Updated with a correction.
What better way to celebrate a 100th anniversary than with a $1 million grant to Girls Who Invest, the non-profit organization working to get more female leaders into investment management?
Executives with The Coca-Cola Co. thought it was a great way to mark a century as a public company. "We believe in empowering and investing in women," said Helen Smith Price, president of The Coca-Cola Foundation, in a statement. Ms. Price also noted the company's long history of empowering women, including being one of the first major companies to have a female board director: Lettie Pate Whitehead who was appointed in 1934 and served for nearly 20 years. The company also is committed to women holding half of its professional and senior leadership jobs.
Girls Who Invest, now entering its fifth year, was founded by Seema Hingorani, a managing director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, and is led by CEO Janet Cowell, who as North Carolina treasurer served as the sole trustee of the $105 billion North Carolina Retirement Systems, Raleigh, from 2009 until 2017.
To date, Girls Who Invest has helped nearly 700 young women through its on-campus and online investment foundations programs, including rigorous four-week on-campus training programs at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Notre Dame and the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
After their campus experiences, participants spend six weeks in paid internships with more than 100 partner investment management firms in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., working alongside investment management teams.
The Coca-Cola Foundation grant will provide scholarships for up to 40 women to experience the on-campus programs. Increasing diversity in investment management industry is important "not only because it's the right thing to do, but it makes good business sense," Ms. Cowell said in the statement.