Mary Ellen Iskenderian, CEO Of Women’s World Banking, On The Future Of Impact Investing

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As President and CEO of Women’s World Banking, Mary Ellen Iskenderianis passionate about bringing impactful financial services offerings to women across the globe. Throughout her early career in investment banking and financial services, Iskenderian says that questions like, “How many women are you serving?” and “Are women getting loans at the same size as men?” were never really asked – something that, through her work with WWB, she’s working to change.

Iskenderian started her career at Lehman Brothers, but soon realized that the role she was playing there didn’t allow her to make the kind of positive impact that she wanted to be able to through her finance career. Iskenderian was later accepted into the World Bank’s Young Professionals Program, where, during her time there, world events changed the path of her career forever. The Berlin Wall fell, and the World Bank was tasked with helping to rebuild public and private financial institutions. Iskenderian spent the next eight years working on stock exchanges, securities regulators, reclaiming financial systems, and largely serving as an advisor to Eastern Europeans companies in need of direction at that time. She also worked on the first IPO that was done on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (housed in the former KGB headquarters in Warsaw), which she calls “an extraordinary opportunity and an amazing moment in history.”

Iskenderian was later tapped as Director of South Asia for the International Finance Corporation – the private sector arm of the World Bank – where she was responsible for India and Pakistan. Four days into the job, 9/11 took place. She spent the next year in Pakistan, where she was responsible for building the first microfinance bank. It was there that she saw “the tremendous potential that an institution that was really willing to work at the base of the pyramid could have on changing people’s lives.”

Continue on to Forbes to read the complete article.

Widowed Mother Of Four Begins New Chapter With No. 1 Home Inspection Company

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Sherry OConnor poses outdoors wearing a brown vest and gray sweater

In 2009, when the U.S. economy had taken a down-turn, Sherry and Mike O’Connor were looking for options. They decide to purchase a small machine shop, and moved with their four children from northern Michigan to Nashville, TN. Together they manufactured machines for the tire industry – until 2014 when their world was turned upside down. Mike O’Connor was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (kidney failure).

“At that point, we had to sell the business and spent the better part of the next two years learning about and dealing with Mike’s illness,” reflected Sherry. “When Mike passed in 2017, I sold our Nashville house and moved ‘home’ to Northern Michigan, where I had spent every summer of my life and had lived since graduating from college in the mid 80’s. It was the familiarity that brought us back, but I knew that I needed a fresh start in business.”

Over the years Sherry had developed quite a resume. She spent time as a travel agent, restaurant owner, bookkeeper, graphic artist, and real estate agent. “It is my time in real estate that led me to Pillar To Post Home Inspectors, and I know it will prove invaluable to my professional home inspecting business,” Sherry said.

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the brand to which more than three million families have turned to for 25 years to be their trusted advisor when buying or selling a home. Consistently ranked as the top-rated home inspection company on Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual Franchise500®, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is enjoying its 19th year in a row on that list.

A professional evaluation both inside and outside the home is at the core of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors’ service. Pillar To Post Home Inspectors input data and digital photos into a computerized report that is printed and presented on site. All information is provided to clients in a customized binder for easy reference, allowing homebuyers or sellers to make confident, informed decisions.

“When I was selling homes, I often said that I was more like a frustrated home inspector. It’s true what they say, ‘no home is without some problems, but every problem has a solution’, and I look forward to easing the process for prospective home buyers.”

About Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®
Founded in 1994, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the largest home inspection company in North America with home offices in Toronto and Tampa. There are nearly 600 franchises located in 49 states and nine Canadian provinces. The company has been named as Best in Category in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise500® ranking for 19 years in a row. Long-term plans include adding 500 to 600 new franchisees over the next five years. For further information, please visit pillartopost.com. To inquire about a franchise go to pillartopostfranchise.com.

Co-Parenting Tips Every Divorcing Couple Needs to Know

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Co-parenting couple arguing in front of their child

It’s well known that nearly half of all marriages in the country end in divorce. The rate is even higher for subsequent marriages.

What many people are not as focused on are the children involved and how to best go about co-parenting in a way that will help them grow into well adjusted adults. July is National Child-Centered Divorce Month, making it an ideal time to place the focus of divorce on the children, and what can be done to help ensure they come out of the situation in healthy manner.

“Divorce may seem like it’s something between the adults, but it is really something impacts the whole family,” explains Reena B. Patel, a parenting expert, licensed educational psychologist, and author, who offer virtual workshops. “Children need parents who will commit to working together for the health and development of their child.”

