As the daughter of a single mother who worked two full-time jobs, a mom of two young girls myself, and an entrepreneur in the financial industry, I know first-hand how difficult it is for women to get ahead – and stay ahead.
That’s why it’s time to create the first generation of women who will lead from the top. Women who will think nothing about creating a business or being the next CEO.
That’s why we need Girls with Impact… because these are the realities our daughters are facing:
- In just three years, 40% of the US workforce will be freelance
- Women are still paid less – 78c for every dollar earned by men – and continue to be under-represented in high-skill, high-wage jobs – from tech and engineering to the CEO spot.
- And although women start about 38% of all businesses in the US, they receive only 2-6% of venture funding.
By creating the next generation leaders – from all walks of life — and a strong network that will serve them in both the corporate and public sectors — we can change these statistics.
Founder + CEO
I know from personal experience – talking to and educating thousands of parents, students, and employers – that this opportunity is critical.
As a young girl who saw her mother struggle to make ends meet, I could have been one who fell through the cracks. But one single person – Alex — made all the difference, turning me into an entrepreneur in college, teaching me how to negotiate, and helping to land a job at 24 that many would dream of.
After launching several business, working with some of the biggest names in the financial industry and in media, seeing how it works from Silicon Valley to Wall Street to our nation’s capital, and now witnessing how quickly the world is evolving, I decided it’s time to give back and do things differently.
My own daughter was a bit of a guinea pig: I started providing her math tutoring before kindergarten – and had one of the greatest days of my life and when she scored in the 99 percentile at the age of 7.
I built educational programs delivered at New York University and to students in high school that changed their lives – experience “you don’t get in school,” they said.
Now, with the changing winds, it’s time to equip every girl with the tools, the know-how, and the support not just to get into college, but to succeed beyond.
This isn’t just my calling – it’s that of employers, policy leaders, tech titans and so many more.
Join me in changing today… and tomorrow.
1979 – My first real job – a maid at the Don Carlos Motel at 14.
1986 – Launched two new businesses for UCLA’s Internship Association, landing me on the cover of the San Jose Mercury News’ food section, and break fundraising records.
1990 – Gaining experience: California State Treasurer’s Office, Bank of America, Wilshire Associates, business school at UCLA
1998 – Chosen as the “Money Expert” for CBS-TV, Los Angeles – seeding the idea for my first real business, Women’s Financial Network.
1999 – Launched Women’s Financial Network, the first financial firm for women, by women. Sold to Siebert Financial (NYSE:SIEB), headed by the legendary Muriel “Micki” Siebert.
2001 – Partner with Microsoft Money as advisor and Realize Your Potential spokesperson, educating women across the country.
2001 – Published What’s Your Net Worth?, the first of three books, and produce a Public Television Show.
2002 – Hired by Jamie Dimon, now CEO of JPMorgan Chase.
2002 – Appear on Oprah to discuss book and women and money
2005 – Launch “Winning Advice with Jennifer Openshaw” on ABC Radio.
2005 – The Budget Kit, one of several tools developed, receives Dr. Phil’s endorsement, leading to 50,000 orders in two days.
2007 – My first (and only) magazine cover featuring The Millionaire Zone (Hyperion), based on research about how the wealthy leverage their networks for success.
2011 – SuperFutures and its Passions into Impact program – the basis for Girls with Impact – is delivered to LA Alliance for College Ready Public Schools, a top charter school. Kids say it changed their lives.
Meg Partridge, one of Girls with Impact’s first students and now founder of Deia, a design firm with social impact, at the United Nations with Arun Ghandi, grandson of Mahatma Ghandi.
2014 – Become executive director of the Financial Women’s Association.
2016 – Lead Mercer’s presence at the World Economic Forum with the CEOs of Cisco, eBay, UBS, and the Marriott talking about moving women up in the workplace.
2016 – Daughter Gianna becomes my own testing ground for Girls with Impact as she gets her first entrepreneurship lesson, selling Mistletoe and reaping $200 in three hours.
2016 – Family picture: Gianna has to use half the funds earned for something other than herself, leading my family to run Christmas breakfast for an entire homeless shelter, creating a valuable lesson and day for us all.