In asset management and technology—the disciplines that my firm, Artivest, straddles— the statistics and stories are sobering. Women make up less than 10 percent of U.S. fund managers and occupy a mere 5 percent of leadership positions in technology. Despite being a newer and arguably more evolved field, fintech is no better. To hear the people in the trenches tell it, being a woman in fintech can be isolating—or worse. Why is it so hard for us to hire women in a ratio that even approaches their representation within our country's populace (~ 50 percent), their numbers in the workforce (52 percent of management and professional positions) or—for that matter—their significant influence (controlling 51 percent of American wealth) as consumers of the very products we develop?

I can tell you from experience that it is not hard to find highly qualified senior female candidates. We employ a number of them at Artivest. Two of the four members of our C Suite are women, as is one of the three members of our board. Of our four team leaders, two are female. Within the broader ranks at Artivest, 10 of 32 employees are women, a ratio we are focused on raising since our future leaders will be drawn from this pool.

What is our secret for attracting and retaining outstanding female professionals? If there is one thing we do differently than some of the asset managers and tech firms our employees hail from, it's that we address the factors that have led many of our female employees to leave those jobs in their thirties, just when they have attained critical skills and contacts that make them highly valuable. For example, for five women who work at Artivest, as for 54 percent of respondents to a recent Harvard Business Review survey, the key to productive employment is the freedom to attend to family needs. This has translated to work-from-home privileges for some and flexible work schedules for others. For those with a new child in the family, we have taken steps to make our parental leave policy more generous than the industry average. In all cases, the work gets done and, if anything, people are more focused and efficient because they know that all is copacetic at home.

Just as importantly, we do not assume that our female employees with families desire flexibility over other benefits or that those of childbearing age are interested in career paths that will accommodate future families. According to the same survey, many companies make these erroneous assumptions and lose key talent. It turns out that the top reasons women leave companies are— in order—compensation, lack of learning and development opportunities, and work that is not interesting or meaningful enough. Flexibility for family reasons actually ranks fifth. While compensation is variable in fintech depending on the company's stage and profitability, my colleagues and I believe that our industry is way ahead of more traditional employers when it comes to opportunities for growth and fulfillment. As COO of Artivest, I would certainly say that I have been provided with opportunities to learn and grow.

Whether you view the “Fearless Girl” statue now facing down the Wall Street bull as an empowering symbol or the token of a “false feminism,” it is clear that we need to translate symbolism into action. According to a panel recently hosted by the New York Women's Initiative of law firm Alston & Bird, it generally takes three female candidates being considered for one of them to get the job. This is partly because hiring happens by committee. When women are in scant supply at a company, they are not likely to be well-represented among those making the hiring decisions. Another factor is that the female candidate who finds herself alone amid a sea of men in the interview room may be less likely to accept an offer from that company. Happily, the converse also applies, providing a clear path forward: the best way to attract women to your firm is by hiring women.

Tania Das Wright is the chief operating officer at Artivest.

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