In a study published in the journal called The Linacre Quarterly, researchers shared their findings of reviewing three decades worth of research regarding the impact of divorce on the health of children. Their research found that divorce has been shown to diminish a child’s future competence in all areas of life, including family relationships, education, emotional well-being, and future earning power. Parents can help to counter the negative impact that divorce has on the children by focusing on effective co-parenting that will help ensure their success throughout life.

Children who see their parents continuing to work together are more likely to learn how to effectively and peacefully solve problems themselves. They will also have a healthy example to follow. It’s important for parents to remember that their feelings about their ex does not, and should not, dictate their behavior. It’s better to focus on being a positive example, putting your child’s well being in the spotlight.

Patel offers some tips that will help with ensuring co-parenting success:

  • Commit to making co-parenting an open dialogue with your ex. Arrange to do this through email, texting, voicemail, letters, or face-to-face conversations. In the beginning, it may be hard to have a civil dialogue with your ex. There are even websites where you can upload schedules, share information and communicate so you and your ex don’t have to directly touch base.
  • The key is consistency. Rules don’t have to be exactly the same between the two households, but you and your ex should establish generally consistent guidelines. They should be mutually agreed upon for both households. For example, meal time, bed time, and completing homework need to consistent. This helps create a sense of belonging and creates a sense of security and predictability for children. Discuss and come to an agreement about each of these issues.
  • Don’t give in to guilt and try and outdo your ex by gifting you child with things, instead agree on discipline. This includes things like behavioral guidelines, rewards, and consequences, so there is consistency in their lives, regardless of which parent they’re with at any given time. Research shows that children in homes with a unified parenting approach have greater well-being.
  • Keep in mind that children will frequently test boundaries and rules, especially if there’s a chance to get something they may not ordinarily be able to obtain. This is why a united front in co-parenting is recommended.
  • Be flexible and update often. If there are changes at home, in your life, it is important that your child is never the primary source of information.
  • Speak in positive language about your ex. Remember, often times, the marriage is what was the issue, not the parenting style. Each of you has valuable strengths as a parent. Remember to recognize the different traits you and your ex have – and reinforce this awareness with your children.
  • Children exposed to conflict between co-parents are more likely to develop issues such as depression, anxiety, or ADHD. Keeping this in mind, strive to keep conflict around them to a minimal or none at all.
  • Keep the conversations child-focused. This will leave out problems that you and your ex have with each other. The focus now needs to be on the children.

“Effective and healthy co-parenting may be difficult at first and it make time some time to work everything out,” added Patel. “But getting this part right in the long run is going to have a huge positive impact on your children, so it’s worth it. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out for professional help to put a plan together or determine how to best put co-parenting into action.”

Patel has a new debut radio show on Dash Radio, North America’s first mainstream South Asian radio station, which premiered in April 2019. The station was founded by Rukus Avenue Music Group, and can be heard 24-7 on the Dash Radio app, as well as on the on the Dash Radio platform at DashRadio.com.

Patel is the founder of AutiZm& More. As a licensed educational psychologist and guidance counselor, she helps children and their families with the use of positive behavior support strategies across home, school, and community settings. She does workshops around California, and virtual workshops globally where she provides this information to health professionals, families, and educators. She also offers concierge parenting services, helping families to reach specific goals, such as focusing on college admission. She is also the author of a book that helps children with anxiety coping strategies called “Winnie & Her Worries,” and author of a book about autism awareness and acceptance, called “My Friend Max: A Story about a Friend with Autism.” Both of her books are available on Amazon. To learn more about her services, visit the website at reenabpatel.com.

About Reena B. Patel
Based in the San Diego area, Reena B. Patel (LEP, BCBA) is a renowned parenting expert, guidance counselor, licensed educational psychologist, and board-certified behavior analyst. For more than 20 years, Patel has had the privilege of working with families and children, supporting all aspects of education and positive wellness. She works extensively with developing children as well as children with exceptional needs, supporting their academic, behavioral and social development.  She was recently nominated for San Diego Magazine’s “Woman of the Year.” To learn more about her books and services, visit the website at www.reenabpatel.com, and to get more parenting tips, follow her on Instagram @reenabpatel.

Sources:
The Linacre Quarterly. The impact of family structure on the health of the children: Effects of divorce. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4240051/

UPS Launches First-Of-Its-Kind Women Exporters Program Workshops In The U.S.

