Women Supporting Women in the Financial Marketplace

A couple is shopping together and laughing

The DFPI is not just California’s financial regulator, we’re here to support economic mobility for all Californians. Throughout Women’s History Month, the DFPI is recognizing women across California who are working to eliminate gender bias and discrimination in the financial marketplace. These women are helping to develop innovative programs and projects within businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations that support women’s financial empowerment and entrepreneurial development. Join us in celebrating just a few California leaders who are promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion for women through financial education programs and entrepreneurial initiatives:

photo of Carolina
“Starting a business can be many things. It’s your perspective that matters, always remember this when in doubt. A good and profitable business speaks for itself, focus on that aspect. Every woman is free to choose how she wants to be seen or what is relevant for her business.”

Carolina Rosas, Director of Caravan SBDC
Caravanserai Project – Inland Empire

The Caravanserai Project empowers individuals from marginalized, under-resourced communities launch for-profit and nonprofit organizations that generate financial security, economic mobility, and systemic change. The Project is one of DFPI’s 2023-24 CalMoneySmart awardees. The Caravan SBDC is part of the Orange County and Inland Empire SBDC network and offers bilingual (Spanish and English) consulting and development workshops.

Carolina is inspired by how she can contribute towards creating and testing new organizational structures. She works with a diverse network of entrepreneurs, business owners, and philanthropists that reflect beautiful structures that make our funders, beneficiaries, and partners feel good and excited about what is being accomplished. These structures also provide stability. Carolina says that businesses are organizations we can manage when we understand their structure, which is not a simple arrangement of elements. “It can be all at once for most women entrepreneurs, instead of waiting for the right opportunity, place, or person to help them. Financial empowerment provides stability and the tools to crystallize ideas.”

Her advice for women entrepreneurs is to focus on how you learn and see things. Find ways to get excited about what you are learning, explore random and different ways to learn. “Throughout history, there have always been women who used a different name, dressed differently, or used creative ways to access knowledge that was forbidden to them. We can see the unfairness, but also the genius behind it. Women have often been opposed or even manipulated to prevent them from learning cool things like financial literacy.”

Photo of Amanda Walsh
“Start by educating yourself about personal finance basics to build your knowledge and confidence. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, seek advice from trusted sources, and take control of your financial future. Financial empowerment is a journey and every step you take towards improving your financial literacy is a step towards greater independence and security.”

Amanda Walsh, VP Government Affairs
Orange County Business Council (OCBC) – Irvine, CA

The Orange County Business Council represents and promotes the business community of Orange County, California. It collaborates with government and academia to enhance the region’s economic development and advocate for investments in infrastructure, education, housing, and pro-business solutions that foster sustainable economic growth.

Amanda has a passion for advocacy and belief in the importance of a strong economy for community well-being. She’s motivated by the opportunity to make a positive impact on Orange County’s economic development and to foster meaningful relationships between the business community and elected officials at all levels of government.

Amanda says, “women’s financial empowerment is crucial for achieving gender equality and economic prosperity. It involves ensuring that women have access to resources, opportunities, and education to make informed financial decisions, build wealth, and achieve financial independence. By empowering women financially, we can strengthen families, communities, and economies as a whole.”

photo of ChunYen Chen
“The first step is setting clear financial goals. Create a budget, save and invest wisely, and continuously educate yourself about personal finance. Planning is crucial for your journey to independence.”

Chun-Yen Chen, Executive Director
Asian Pacific Community Fund (APCF) – Los Angeles, CA

The Asian Pacific Community Fund advocates for investment in the Asian American Pacific Islander community in Los Angeles. Chun-Yen provides executive leadership and directs operations and grantmaking for the organization. She is also Chair of the Los Angeles Alliance for Economic Inclusion (LA AEI) Financial Education & Speaker Bureau. Through collaboration with FDIC, Federal Reserve Bank, and other regulatory agencies, she launched the Los Angeles Saves campaign, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, and MoneySmart workshops to support low- and moderate-income communities.

Chun-Yen believes that saving money is important for everyone, both men and women. The Los Angeles Saves campaign educates savers to practice goal setting, breaking down big goals into smaller goals that are based on achievable objectives. The journey towards financial independence requires planning, decision-making, and perseverance.

Chun-Yn says, “in today’s rapidly evolving world, women are breaking barriers and achieving milestones like never before. As women overcome challenges and achieve their financial goals, their confidence and self-esteem flourish which allows them to stand their ground and demand equal treatment. Financial independence offers women the freedom to make life choices without economic limitations and the opportunity to serve as role models for younger generations. This paves the way for a cultural shift where independence and empowerment are valued, leading to a more equal and progressive society.”

Photo of Nicole Soluri

“Financial literacy and empowerment are crucial for achieving gender equality and economic stability. In order to close the wage and retirement gaps, we need to ensure these realities remain top of mind for women through education and support. With knowledge and resources, women can more confidently control their economic futures, pursue their goals, and contribute meaningfully to their communities.”

Nicole Soluri, Chief Executive Officer
Professional Businesswomen of California (PBWC) – San Francisco, CA

PBWC is dedicated to advancing professional women through programs that educate, foster leadership skills, and provide networking opportunities. It serves women of all backgrounds and industries in communities across California.

After witnessing the untapped potential of women in the workplace and the barriers they face in achieving their career aspirations, Amanda is driven by the belief that empowering women not only advances women, but strengthens businesses and drives economic growth, creating a more equitable and inclusive society where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

Her advice to women entrepreneurs is “to prioritize education and seek out resources and support networks. Start by understanding the basics of personal finance, such as budgeting, saving, retirement planning, and investing. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, seek guidance from financial experts, and leverage online tools and educational materials. Financial literacy is a lifelong journey, so be patient with yourself and celebrate small victories along the way.”

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Last updated: Mar 19, 2024 @ 2:29 pm