Asked how she managed to get from A to B, Ms. White, in an interview, cited a love for the job of equity analyst, hard work, good stock-picking skills and an unwillingness to take "no" for an answer.
When she landed her first money management job in Boston in 1980 as a "research assistant or a secretary, whatever you want to call it … I could not believe that people got paid to do research and to be analysts," Ms. White recalled.
"I was like, this is the job for me. I am really good at research. I love technology and this is just nirvana," she said.
But heaven would have to wait — for a little while, anyway.
"I told them … that I wanted to be an analyst and they told me, well, you can't do that! You're a girl," said Ms. White, adding that the message wasn't a subtle one. At the time, "it was just taken for granted."
She decided to leave in search of a firm that would allow her to be an analyst and found one in 1983 at a young Boston-based money manager, Granahan-Everitt Investments Inc., as well as a mentor in the boutique's president, Jack Granahan.
"He said if you want to be an analyst, if you put the work in, I will do everything in my power to help you, and well, he did," Ms. White said. She began at Granahan-Everitt as an administrative assistant but was promoted to analyst by the time the firm was sold two years later to another Boston-based manager.
Ms. White said her hard work at Granahan-Everitt impressed Mr. Granahan enough that he asked her to join him in 1985 as co-founder of Granahan Investment Management, with the starting title of vice president.
"Jack and I worked really well together. He liked teaching," she recalled.
Mr. Granahan owned 90% of the firm at the start and Ms. White owned 10% but "as time went on, I owned more." She became president and CEO of the firm in 2011 and Mr. Granahan, who became chairman at that time, retired in 2017.
Ms. White said she currently owns 20% of the firm but is trimming her position as "we're trying to get stock into the hands of the next generation."
Over her more than a decade at the helm, Ms. White said she's worked to diversify Granahan's business, beginning with its client base.
When she became CEO in 2011, a single client, Vanguard Group Inc., was absorbing all of the small-cap and midcap firm's more than $3 billion in capacity.
"We started to diversify away from Vanguard, giving them back $2 billion" over 18 months beginning in 2011 and bringing in about $1 billion from other clients, she said.