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UPS representatives at the UPS booth during the WBENC Business Fair 2019

As part of its continuing efforts to create an inclusive business environment and growth opportunities for women, UPS (NYSE:UPS) has announced the launch of the Women Exporters Program workshops for U.S. businesses.

The program will help women business owners and leaders to gain access to the vast global marketplace, comprising 95% of the world’s buyers.

In the U.S., there are nearly 12 million women-owned small businesses, yet women-owned businesses comprise just 12% of U.S. exporters. Providing training to enable small- and medium-sized businesses owned by women to export would help propel those companies onto the world stage. According to a McKinsey Global Institute report, “In a ‘full potential’ scenario in which women play an identical role in (global) labor markets to that of men, as much as $28 trillion, or 26 percent, could be added to global annual GDP by 2025.”

To provide a pathway for cross-border business opportunities, the U.S. launch of the Women Exporters Program  began at the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) National Conference & Business Fair, one of the largest events of its kind for women business owners in the U.S. At WBENC, UPS hosted a series of workshops and offered one-to-one coaching sessions, providing:

  • Insights and training on export strategies;
  • Tools and resources to enter new markets;
  • Insights on how to build an export-friendly digital presence; and
  • Guidance on package flow and preparing an export shipment.

UPS experts also provided tips on targeting, research, documentation and shipping processes to help build confidence and competence. The workshops are the first step in the U.S., with additional training sessions being planned for the future.

The U.S. launch is part of a global deployment of the program, which began in May 2019 in Mexico, Nigeria, Turkey and Vietnam, with planned expansion to the United Arab Emirates in September 2019 in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC) as part of the SheTrades initiative. The business training will help women entrepreneurs expand their potential customer base and growth potential, while strengthening communities. According to independent research commissioned by ITC conducted in 20 developing countries, women in those locations tend to invest up to 90% of their income in their children’s health and education. Helping women entrepreneurs build export skills has the potential to reduce intergenerational cycles of poverty.

“As a leading global logistics company, we have deep insights into how businesses move across borders and grow,” said Eduardo Martinez, UPS chief diversity and inclusion officer and president of The UPS Foundation. “Delivering this knowledge and expertise to women entrepreneurs to help expand their business opportunities is just one of the ways we’re helping to catalyze economic prosperity and inclusion across our value chain of customers, suppliers and communities. Our collaboration with ITC, and the launch of the U.S. program with long-time partner WBENC, are demonstrations of the power of public-private partnerships which will advance women entrepreneurs all over the world.”

Kathleen Marran, UPS VP of Diverse Market Segments, confirms the demand for the program, “No matter where I have traveled this year, from the UAE at a SheTrade event, to DC with the National Association of Women Business Owners, to the Women Presidents’ Organization national conference in Charlotte, to the WBENC Women Exporters Program lab, I am so encouraged by the energy, commitment and innovation coming from these women-owned and women-run businesses. Sharing UPS tools, approaches and expertise to help them achieve their objectives is not only worthwhile because it’s smart business, it is meaningful because of the progress we’re able to create.”

In March 2019, UPS was selected for WBENC’s Top Corporation for Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) Hall of Fame. While UPS has been recognized previously as a WBENC Top Corporation, this marks the inaugural year for this new, pinnacle designation, and UPS is one of only nine companies selected.

Pamela Prince-Eason, President and CEO of WBENC, said, “UPS has been a strong partner and consistent leader in increasing opportunities for women-owned businesses. Their commitment to diversity and inclusion sets the example, and we are so proud to have inducted them into our inaugural Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises Hall of Fame. The UPS Women Exporters Program launching at our National Conference & Business Fair will truly help move the needle for women-owned businesses by expanding opportunities to new markets and providing opportunities for exponential growth.”

UPS’s commitment to empowering women business owners is part of its broader diversity and inclusion efforts focused on employees, customers, suppliers, and communities. UPS recently announced a collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to promote women’s economic empowerment and improve women entrepreneurs’ ability to export. UPS’s Supplier Diversity commitment enables women- and minority-owned businesses to gain access into UPS’s global purchasing of products and services. UPS’s employee programs focused on diversity and inclusion help foster an inclusive environment that enables each person to learn, grow and contribute.

