What we are
We support women in the institutional investment community with networking, professional and personal development opportunities, and education programs.
Women Investment Professionals is a Chicago, Illinois-based, non-profit organization that provides a forum for networking and professional development for women involved in institutional investing, including plan sponsors, investment managers, consultants, accountants and attorneys. Women Investment Professionals achieves this objective through a variety of activities, including quarterly events, committee involvement, philanthropic initiatives, its website and newsletter. WIP provides members access to information on job opportunities within the industry by posting positions on its website.
Goals: Our Core Values
- Promote professional networking and career development opportunities through our effective programs, depth and breadth of membership, and extensive relationships in the investment community
- Foster personal development through opportunities in leadership, mentoring, education, and philanthropy for women across varying investment professions and experience levels
- Provide high caliber education programs and access to pertinent resources to women in the investment industry
History: How We Came to Be
Women Investment Professionals (WIP) began as a small, loosely knit group of about 15 women who were investment professionals on the institutional side of the business. Current Women Investment Professionals members, Joanne Hickman and Carla Straeten, were the co-founders of the organization established in 1996. Early members found that creating networking opportunities for themselves helped them in exchanging ideas and creating more personal connections within the industry. Where appropriate, they shared business ideas and opportunities as they arose. As word spread and events began to attract more participants, the group decided to become incorporated as Women Investment Professionals in 2000.
Today, WIP Chicago is a non-profit organization that provides a forum for networking and professional development for women involved in institutional investing, including plan sponsors, investment managers, consultants, accountants and attorneys. WIP achieves this objective through a variety of activities, including quarterly events, committee involvement, philanthropic initiatives, its website and newsletter. WIP provides members access to information on job opportunities within the industry by posting positions on its website.
Committees: How You Can Get Involved
Women Investment Professionals invites you to consider becoming involved with one of our committees. WIP is an active and growing organization. Not only do we welcome and need your help, we also want your good ideas. The best way to contribute is through your involvement on a working committee. This is an excellent way in which to network and really get to know some terrific women. For more information, please contact any WIP board member or call toll free at (866) 891-4603.
As Women Investment Professionals grows and expands programming and membership, the Communications Committee is taking on an even greater role. Our busy members need various tools to keep up with our activities including event announcements, website access, and periodic WIP news updates. Our goal is to communicate who we are and our mission to the broader institutional investment community in order to attract and serve the interest of new and existing members. As we look ahead, we invite WIP members to contribute to this vital area.
Community Outreach Committee
For many years, Women Investment Professionals has placed considerable importance on civic responsibility. Not only is community outreach a wonderful way in which members can give back, it also provides another opportunity for members to get to know each other and build personal bonds.
WIP gives back to the community through our affiliation with various organizations that provide educational and support services to women. Some examples of the groups we currently support include Deborah’s Place, and The Young Women’s Leadership Charter School of Chicago. The Community Outreach Committee welcomes additional members who can help identify the many ways we can use our talents and resources to help others.
Women Investment Professionals events are the cornerstone of WIP. The Events Committee has been very successful in putting on informative and enjoyable events across a wide range of themes – from investment and economic topics to personal and career development to pure networking and socializing. Attendees find WIP events welcoming, stimulating and fun!
With a goal of four to five events per year, the Events Committee is responsible for selecting program themes, speakers and venues. The Events Committee welcomes additional members to contribute creative ideas and support this important function.
Governance and Nominating Committee
The WIP Governance and Nominating Committee assists the Board in fulfilling its responsibilities regarding matters that relate to governing the organization. This Committee develops and recommends governance guidelines for overseeing WIP’s Board and activities; identifies qualified individuals to serve on the Board; manages the Board and committee continuity planning process; lastly, it oversees the evaluation of the Board, each Board committee, and overall management.
Over its 10-plus years, Women Investment Professionals has benefited greatly from the continued support and involvement of many different types of women. Today, WIP consists of a fairly diverse group of women ranging across Plan/Fund Sponsors, Investment Consultants, Legal Counsel, and Investment Management Professionals. Additionally, WIP consists of women with many years of excellent experience in the institutional investment area as well as those who are just getting their careers underway.
The Membership Committee is focused on growing the organization as well as identifying and meeting the varied needs of WIP’s members. This is accomplished through new member events, surveys and feedback forms, and various communications. You are invited to join us in helping manage the lifeblood of our organization.
WIP offers sponsorship opportunities through various levels to organizations who support diversity initiatives that promote the advancement, recruitment and retention of women within organizations. WIP offers three different support levels of sponsorship (Platinum, Gold and Silver) on an annual basis. As a sponsor, your company will gain visibility as a supporter of an important initiative to build and support women leadership.
Established in 1996, WIP’s early ambition was to be a premier networking group for women at institutional firms in the investment industry. Today, WIP membership exceeds 300 women from across the country and in a wide variety of firms and functions. We continue to adapt as the needs of our members and industry evolve, focusing on empowering women in our industry through much more than networking. The Strategy Committee oversees WIP’s ongoing efforts for ensuring our vision of success and current goals best support our members. The Committee also provides a framework for utilization of resources and assessment of growth opportunities to ensure alignment with our core purpose, vision, mission, and goals.