Milwaukee company joins venture to advocate for Lithuanian women in business

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:23 pm

Milwaukee company joins venture to advocate for Lithuanian women in business

The Academy of Financial Services Studies and the Lithuanian Women’s Society have announced a joint venture to build the Women’s Academy in Vilnius, Lithuania.

The women’s academy will provide free financial education, money management and investment training to create more opportunities for Lithuanian women to participate in the free market economy of the Baltic region nation’s emerging democracy.

The women’s academy was born from a relationship formed last fall at the Women’s Business Leaders Summit convened by U.S. Ambassador to Finland Bonnie McElveen-Hunter in Helsinki.

The Milwaukee-based Academy of Financial Services Studies provides educational services to employees and executives in the financial services industry.

Rochelle Lamm, chairman and chief executive officer of the Academy of Financial Services Studies and its sister company, Precision Marketing Partners, participated in the Helsinki summit.

The pilot program, titled "Financial Literacy for Women – The Vital Bridge to Economic Empowerment and Democracy," will develop fundamental financial, money management and investment training curriculums, as well as learning programs across a broad range of investment and insurance-related disciplines.

Twelve participants will be selected for the initial three-month program, primarily from a pool of women employees in Lithuanian non-governmental organizations.

Special consideration will be given to women who are identified as having leadership potential. From the group, three-to-four participants will be trained as instructors to conduct subsequent programs.

"While women in North America have certainly made progress in financial literacy and investment confidence over the last 20 years, which has allowed them to make countless positive changes for their families and country, the same cannot be said for our counterparts who work in money management and finance in the Baltics," Lamm said.

"There’s a profound dearth of women in decision-making positions in Lithuania, and our joint venture with the Lithuanian Women’s Society will nurture this highly educated, bright, talented, yet largely ignored segment of their society, so they can better help their country make the transition from a command economy to a free market economy," Lamm said.

The program features a survey to identify women’s financial and money management skills needs, a workshop and an international shadowing program at The Academy of Financial Services Studies in Milwaukee.

The shadowing program will allow participants to acquire practical experience in a variety of fields and establish a network of contacts. "Money-management skills aren’t taught in the Lithuanian school system, so this project is very important to our society’s long-term development," said Nijole Steponkute, president of the Lithuanian Women’s Society, a non-governmental organization that promotes women’s rights.

"I shadowed Rochelle during the second phase of the Helsinki summit, when the foreign business leaders traveled to the United States, and was very impressed with her operation," Steponkute said.

The clients of the Academy of Financial Services Studies include leaders in insurance, mutual funds and investment management.

Feb. 21, 2003 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

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