About UPS

UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. UPS is committed to operating more sustainably – for customers, the environment and the communities we serve around the world. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. UPS was awarded America’s Best Customer Service company for Shipping and Delivery services by Newsweek magazine; Fortune magazine’s Most Valuable Brand in Transportation; and top rankings on the JUST 100 list for social responsibility, the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, and the Harris Poll Reputation Quotient, among other prestigious rankings and awards. The company can be found on the web at ups.com or pressroom.ups.com and its corporate blog can be found at longitudes.ups.com. The company’s sustainability eNewsletter, UPS Horizons, can be found at ups.com/sustainabilitynewsletter. Learn more about our sustainability efforts at ups.com/sustainability. To get UPS news direct, follow @UPS_News on Twitter.

About The UPS Foundation

Since its founding in 1907, UPS has built a legacy as a caring and responsible corporate citizen, supporting programs that provide long-term solutions to community needs. Founded in 1951, The UPS Foundation leads its global citizenship programs and is responsible for facilitating community involvement to local, national, and global communities. In 2018, UPS and its employees, active and retired, invested more than $114.9 million in charitable giving around the world. The UPS Foundation can be found on the web at UPS.com/Foundation and @UPS_Foundation on Twitter.

Want That Promotion? 6 Tips to Get You There

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professional woman sitting at desk in office smiling

Whether you’re dreaming of a higher salary, greater professional challenges, or both, the following tips will help you get the promotion you deserve.

1 Find a Mentor Within Your Company

A mentor can help guide all facets of your career, including your journey up the professional career ladder. You can make your mentoring relationship a formal one obtained through a mentoring program or an informal one. Choose a mentor you feel comfortable with so that you can talk openly and honestly. Your mentor should also feel comfortable enough with you to point out your weaknesses and how you might work on them.

While any mentor can help you, the most beneficial ones are senior professionals within your organization. In addition to providing insight into the company and its expectations, your mentor can put a good word in for you with people who occupy significant leadership positions within the company.

2 Maintain a Positive Attitude

You might find staying positive difficult as deadlines loom and roadblocks hamper your professional efforts. But it’s worth doing whatever you can to keep a smile on your face. According to CareerBuilder research, employers say that having a negative or pessimistic attitude is the top obstacle standing in the way of workers getting promoted.

When you feel angry or frustrated at work, remember to take a few deep breaths and keep your composure. Maintaining your upbeat attitude, even when faced with adversity, can pay off.

3 Maintain Professional Standards

Maintaining professional standards is immensely important. But you might be surprised by how often workers let those standards slip when they’re comfortable in their workplaces.

Additional employer turnoffs reported to CareerBuilder include all types of professional faux pas including the following: regularly arriving to work late or leaving early, using vulgar language within the workplace, and taking an excessive amount of sick days. At minimum, break these bad habits, then add some new ones: Dress smartly at all times, even on casual days. Ask questions when you’re unsure about something. Avoid whining or complaining when something doesn’t go your way; instead problem-solve a way to fix them.

4 Start Promoting Yourself

We’re taught from an early age that modesty is a virtue, but humble will only get you so far up the corporate ladder. If you’re leaning toward a promotion, you need to know how to promote yourself first.

Chat with your manager about your career aspirations and how your supervisor thinks you’re tracking to meet them. Don’t be afraid to take credit for your role in the company’s successes. Get into the habit of writing monthly emails to your manager detailing your recent role in helping sales managers with their work, for example. Keep a personal record of your achievements so that you can easily recall them if you’re asked why you deserve a promotion.

5 Volunteer for More Responsibilities

You might feel like you’re busy enough with your own tasks, but if you can take on extra responsibilities, you’ll show that you’re a valuable member of the team and one worthy of promotion. Consider volunteering for jobs not only within your department but also in other areas of the company. The tasks you’ll receive from other related departments will give you an opportunity to understand more about the business and potentially gain new skills.

6 Gain New Knowledge

In the modern business environment, qualifications matter. The good news is that in the digital age, these qualifications are easier to get than ever before. Many credible colleges offer online courses that allow you to pursue your bachelor’s degree or advanced degrees from the comfort of your own home, at a time that suits you. You might also consider enrolling in seminars and conferences that deepen your understanding of your industry and the latest technology used within it.

Don’t keep your educational studies a secret, though. You’ll likely impress your boss by your initiative, and your employer may offer to reimburse you for some of the tuition costs involved with your academic studies.

When you combine the right professional skills and professional attitude, you’ll have the qualities and the mindset you need to impress your boss when you ask for that promotion you know you deserve.

