Shannon Favazza Shannon Favazza
Head of Analytics, Edward Jones


March 22, 2024


There have been notable advances in recent years for women leaders in data analytics and financial services careers, fields that have traditionally been male dominated. As Head of Analytics at Edward Jones, I’m an example of this progress, but barriers and biases that prevent women from entering and thriving in my field still exist. Today, approximately 15%-20% of financial advisors are women across the financial services industry and women only make up 28% of the broader STEM workforce.

I know firsthand the importance of having diverse perspectives at the table to inform the work our firm does. On my team, its invaluable to have the perspectives of both women and men in shaping how we analyze data and develop applications and solutions to help our clients and colleagues. At Edward Jones, our firm is committed to advancing inclusive growth within our organization and in the communities we serve. It’s an extension of our purpose to partner for positive impact to improve the lives of our colleagues, clients and communities. Our aim is to be a workplace where every colleague feels valued, respected, seen and heard. In order to see more women in leadership positions, companies in the private and public sectors alike must create working environments that support and encourage their growth.

My own career journey shifted when I was first encouraged to step into a leadership role. With three children at home, I wasn’t sure if I was prepared to fully commit and pursue the opportunity at that time. I’m grateful that I had several mentors who encouraged me to go for it and assured me that if it didn’t feel like a fit, I could consider other career options. This gave me the safety net I needed to move forward with confidence.

Creating Supportive Cultures

As I grew into my career, my mentors encouraged me to lean into what makes me unique, my personal energy and style. I’m so glad I listened to them and stayed true to myself as I developed in my career and established my professional brand. It’s essential for all women to find their own voice to build confidence and strength as they grow into leadership roles.

For many women, building this confidence takes courage, and it’s important that we challenge ourselves in this area. My charge to the women I mentor is to speak up more, to say at least one thing in every meeting, particularly in the early stages of their careers. Stepping up to this fear helps us overcome doubt and build trust in our own abilities.

I’m fortunate that Edward Jones prioritizes career advancement opportunities for all of our associates and provides significant resources and initiatives to support women across our organization and position them for leadership success. Our firm’s focus on building an inclusive workplace culture comes to life in many ways, from our mentorship and leadership training programs, to our business resource groups and immersive DEI 365 program.

Our DEI 365 program broadens the understanding that diversity, equity and inclusion is for everyone through a yearlong calendar of learning opportunities, programs and experiences. Our Courageous Conversations have been a catalyst for growth and connection, offering an environment where people can engage in honest dialogue and share authentic experiences on a range of subjects to deepen empathy and understanding within our organization and beyond.

Increasing Representation in Tech

Diverse perspectives are critical to understanding and uncovering the best solutions to the problems we seek to solve in data analytics. The more perspectives at the table, the better positioned we are to develop innovative solutions. And empathy is a key component in this process.

In data analytics, you must be able to think through who needs this information and what can you solve for them. While empathy is a skill many women and men share, I have seen it as a strength for many women in my field.

Edward Jones actively works to attract and retain the best talent inclusive of all perspectives, experiences and backgrounds. In 2023, we hosted 16 recruiting and networking events to build a more diverse pool of professionals, and our Accountability Scorecard for leaders helped us measure and drive equitable progress in our systems and processes.

Across industries, the private sector needs to continue empowering women in the workplace by providing the resources and mentorship they need to advance professionally. To do this, we must collectively encourage women to explore leadership opportunities, particularly in areas that have traditionally been dominated by men, and ensure they have the support they need to bring their authentic selves to work. We must remove the barriers and biases in our workplaces that are keeping women from considering and reaching the top jobs in their field. With renewed focus in these three areas, we can create workplaces where women are not only represented equally but thrive in leadership.

About the authors

Shannon Favazza

Shannon Favazza

Shannon Favazza is responsible for Firm Analytics, including setting the analytic strategy for Edward Jones and evolving the enterprise analytic, data science, and business intelligence capabilities.

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