Stephanie McCaffrey, a former professional soccer player now on her way to Wall Street for her next future, has no shame about pursuing a career that will make her financially successful. Stephanie is a current second-year Wharton MBA and will work for Goldman Sachs as a full-time associate this summer. Her biggest goal is to help move the needle towards LGBT people and women in finance.
Stephanie wants to lead by the power of example. The mentors that she had the pleasure of meeting at Goldman Sachs during an internship she held at the firm last summer inspired her to lay the foundation for other LGBT women so they, too, can identify with a career in finance.
In the past month, Stephanie has used social media to start being more open about her life with her girlfriend on her social platforms. Having quite a substantial following, she says the support she has received thus far for her decision has been overwhelming.
Stephanie says, “I remember when I was grappling with the decision to come out, one of the biggest fears I had was around the different lifestyle that would come with being a gay woman. Growing up and in my community, the vast majority of partners providing financial security for families were male. I think for me, there was something very scary that that familiar sense of security wasn’t going to be a part of my own life.”
For every dollar a man in a married-opposite-sex couple earns, a woman in a same-sex couple earns $0.79 whereas a man in a same-sex couple earns $0.98. The pay disparity for lesbian couples is even more significant.
Joe and Jill Biden hosted two women professional female soccer players, Meghan Rapinoe and Margaret Purce, to speak before congress on equal pay for women. They talked about how women have filled stadiums, become role models, all with no investment, and succeeded, yet still aren’t paid their fair share relative to men.
Motivated by these statistics, Stephanie is determined to ultimately debunk the myth that men represent financial security or should be at the helm of providing when it comes to finances in a relationship, saying “there’s no true equality without financial equality.
“I hope my decision to go into finance/ go to Wall Street can help even one girl who is struggling with coming out, sees that gay women having successful careers and providing for their families is certainly possible. For that reason, loving whomever you want and living your truest self can be done without the fear of the lifestyle that may come with it. If I can move the needle even one inch for the LGBT community in empowering others to be who they truly are, without any apprehension of its deviation from “normal” and the perceived difficulties that may bring, it will make me more fulfilled than any on paper success could ever bring.”
Stephanie offers some well thought out tips to other LGBT women:
Every team is better off when every member brings their unequivocally truest self to the table
This allows team members to feel comfortable with who they are, safe to be themselves, and feel accepted within a team environment. It also allows everyone to bring their unique perspective to the table, thereby benefitting the company they are working for in that unique perspectives attract a diversified clientele.
Have confidence to take the leap in applying for and trying for things you don’t feel 100% ready for, because you’ll never feel fully ready
The anecdote to fear is action. The fear will never truly go away, so there’s no point in waiting for that. It’s just wasted time. Feel the fear and do it anyway. You may be pleasantly surprised by what is on the other side of that fear.
For students, take classes and seek out peers/ mentors going into quantitative/ financial fields, even if it isn’t what you end up doing
Finance skills should be essential for everyone as they are a lifelong skill to have. It is not wasted education to
The bottom line is diversity increases employee morale, which makes employees more productive and happier at work. This will instil a desire in your team to work more efficiently and will significantly increase the productivity of your business.