Source: CareerBuilder.com

After Careers With U.S. Armed Forces And Fema This Couple Opens Their Own Business

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McDuffie,Sharron, Rodney, Lee's Summit, MO

After Rodney and Sharron McDuffie retired from long and successful careers that included both the U.S. Armed Forces and the U.S. Government, the Raymore couple was looking for an attractive business opportunity to bolster their pension income.

So on April 15, Rodney, “61 years young,” and Sharron, “59 years younger,” as they note, officially opened for business as franchise owners with Floor Coverings International, whose representatives visit customers’ homes in a Mobile Flooring Showroom stocked with thousands of flooring samples from top manufacturers. Floor Coverings International Lee’s Summit serves customers throughout greater Kansas City.

Sharron retired after 30 years with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), where she was a Technological Hazards Specialist assigned to several nuclear power plants throughout Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa. Rodney retired from the U.S. Navy with 25 years as a Yeoman Administrator before joining the Department of Immigration, where he spent more than a decade before retiring as an Immigration Supervisor this past February. “We had started talking about what we would be doing in life with retirement approaching and looking forward to living the lifestyle we were comfortable in after more than 30 years working for the government,” Sharron said. “And we were not sure that once we retired on a government pension, if it would be enough. We are still pretty young and in good health, so we started looking for a business we could purchase that also offered plenty of flexibility, such as being able to work from home when we wanted to.”

In Floor Coverings International, the McDuffies found a company that has tripled in size since 2005 by putting a laser focus on consumer buying habits and expressed desires, its impressive operating model, growth ability, marketing, advertising and merchandising. Floor Coverings International further separates itself from the competition through its customer experience, made up of several simple and integrated steps that exceed customers’ expectations.

The McDuffies are also very excited about having the opportunity for their children to play a role in the business. Their oldest son, who just earned his master’s degree in Public Affairs, is “more excited than my husband and myself,” said Sharron, while their youngest son, who just graduated from high school, is looking forward to joining one of their flooring installation teams where he will gain the necessary experience to later become a Project Manager or Design Associate. A daughter, currently a middle school biology teacher, might join the business as an office manager or Design Associate while her husband is assisting with local marketing. “Since we have been up and running, the whole family is seeing what a great opportunity it is by joining or just participating in this family business,” Sharron said.

ABOUT FLOOR COVERINGS INTERNATIONAL

Floor Coverings International is the #1 Mobile Flooring Franchise in North America. Utilizing a unique in-home experience, the mobile showroom comes directly to the customer’s door with more than 3,000 flooring choices. Floor Coverings International has 150-plus locations throughout the U.S. and Canada with plenty of opportunity for continued expansion in 2019. For franchise information, please visit flooring-franchise.com and to find your closest location, floorcoveringsinternational.com.

Susan Olsen Shares Insights on Owning a Minuteman Press Printing Franchise in Leesburg, Florida

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Minuteman Press printing franchise - Susan Olsen and Team pose in store

Once an independent print shop, Minuteman Press in Leesburg is now a full-service Minuteman Press design, marketing, and printing franchise.

The Minuteman Press franchise in Leesburg, Florida is in good hands with Susan Olsen. Susan brings with her a 20-year retail career and a passion for helping others and getting involved in the community. Susan says, “We are a full service, locally owned and operated print and marketing center. We offer everything from offset/digital printing in-house to all types of promotional products that you can imagine. We are fast and friendly, and we are here to help you create and design anything you need to help your business grow.”

Like many people who felt stuck in their careers, Susan decided to become her own boss. She says, “My last job was as a General Manager at Staples. I got tired of making money for other companies and decided it was time to do my own thing.” Susan was able to take full advantage of Minuteman Press International’s conversion program and buy an independent print shop that is now her full-service franchise in Leesburg.

Why Minuteman Press? Susan explains, “It is really funny how it happened actually. I was horseback riding with a friend and talking about how I just wanted something different and was not really happy with my current job. We were talking about different things I could do and I told her my favorite part of Staples was the print and marketing. I was at home the next day looking at franchises for sale online and Minuteman Press popped up. I contacted Minuteman Press International and my Regional Vice President Jeff Robey reached out to me. He arranged for me to speak with other franchise owners right away. Talking to them got me more motivated and to dig deeper about the company. It has been a great experience from the beginning. I love the customers we service. I love the industry and I love how there is something different every day.”

Taking over an existing business means that Susan has hit the ground running and jumped right into helping her clients. Susan says, “The most rewarding thing to me is being able to come to work every day and plan out what I think are the priorities, meeting the customers when I am out in the field, and meeting other business owners through the different organizations I am in. I am in the local BNI and the Chamber of Commerce. I love volunteering and helping out in the community.”

