A ‘paradigm shift’ in sexual harassment culture
In the latest episode of Financial Planning’s new podcast series, advisor Rachel Robasciotti discusses her activism around mandatory arbitration and relates the remarkable story behind her RIA.
Robasciotti represents a new generation in wealth management — one that refuses to be silenced by harassment and discrimination.
Robasciotti has built the San Francisco-based RIA she founded at age 25 in 2004 — Robasciotti & Philipson — to $140 million in AUM. The firm’s client base is more than 80% women and 70% LGBTQ.
In a separately managed account program called Return on Investment & Social Equity, she’s challenging publicly traded firms to align with impact investing criteria developed by coalitions of organizations and companies.
Last October, Robasciotti helped bring to public light the sexist comments made by RIA entrepreneur and personal finance author Ken Fisher at a closed-door industry conference. In the wake of the industry reaction, she’s been pushing for an end to forced arbitration of sexual harassment cases. The key to advancing on this issue is standing up and speaking out, Robasciotti says.
“In our industry, we do well by doing a good job of staying quiet. People tell us their money secrets, and if we go around telling those secrets, we don’t do well in our industry,” she says.
“But that kind of ethos ends up creating a situation that’s really unsafe for women in the workplace when sexual harassment is happening. And so it’s really an important paradigm shift that’s happening, around knowing what kinds of things are important to keep private and which types of things need, as they say, the disinfecting power of clean air and sunshine.”