ONs Nasdaq celebrates Month of Women’s HistoryWe recognize that women of color still face enormous obstacles preventing them from participating in the capital markets and creating long-term wealth. From poverty to a lack of financial education to chronic underfunding of women entrepreneurs with color, there are deep societal differences that undermine the growth and potential of color communities. At Nasdaq’s most recent Purpose Stakeholder event, held practically by Chatham House rules, a number of leading voices on investor engagement, inclusive capital markets and investment diversity discussed how to enable meaningful change – and what role Nasdaq can play through ours Purpose initiative Promote inclusive growth and prosperity, especially for women of skin color.
Many participants agreed that education must be a priority and should start at an early age. By bringing financial literacy and investor education programs into high school classrooms, they can narrow the confidence and skill gap that widen the wealth gap by giving younger generations the tools they need to build financial security. In return, they can share this knowledge with their family members and the wider community. Participants highlighted the importance of creating standardized education in financial literacy across the country to ensure that every child is given equal opportunities. Partnerships and pilot programs with schools have the potential to tackle part of the cycle of inequality.
Supporting minority entrepreneurs through funding, mentoring and resources remains a key focus in reducing the racial wealth gap. It is important to provide these entrepreneurs with better access to capital as well as crucial resources to drive growth, whether through additional capital or through mentoring and networking. While there are many different ways to support entrepreneurship and achieve financial security, an important bridge was identified at the round table: minority entrepreneurs can be personally successful and then better respond to the needs of minority groups with their employees, customers and communities – and that will therefore be better empowered to overcome obstacles and gain access to prosperity.
This is an extremely important moment to drive change, especially given the growing awareness of the issue of racial injustice. At Nasdaq, we are fully invested in our goal of promoting inclusive growth and prosperity, creating more equitable opportunities, and contributing to a more sustainable world so that our communities, customers, employees, and people from all backgrounds can reach their full potential.
In an effort to accelerate progress in diversifying entrepreneurship and empowering a more diverse group of investors, the Nasdaq Foundation recently released its announcement Quarterly grant programas well as new research collaborations with the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program and Commonwealth, a US non-profit organization focused on financial security. Both initiatives will contribute to the Foundation’s revised mission to provide underrepresented communities with the knowledge and solutions to create long-term prosperity and financial security.
In the future, Nasdaq’s Stakeholder Roundtables will continue to build relationships with key external voices and stimulate new and fresh thinking, including practical approaches to make investing in capital markets as a way of creating wealth for people of color, and women in particular, more relevant and accessible Colour.