Since Susan is a new business owner with no prior experience, she credits Minuteman Press with giving her a new career path that helped her become comfortable with becoming an entrepreneur. She concludes, “I went with owning my Minuteman Press franchise instead of buying a small mom and pop shop because I love the fact that I have their ongoing support. I believe there are a great deal of benefits to being with the Minuteman Press franchise as they continue to help me as I help my clients.”

Susan Olsen’s Minuteman Press franchise is located at 1417 E. Main St., Leesburg, FL 24748. For more information, call Susan and her team at (352) 728-6333 or visit their website: leesburg-fl.minutemanpress.com

Click here to learn more about how to sell your independent printing business with the help of Minuteman Press International.

About Minuteman Press International

Minuteman Press International is the number one rated business marketing and printing franchise that offers world class training and unparalleled ongoing local support. Started in 1973 by Roy Titus and his son Bob, Minuteman Press began franchising in 1975 and has grown to nearly 1,000 business service franchise locations worldwide including the U.S., Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Minuteman Press is ranked #1 in category by Entrepreneur 28 times and 16 years in a row, including 2019. Independent franchisee satisfaction firm Franchise Business Review has also named Minuteman Press International to its 2019 Top Franchises, 2018 Top Franchise Leaders, Top Franchises for Women, and Top Franchises for Veterans lists thanks to positive reviews from our owners.

At Minuteman Press, We Are The Modern Printing Industry™ providing high quality products and services that meet the needs of today’s business professionals and go way beyond ink on paper. Today, our centers offer innovative branding solutions and produce custom designs, promotional products, branded apparel, direct mail marketing, large format printing (banners and posters), signs and graphics, and much more. Prior experience is not necessary to own and operate a successful Minuteman Press franchise.

To learn more about #1 rated Minuteman Press franchise opportunities and speak with one of our experienced franchise representatives at no obligation, call 1-800-645-3006. Continue your franchise research, watch exclusive owner videos and access Minuteman Press franchise reviews at minutemanpressfranchise.com

Promotions, Plateaus and Possibilities: Context; Coaching; and Cohort Networks Keep Careers on Track

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Professional Woman

2019 Best CPA Firms for Women and 2019 Best CPA Firms for Equity Leadership show how investing in women is Investing in firms.

The 2019 Accounting MOVE Project will delve into the perceptions and misperceptions that women and firms have about how and why women pursue partnership and other senior leadership positions. The report will also outline tactics that women, advocates for women, and firm leaders can take to ensure that all women CPAs can fully achieve their aspirations for their careers and drive firm growth in the process.

Highlights of the findings include:

  • Peer Power: Women’s peer networks are both horizontal and tend to be powerful retention factors. By comparison, men’s peer networks tend to be vertical and transactional. Leading MOVE firms shape women’s initiatives to make the most of how women organically cultivate networks.
  • Piecing the Future: Women plot their expectations based on what they observe and experience. Firms that show women the benefits of partnership and that build confidence and results with early business development wins seed ambition for partnership.
  • Intervention Builds Retention: Women don’t want to choose between coasting and quitting. Firms strengthen retention by cultivating multiple paths to senior positions, and by working with women before they reach the point of no return.

“Firms of all sizes are engineering new ways for women to excel.  And when women excel, firms win new clients and grow their relationships with existing clients,” said Joanne Cleaver, President of Wilson-Taylor Associates, Inc., the content strategy firm that manages the Accounting MOVE Project.  “As well, the 2019 Accounting MOVE Project illustrates the power of re-investing in programs and culture proven to advance women. Firms that consistently participate in the Accounting MOVE Project promote more quickly. As a group, 28% of their partners and principals are women, ahead of even the high mark achievement this year of 27% women partners and principals, for all participating firms.”

“The findings in this year’s report emphasize how important it is to be transparent about career paths and opportunities within your firm. Having those honest conversations strengthens relationships and really creates a sticky factor,” said Jennifer Wyne, executive director of human resources for Moss Adams, founding sponsor of the Accounting MOVE Project.

“Midcareer coaching offers the greatest return for investment in women, and the greatest opportunity for firms to drive immediate and long- term results from that investment.  At CohnReznick, we are steadily capitalizing on the effects of retaining rising women,” said Risa Lavine, Principal and chief of staff at CohnReznick. CohnReznick is the national sponsor of the Accounting MOVE Project. “This year’s Accounting MOVE Project report shows strategies to help firms retool the pipeline.”

