Chelsea Crowder is a leader in the Banking Industry. She started her career at Goldman Sachs and subsequently moved to J.P Morgan where she is now a client advisor. She uses her wealth of experience to advise high networth individuals, families and foundations. Chelsea earned her bachelor’s degree in Operations research with a concentration in Engineering Management Systems from Columbia University. She is passionate about closing the financial gap in communities of color and mentoring youth. She is a Young Leadership Board member for America Needs You. She has had a dynamic and inspiring career thus far. She shared her career journey with La Femme Exec!
How did your academic background prepare you for a career in the Banking industry? At Columbia I studied industrial engineering and operations research. My school didn’t have an undergraduate business program, but this academic path provided me with technical and quantitative skills that I’ve certainly found helpful in business. Beyond that, it taught me how to think, how to problem solve, and how to ask good questions.
Women of color are burdened with the racial wealth divide. Why do you think black millennial women are finding it difficult to build wealth? What can they do to close it? We know that for every dollar of wealth a white family has, a Black family has a dime. About 7% of Black Americans inherit wealth versus about 20% of white Americans, and the average amount of that inheritance differs by a magnitude of 10. The largest driver in this gap is home equity, which incorporates the difference in home ownership rates and the ways that homes are valued, due to a number of institutional factors. This has nothing to do with ability or ambition. As Black millennial women are looking to accumulate wealth, home ownership is a key part of that process.
What is your typical work day like? One thing that I love about my job is that there is no typical work day. Every day is pretty different. I know that I’m going to start my morning on calls getting market color and updates on best practices from colleagues. I speak to my clients every day, whether it’s something planned and scheduled like a portfolio review or something more ad hoc. I also get to work with lots of other teams internally to help my clients achieve their goals. Finance is a quantitative business, but it’s also a people business.
What advice do you have for women who want to pursue a career in finance? Read as much as you can as often as you can. Being a consumer of content early on will help you have the context to be able to think of great ideas and ways to innovate. The awesome thing about finance is that pretty much anyone can learn this business and there are lots of tools that already exist to be able to help you do that. It’s important to stay current because something that happens on one day in one country can drastically impact financial markets around the world.