Impact Stories

Liz Hanify Works with Forté to Show Women What They Can Achieve in Business

As an undergrad, Liz Hanify attended a Wall Street firm’s women’s recruiting night not to schmooze her way into a business career but to catch up with a recent grad over the event’s wine and cheese. Though indifferent to the event’s purpose, this English lit major may have asked the panel its toughest question of the night: “After a long day of work, how many of you kick your heels off and wonder what you’ve done to make the world a better place?”

Years later, as a Forté Fellow alumna and senior vice president at Fidelity Capital Markets, she can answer the question with confidence. Her current role overseeing the underwriting and trading of municipal bonds—one she never imagined as an undergrad—supports communities.

“I’d like to think that we’re helping the community build a hospital or a school, and I am admittedly very proud of those efforts,” she said. “It makes me really happy to go over a bridge where I know we helped with the financing or to pass a new school where I know we were involved in the underwriting.”

So what’s the secret to finding a career that means something to you personally? Look for a place where your passions and career can intersect.

“Municipal finance allowed me to do that,” she said. “It combined what was a growing business acumen with my desire to improve communities and think about development.”

Forté is focusing on precisely the right time period — on undergrads, on women contemplating MBAs — when if you don’t have the information you need readily availabile, you might not pursue those opportunities in business.


Carving new space for women

She’s part of a growing number of women on the trading floor. After market close, she picked up her one-year old from daycare and brought him back to the trading floor to wrap up a few things. A female colleague, with two decades of experience, remarked, “I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to not only have a female senior vice president, but to see you on the floor with your son. That’s something I’ve never seen before.”

The comment reminded Liz how much the world has changed—and how other women have paved her way.

“I realized that I may have taken for granted the efforts of women who have been involved in capital markets much longer than me,” she said. “They cleared the way so that I could have more opportunities— to take on a management role and allow my son to crawl on the trading floor.”

I want to think about inclusion across the board. I want to make sure that I’m trying to lead with positivity and focus on growth, not just for women, but for all deserving parties who can offer a different perspective and to have unique and different strengths.


Moving the next generation forward with Forté

Liz was a member of the first class of Fellows when she started her MBA at Wharton.

Now she works with Forté to open the eyes of the next generation of undergraduate women to far-reaching possibilities in business.

“There are so many different roles and professions that roll up into the ‘business and finance category,’” she said. “With a little more exposure and perspective, more women can find a place within that category.”

But her goal isn’t just to teach that “business” is more than black suits and briefcases.

“We have to let women know that we need their voices and we need their power.”

Related posts

Get newsletters and events relevant
to your career by joining Forté.

our partners