From left: Kim Lew, president and CEO of the Columbia Investment Management Company; Dekia Scott, CIO of Southern Company; Tina Byles Williams, CEO CIO and founder of Xponance; and Michaela Edwards, partner and portfolio manager at Capricorn Investment Group.

Institutional investors control a combined $70 trillion in assets – and the majority of people managing that massive money pile are white, male, or both.

Insider spoke with eight Black women in high-powered asset-management roles who collectively control billions of dollars in assets. They shed light on whether the industry’s diversity problems are fully understood. They also discussed victories and pivotal moments in their careers:

“I’m fully aware that when you ask the random person, ‘What comes to mind when you think of an investment manager?’ I’m pretty sure that the image that comes to mind doesn’t look like me,” said Tina Byles Williams, the founder, CEO and CIO of Philadelphia-based asset manager Xponance. “It probably doesn’t look like a woman, and it surely doesn’t look like a Black woman. That is the opportunity and the burden.”
“I unapologetically take up space,” said Dominique Cherry, head of capital markets at the Philadelphia Board of Pensions and Retirement. “You just make a decision that you’re going to take up as much space as needed until that point that your presence is recognized, your voice is heard, and hopefully you can bring a couple of young people along the way with you.”

You can read the full story here if you’re an Insider subscriber: 8 of the most powerful Black women in money management on microaggressions, mentors, and finding their voice on Wall Street

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