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Jacki Zehner: Being a Badass Businesswoman

Businesswoman, investor, economist, and blogger Jacki Zehner is a career woman and philanthropist passionate about empowering young women and girls, especially within the corporate world and society. In 1996, Zehner herself became the youngest woman and the first female trader to be invited into the
partnership of
Goldman Sachs.

A multi-faceted orator and moderator, Zehner has spoken at a wide range of corporate events, including Google, Goldman Sachs, UBS, J. P. Morgan, and nonprofit organizations such as the Sundance Institute and the YMCA. She was even featured as a TEDxWomen speaker.

Additionally, in 2016, Zehner was named one of the top 50 most powerful women in U.S. philanthropy by the Economist. For the past decade and a half, Zehner has served as president of the Jacquelyn and Gregory Zehner Foundation.Through this organization, she funds hundreds of women’s rights foundations. Recently, the organization granted $636,000 to advocacy groups and projects.

Today, Zehner spends her time fighting for women’s rights, women’s foundations, movement building, and media
as Chief Engagement Officer of
Women Moving Millions (WMM), an organization dedicated to “catalyzing unprecedented resources for the advancement of women and girls.” Collectively, WMM has granted more than $1 billion towards women empowerment ventures and nonprofits, making the network the largest women-funding-women organization in the world.

Balancing both a family and successful career, Zehner also serves as an inspiration and role model for many working women. As a member and supporter of the nonprofit and online community, Lean In, which campaigns for gender equality in the working world, Zehner shares her story as a Wall Street Trader who did not allow herself to be intimidated by the male-dominated field.

Using her own experiences with misogynistic bullying within the financial field, Zehner uses her multimedia platform to add to the conversation on issues that persist within the corporate world, especially the financial industry.

Zehner delivered one such speech, Strap In: Closing the Gender Gap, during the TEDxWomen 2012 conference in Washington, D.C. In the speech, she cited that it has been statistically proven that including more women within the corporate world reaps economic gains for businesses.

Zehner also pointed out that women contribute to approximately $20 trillion in consumer spending worldwide, thus holding a majority of the “purchasing power.” As a result, Zehner explained that women can use their purchasing power to influence the global marketplace by investing and buying from women-owned businesses, in order to encourage the narrowing of the gender gap within the realms of business and finance.

Zehner continues to call for “women to fund women” as a means to creating a fair and equitably integrated marketplace and society, but she calls for men’s involvement as well. “It is no longer just women who are standing up for our rights, but increasingly men are right there with us,” says Zehner. “This is about fairness and justice for all.”

Featured Image by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash

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