wall Street investment bank, and was told, “wrong gender, wrong color, wrong country.” Now, Aiyengar is Global Head of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) at banking giant JPMorgan. She is the only woman on Wall Street to head an M&A sector. During her time at JPMorgan, she has overseen deals with huge clients like Burger King, Getty Images, and Louis Vuitton. She recently put in place a policy of “flex time” at JPMorgan, which gives workers an hour and a half to take a break and recharge, and acknowledged that the pandemic put a major strain on employees’ mental health. 

Mellody Hobson

Co-CEO of Chicago-based Ariel Investments, Mellody Hobson is a firm advocate of financial literacy. She is a dedicated teacher, speaker, and media presence for the subject. For her, it’s crucial for the continuation of success. Hobson was born into poverty as one of six siblings, a struggle which motivated her to choose a career in finance. After graduating from Princeton in 1991, Hobson chose to work at Ariel Investments, the first Black-owned money management company in the US. Under the steady mentorship of Ariel’s founder, Hobson advanced quickly, becoming Co-CEO in 2019.

Abigail Johnson

Since 2014, Abigail Johnson has been the CEO of Boston-based Fidelity Investments, which boasted a 15 percent jump in revenue in 2021. Fidelity has spent considerable effort attracting the attention of younger demographics, gaining over 2 million new investors between 18 and 35. Johnson’s net worth is estimated at $21.6B. Her grandfather, Edward Johnson, created the company in 1946, passing it down through the generations to reach Abigail herself.

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