Changing the Narrative


February 2019

We know that women are strong leaders and trusted decision makers in the financial services industry. By sharing their stories, we can change the narrative of what it means to be a woman in finance.

There are countless stories of women leading and playing vital roles in the success of our industry. But those stories aren’t always told. Our #WomenInFinance series aims to change the narrative, bringing the stories of these strong leaders and trusted decision-makers to life, and redefining what it means to be a woman in finance.

Colette Taylor, CEO and chair of Russell Investments Trust Company talks about how inclusive leadership can drive growth and how important it is to connect your organization’s mission with its values. She affirms that to be future-ready, creating a culture of being-valued is critical for the success of an organization.


Sylvia Bell, COO at Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS), is a strong advocate of the “Texas mindset” that involves visualizing success for any challenge and then mapping a clear path to go after it. Find out how to adopt this mindset to successfully take on any challenges.

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Lisa Gray, CEO of Victorian Funds Management Corporation, is passionate about helping businesses reimagine their strategy. She firmly believes that true success is not just about profitability but is about having a well-defined purpose. Find out how she is helping financial leaders conduct business with a purpose.

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Cynthia Egan plays multiple roles as the corporate director at Unum and at The Hanover Group, and director at BlackRock Closed End Funds. In her 30-plus years’ career, she has witnessed tremendous technological transformation. However, she feels that institutional changes such as inclusion and gender diversity are slow to happen. Know more about how she is working to facilitate gender parity in workplaces.

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Anne Sheehan retired after 10 years as the director of corporate governance at the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS). As the first person to hold that position, Anne oversaw all corporate governance activities for the largest educator-only pension fund in the world.


Marianne Harrison, CEO of John Hancock, is the first female chief executive in the company’s 150+ year history. After a year in the C-suite, Marianne learned just how important it is to have a vision that you can rally your team around.


Kem Danner, head of Human Resources for State Street Global Advisors, is committed to changing the status quo of financial services, making the industry less about making money and more about how we can begin to have an impact on the world at a fundamental level.


Cathleen Stahl, CMO of PIMCO, has spent much of her career as the only woman in the room. She and her team are committed to changing that by empowering their female clients to take more ownership over their financial future, as well as propel qualified women to the top.


Yvonne Garcia, global head of State Street’s Client Solutions Group and Program Management Office (PMO), has worked tirelessly to ensure she’ll never be boxed out of a top leadership role. Her commitment to being a leader, both professionally and for the causes she cares about, shows that strong women can make anything happen.


Cary Grace, CEO of global Retirement and Investment solutions at Aon, has dedicated her career to enhancing female visibility in the workplace and providing them with new opportunities through the power of sponsorship.


We’ll continue to add to new stories to our series every month. Check back to read about other women who are in the industry.