The inaugural Women's Leadership Forum by the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, held in April, drew stronger-than-anticipated interest, a sign of a great need for more programming for women in the equipment finance industry.
The two-day event, led by Women's Council Chair Lori Frasier, SVP of strategy and performance management at Key Equipment Finance, drew women at all stages of an equipment finance career, with speakers who educated participants on how to build a smarter network, network effectively at conferences, be persuasive in constructive ways, and communicate effectively in leadership positions. They also attended social events to build personal and professional connections.
Frasier closed the event with her personal perspective and a call to action, according to an article in The Monitor:
"During my 30 years in corporate America, women have come a long way, but we only need to look at the statistics to see that we still have a long way to go," Frasier said. "While women make up a full 56% of the workforce in financial services, they only occupy 29% of executive positions and a mere 6.8% are CEOs. We know that at the current rate of change, it will take decades to reach gender-balance in these senior leadership positions. We also know that organizations led by balanced teams are more profitable and resilient. For this reason, it is in everyone’s best interest for more women to be prepared and empowered to lead."
"This mission has become a personal passion for me," Frasier continued. "I have been blessed in my career by having bosses who have both invested in me to become a leader and empowered me to be a leader. The ELFA Women’s Council provides a platform from which we can influence multiple companies across the industry and at the same time develop and engage industry women to encourage them to aspire to leadership roles. We want to accelerate the progress our industry is making toward more gender-balanced engagement in the association, and importantly, in leadership roles throughout the industry."