An executive summary of the 2019 Accounting MOVE Project is available at the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance website. https://www.afwa.org/move-project/

“This year’s MOVE Report is especially important to AFWA,” said Cindy Stanley, executive director for the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA), the association partner for the Accounting MOVE Project. “As a women’s organization, we see first hand the value of a strong women’s network at all stages of the career pipeline. This year’s report shows that as women advance in their career they have fewer peers, and each peer becomes more valuable. From entry level to partner, women benefit greatly from the support and example of other women in their network.”

Firms of all sizes are invited and encouraged to participate in the 2020 Accounting MOVE Project. Registration will open in August 2019 at www.wilson-taylorassoc.com. The MOVE Project is supported by founding sponsor Moss

Adams, national sponsor CohnReznick, and administrative fees from participating firms.  Registration for the Accounting MOVE Project will be open through December 20, 2019.

MOVE is making a real difference in the profession and has positioned CPA firms as innovators in the business world. Look no further than MOVE mentions in the CPA Practice Advisor, Harvard Business Review, Financial Times, Parade and other publications to see how MOVE Project firms are leading the national conversation about advancing women.

Click here to view the  2019 Accounting MOVE Project Best CPA Firms for Women

Latinas on the Rise

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Successful Latinas pictured in a collage

The Congresswoman-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (pictured bottom left)

Until about a year ago, Puerto Rican Bronx native Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was a bartender at a Flats Fix taco and tequila bar in New York City’s Union Square. Now at age 29, Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, winning 78 percent of the vote. The young congresswoman told NowThis News, “Our district (14th District) is 70 percent people of color, and we have never had a person of color represent us in American history.”

The Wellness Influence-Liz Hernandez (pictured top left)

Liz Hernandez, former journalist and correspondent for Access Hollywood, MTV, and E! News, launched her YouTube series Wordaful in 2016. The series, which brings awareness to the impact and power of words, was founded when she saw how much her mom was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, losing most of her speech. “A lot of times communicating is taken for granted and we become reckless with how we speak to each other,” Hernandez said to Forbes. “My mom losing her speech made me want to be more responsible with mine.”

The Beauty Tycoon-(pictured bottom right)

CEO Katia Beauchamp launched Birchbox in 2010, a beauty subscription box that now has more than 2.5 million active customers. Birchbox redefines the way people discover and shop for beauty and grooming by pairing a monthly subscription of personalized samples with relevant content and a curated e-commerce shop. Birchbox’s innovation isn’t the simple concept of delivering a box of beauty samples—it’s understanding that although not every woman is passionate about beauty, every woman deserves to have a great experience buying it.

Latina Business and Education Stats

Latina-owned businesses represent nearly half of all Latino businesses.

Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business

As of 2015, the number of Latino firms owned by females grew by 87%.

Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business

About 4.4 million Latino-owned businesses in the U.S. contribute more than $700 billion to the economy annually.

Source: U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Article Source: Birchbox

Financial Freedom for Millennials: A Bucket List

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millennials discussing financial options

By Molly Barnes, Digital Nomad Life

The 2007 movie “The Bucket List” told the story of two terminally ill men seeking to finish out all the things they’ve always wanted to do but never completed. The duo set out on their adventure with the intention to fulfill all their dreams before they “kicked the bucket.”

While most people associate bucket lists with experiences, you can apply the same concept to personal finance matters, as well. Essentially, you list all the things you need to accomplish in your financial life and then start making moves to get them done. According to financial experts, people should start to tick off money-matter items on their lists while they are still in their 20s and 30s. With this strategy, they’ll achieve financial freedom sooner than later because they’ve set themselves up for a less stressful future as they reach retirement age.

At this point, retirement probably seems a million years away, but now is the time to start thinking wisely when it comes to money. Check out our financial bucket list for millennials.

1. Live with roommates

Most millennials want to move out of their parents’ home but can’t always afford to do it. Why forego and miss out on the pleasures of autonomy you can enjoy living on your own? Get some roommates instead to help share housing costs.

When seeking roommates, always be smart and keep safety in mind during the selection process. Everyone, especially women, should stay away from listings on Craigslist and other platforms that don’t fully vet the people out who post these listings.

Once you’ve got your roommates in the house, aside from the financial savings you’ll enjoy by splitting the rent, you can make some great memories — or at least accumulate a few great stories to someday tell your family and friends.

