1996 Wharton MBA graduate Seema Hingorani is not only breaking finance's glass industry, she's leading other women to do so as well.
Seema Hingorani, former Chief Investment Officer of New York City's pension funds, returned to campus on Thursday to speak to Wharton Women about her new nonprofit organization, Girls Who Invest.
At the event, Hingorani spoke about her career, which includes serving on the national finance committee of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and managing the fifth largest pension plan in the United States. With experience in public sector work, mutual funds, hedge funds and asset management, Hingorani encouraged the audience to keep an open mind to all sorts of possibilities.
Now, Hingorani is busy developing Girls Who Invest, a nonprofit organization that focuses on exposing girls in high school and college to investment management.
The 2016 pilot program for Girls Who Invest will be hosted at Penn and is accepting applications from College of Arts and Sciences students as well as from Drexel University, Temple University, and the consortium schools' students. The four-week summer intensive program will hire Wharton professors to teach core concepts to the women, and Hingorani encouraged the audience to serve as mentors for the program.
When Hingorani noticed the lack of women in investment teams, she wrote an op-ed in Bloomberg Business which argued for the necessity of gender diversity on Wall Street.
Hingorani's message struck a chord with audience members.
“Even within my Management 100 team, there are only three girls and seven guys, and I think that seems to be the usual environment in the Wharton community in which males mostly dominate leadership,” Wharton freshman Victoria Yuan said.
Hingorani's new initiative will help diminish this gender gap by exposing more women to the finance industry and by helping them gain both knowledge and experience.
“Not only is she giving these girls a great finance education and opening the doors to the world of business, but she’s also giving them concrete opportunities by offering internships,” said Wharton and Engineering junior Natalie Borowski, who serves as vice president of university relations for Wharton Women.
Hingorani will return to campus frequently to organize the logistics of the program and ended the event by sharing some wisdom.
“Life is not a straight line," she said. "Look at those twists and turns as opportunities and not obstacles.”
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.