You are currently viewing Jennifer Openshaw Fostering the New Generation of Business Leaders
Image used for information purpose only. Picture Credit:

Jennifer Openshaw Fostering the New Generation of Business Leaders

“Only 6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women. Only 2 percent of $80 billion in venture funding is awarded to female founders. Girls experience a 30 percent drop in confidence between the ages of 8 and 14 …” These disheartening statistics from the Girls With Impact’s website serve as a stark reminder of the gender disparities that persist in corporate leadership and entrepreneurial endeavors. However, Jennifer Openshaw, the founder of this organization and a prominent figure in finance from Greenwich, refuses to accept the status quo.

Jennifer’s journey to challenge these statistics began in an era when opportunities for women were even scarcer. In the year 2000, when only two Fortune 500 CEOs were women out of 500, Jennifer was recognized as one of Internet World magazine’s Rising Stars for her pioneering work as the founder and CEO of the Women’s Financial Network. Despite navigating the challenges of the dot-com bust, she successfully sold her company to Wall Street legend Muriel Siebert.

With extensive experience at Bank of America, Wilshire Associates, and JP Morgan Chase, Jennifer gained firsthand insight into the barriers within the traditional male-dominated business landscape. Yet, she also recognized the immense untapped potential within young women and was determined to equip them with the skills and confidence needed to excel as future leaders.

Jennifer’s vision crystallized during her attendance at the World Economic Forum in Davos while working for Mercer, the world’s largest HR consulting company. Inspired by discussions on the importance of investing in women, she conceived the idea of starting early by providing business and leadership training to young women and girls. This epiphany led her to establish Girls With Impact in 2018, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering girls from low- to moderate-income communities through a free “mini-MBA” program where students develop their own ventures.

Since its inception, Girls With Impact has impacted the lives of 16,000 girls across the United States and in approximately 20 countries. Despite Jennifer’s illustrious career as an advisor to Fortune 500 companies and author of books on wealth strategies, her background is rooted in resilience rather than privilege. Raised by a single mother who worked tirelessly to make ends meet, Jennifer learned the value of determination from a young age. From working multiple jobs to fund her education to overcoming adversity, Jennifer’s journey epitomizes the ethos of perseverance and paying it forward.

Reflecting on her upbringing and journey, Jennifer emphasizes the importance of providing opportunities for young women and acknowledges the role of her community in her success. Her mission to empower girls is fueled by a deep sense of gratitude and a commitment to create opportunities for others, underscoring her belief that success is not merely a matter of luck, but of determination and resilience.