The New Silk Road

Published on World Pulse, by Jensine Larsen*, July 28, 2009.

It’s standing room only at Bloomberg in the financially embattled city of New York. I am pressed between rows of hedge fund managers, financial analysts, and investors as the National Council for Research on Women unveils a new report on women in fund management.

In that corporate glass-walled room, the murmurings I have been hearing over the last six months are confirmed: Women manage money differently, and had there been more women at the helm of investment decisions all along, the worst of the global financial meltdown might have been averted.

The report finds that women—in charge of just 3% of hedge funds and 10% of mutual funds—are more patient and consistent with their investments. They are less apt to take overconfident risks and more likely to integrate detailed and conflicting data into their decisions. Moreover, women-owned funds are more stable and consistently outperform general funds with higher returns. 

As I watch these women fund managers speak about the critical mass of women leaders required for sustainable financial systems, I know I am witnessing an historic moment. The words I am hearing are indicators of a much larger economic metamorphosis to come …

… In these pages* you’ll read the fresh thinking of economic visionaries, women reinventing businesses, and girls on the frontlines of a youth revolution. And on PulseWire, our online community newswire, you can travel a silk road of your own by importing and exporting ideas with women from over 130 countries.

Through the rising pulse of women’s voices, what was once degraded is becoming sacred. What was taken for granted is celebrated. What used to register zero sum on the balance sheets is creeping upward. Past paradigms that left us all feeling hollow will start to feel fulfilling.

Love, Jensine

  • * She says: “The hot commodities are no longer textiles and spicesthey are the shared values of caregiving, healthy ecosystems, spiritual well-being, community, and beauty.”
  • ** FULFILL, Transforming Economy, Issue Summer/Fall 2009.

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