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Advancing Careers for 60 Years

60th Anniversary LogoAdvancing careers for 60 years — In 1956, 17 forward-thinking women in the investment community gathered to create a forum to exchange ideas, share experiences and develop their careers. The Financial Women's Club of San Francisco, as our organization was originally known, was the first organization for executive women in finance in the country. Our mission, then and now, is to advance professionalism in finance and financial services by promoting the development, career progress and leadership of women. 

In 1985, Financial Women of San Francisco (FWSF) established an affiliated foundation that provides financial support  to promising women studying finance at Bay Area colleges and universities. To date, over $2,000,000 have been awarded to deserving students.

In 1995, FWSF established the 'Financial Woman of the Year'; an award to recognize leaders in finance. The most recent recipients were Pat Yarrington, CFO of Chevron, Sarah Friar, CFO of Square, and Carrie Dolan, CFO of Lending Club. This signature event draws over 700 attendees and raises money for our Scholarship Fund.

FWSF has grown through the years and expanded to the East and South Bays. We provide a public forum for the examination of important contemporary issues in business, finance, leadership, governmental policy and civic affairs. And for our nearly 300 members and over 20 key sponsors, including Charles Schwab, Chevron, KMPG LLP, Lending Club and Wells Fargo, we continue to gather to exchange ideas, share experiences and develop careers throughout the Bay Area.

Stay tuned for more information on how FWSF will celebrate this important anniversary throughout this 60th year.

Read more about our history.

Few Facts About the Year 1956

We can do it posterTo give some context for the 60th anniversary, I want to set the stage with a few facts that evoke the year 1956 when 17 forward-thinking women founded Financial Women’s Club of San Francisco.

Dwight Eisenhower was president, with Richard Nixon as his vice president. Kruschev was head of the USSR, and we were deep in the Cold War. 

It was just 13 years after Rosie the Riveter became the symbol for recruiting women to work for the war effort in jobs that were previously for men only. Interestingly, it also was the first time women in the U.S. first traded their dresses for slacks.

It was seven years before Betty Friedan published her groundbreaking book, The Feminine Mystique, which describes the dissatisfaction felt by middle-class American housewives with the narrow role imposed on them by society.

In 1956, the post war economy was booming. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 500 for the first time in history on March 12. It had overtaken its 1929 high just two years earlier. Unemployment was low at 4.4%, and the price of a U.S. stamp was 3 cents. Families were having children and moving to the suburbs. It was the heart of the baby boom, with 4 million kids born that year.

1956 was a great year for music, with Elvis Presley topping the charts, with 5 songs in the top 20 chart from Billboard. Heartbreak Hotel was number one. Other favorites were My Prayer, by the Platters, and this song: Whatever will be by Doris Day. And, this from Dean Martin: Memories are made of this.

With that, let’s fast forward to our topic: the 60th anniversary of FWSF. Does anyone know what the symbol for the 60th is? Diamonds became the symbol of the 60th anniversary, thanks to Queen Victoria, who celebrated her 60 years as the then longest reigning monarch with a diamond jubilee. How fitting it was Queen Victoria! The word diamond comes from the Greek word, adamas, which means unconquerable and enduring—great themes for FWSF as we celebrate 60 years!  

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