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President's Message - May 1, 2020

Saturday, May 2, 2020   (0 Comments)
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May Day


"If we always helped one another, no one would need luck.” – Sophocles


Dear FWA Members, Sponsors and Friends,

Simone VinocourSimone Vinocour
FWA President 2019-2020

May 1st is a date filled with symbolism.
Since ancient Roman times, May Day was for festivals that coincided with the arrival of Spring. These traditions carried over into the European culture and May Day has been marked by either religious ceremonies or since 1888, as International Workers' Day. In 1921, a senior radio officer in Croydon Airport in London was asked to come up with a phrase that would indicate distress for audio purposes to replace the Morse code signal. "Mayday, mayday, mayday," repeated three times, became the international audio distress signal. It has nothing to do with the date - it is the anglicized version of the French m'aider - "help me".

As we are ending our 7th week of quarantine in the New York area - in an economy with spiking unemployment and cries for help across society, I can't help but think of this confluence - a day dedicated to workers and an international distress signal. It is incumbent upon us in the FWA to continue its mission and look for creative new ways to help women in finance at all levels.

1) The World

There is little I can write about regarding the state of the world that you have not already heard: In the US alone, the COVID-19 virus has claimed over 63,000 lives and infected at least 1 million people. The stunning 3.84 million jobless claims this week now brings U.S. unemployment claims to approximately 30 million in just 6 weeks, and America is not alone in facing these grim realities. Globally, economists are debating the length of recovery time as well as which parts of the economy will crumble or rebound, and where new growth and innovation will emerge.

In these unnerving times that have taken such a toll on our economy, our workers, our way of life, and our health, it is comforting to know that there are so many working to help those impacted. From the 7 pm cheer in New York to people sewing face masks and donating to food banks, people are doing what they can to help their neighbors and make a difference.

On May 5th, the world will unite in helping others via Giving Tuesday Now - a global initiative in grassroots generosity, citizen engagement, business, and philanthropy activation - to support communities and nonprofits around the world. The FWA is proud to participate in this initiative. Please be as generous as possible to help us support our student mentees, stellar programming, and various educational initiatives. I am proud of the impact the FWA has and continues to have had in the financial community and especially of its support of young women in their education and careers.

2) The FWA

As we anticipate both the short and long-term impact that this medical and economic crisis will have on the financial industry, I had highlighted last month the FWA's efforts to move our programming to a virtual format. This effort not only continues, but also is accelerating as we are rolling out new ways to connect and support our FWA members, student mentees, and all of the FWA’s constituents while we all navigate through these uncharted waters.

I hope you will join me for these terrific upcoming events:

May 6th: WEBINAR: “10 Ways to Run Your Business Virtually”

May 12th: WEBINAR: "Perspectives on the Challenging Global Investment Climate"

May 13th: WEBINAR: "Letting Go of LIBOR - How to Prepare for the Inevitable"

May 13th WEBINAR: "The Evolving Landscape of Impact Investing - Implications of COVID-19"

May 20th: WEBINAR: "Communicate More by Saying Less: How to Get to the Point"

May 28th: WEBINAR: "Worried to WOW! Own the Virtual Room and Deliver Standout Online Presentations"

Continue to check fwa.org for upcoming events.

Now in its 38th year, the FWA's Wall Street Exchange Program is accepting applications from rising seniors with summer internships on Wall Street.

3) YOU!

As this situation continues to unfold, I hope you are well. May will be another disrupted month. Mother's Day is May 10th, and the usual brunches are not possible, but even worse, mothers and children may not be able to get together physically. Virtual college graduations are also being re-planned as families try to celebrate this tremendous accomplishment in the best way possible under the stay-at-home restrictions. Now more than ever, we need to take the time to celebrate the joyous occasions in life and stay connected through this unprecedented global pandemic."

Whatever you may be celebrating this month, I hope you do so with creativity and joy. I also hope you participate in the FWA's many ways to connect, inspire, and grow your network. It is your FWA network, across the financial industry, that will help sustain us professionally and personally in these turbulent times. To paraphrase the Beatles, "We'll get by with a little help from our (FWA) friends!"

Wishing you much health and happiness,


Simone Vinocour
FWA President 2019-20


Be a part of #GivingTuesdayNow (May 5th) and "help mobilize the world through giving."

You can help. GIVE NOW!

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