2. Move to an affordable city

Sure, New York is the city that never sleeps, and Los Angeles sees a lot of action, too —but these cities are incredibly expensive to live in. Instead of struggling (even with the help of roommates) in an expensive city, consider relocating to a more affordable city with a lower cost of living. Kansas City, for example, is not only affordable, but it also offers plenty of great job opportunities and even boasts some of the shortest commuting times in the country.

3. Downsize and sell some stuff

We live at a time minimizing is en vogue, especially for millennials. Aside from being a trendy thing to do, selling off possessions you no longer need or want can net you some serious cash. Try selling clothes, unused gift cards, old electronics and gadgets, pretty much anything.

If you have old toys, video games, or other nostalgic items you don’t necessarily want to hang onto anymore, try selling these too. You’d be surprised at how well nostalgia sells!  Set up an account on eBay (or another preferred platform) and get selling. Then take that money and save it or invest it so it grows.

4. Learn thrifty shopping habits

Even if you’re aiming to downsize, there will still be stuff you need. Instead of paying full price for new items, learn the art of thrifting by shopping at places like Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Habitat for Humanity resale stores. You can find great deals on everything for the home from kitchen necessities to furniture, along with personal items, too, such as clothing and accessories.

Other ways to save on shopping are to watch for sales, try extreme couponing, and follow discount sites such as Groupon for deals on things you want to buy. Also check out Craigslist and Freecycle to find freebies in your neighborhood.

5. Make a few investments

While making habitual changes can go a long way toward achieving financial freedom, you’ll want to find other ways to increase your bank account. Why not try purchasing some stocks and seeing what happens? Some online brokerage sites let users start buying with as little as $100 and make trades for $5. You can buy small amounts and see if you can aggressively make them grow. “Playing the market” is a unique experience that not everybody gets in their lifetime — and watching your stock’s values go up is a thrill.

6. Launch a business

Even if you’re holding down a full-time job, you can launch a business on the side to generate some extra cash and help build your financial future. It could be something as straightforward as buying a property to use as a vacation rental. Or you can build a brand in your spare time, you can market your business by creating a presence on social media and cultivating helpful business relationships. Sign yourself up to attend some trade shows to help establish a name for yourself.

Depending on your line of work, you may need to obtain a license, insurance, or meet other local legal requirements. Be sure to have your ducks in a row and do everything legally. Also, remember that you’ll need to file taxes as a business. An online calculator can help you make the necessary tax calculations.

Achieving financial freedom is a wonderful feeling! The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll be that much closer to your ultimate money goals … and then you’ll be able to afford the things on your “other” bucket list.

Afro-Latina actress Tessa Thompson saves the world in ‘Men in Black: International”

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Tessa Thompson seen on the Men in Black movie set

By Arturo Conde

Tessa Thompson considers herself Afro-Latina, a black woman, a person of color, and Latinx. But when fans go to see the sci-fi action blockbuster “Men in Black: International” this weekend, she hopes that they will only see her character, Agent M, on the silver screen.

“I hope we can get to the space in Hollywood where it’s not noteworthy for a woman, and particularly a woman of color, to top line a franchise film,” Thompson, who has Afro-Panamanian and Mexican roots, told NBC News. “I hope we can get to a place where we don’t have to congratulate it, or comment on it because it happens with such frequency. But we are still really far away from there.”

“Men in Black: International” partners Agent M with Agent H (played by Chris Hemsworth) in a globetrotting mission that will take viewers on a fun and exciting adventure through Western Europe and Northern Africa to find a murderer, expose a mole, and ultimately save the world.Tessa Thompson headshot

Fans first meet M as the six-year-old Molly who has an unexpected encounter with an alien. This exposes her to a new world that is inhabited by unearthly beings. And after the Men in Black erase her parents’ memory, M dedicates her life to tracking down the organization and pursuing the truth.

“Memory is huge for M,” Thompson said. “She doesn’t want to live a lie, and she feels that because there’s this organization [Men in Black] that can go around wiping out memories, the only way to relive the truth in terms of the universe and its underpinnings is to be a part of this organization.” In playing Agent M, the critically acclaimed actress tapped into her gender and ethnicity as a way to understand what drove and tested her character.

“If you’re a woman, and particularly a woman of color, and you’re trying to get access to any space that has been historically white and male, you have to work harder,” Thompson said. “This was an inspiration for me when I was thinking about M because she’s so ambitious. She wants to be good, but she also knows that she has to be good — especially if she wants to get to where she wants to go.”

Continue on to NBC News to read the complete article.