Meet Our Women in Research

Meet Our Women in Research

The American College of Financial Services
March 3, 2022

March is both Women’s History Month and Ethics Month, and we’re recognizing both with a focus on women doing amazing research for us in a variety of disciplines and fields. Our researchers are helping transform the financial services industry with the insights needed to solve challenges, develop new programs, and drive evidence-based decision-making. Meet our Women in Research!

 

 

Domarina Oshana, PhD

Director of Research and Operations, The American College Center for Ethics in Financial Services

 

AREAS OF RESEARCH: Trust & Stakeholder Relationships, Trust & Culture, Trust & Ethics

“Trust is an intangible, yet powerful strategic asset that financial companies can and should get good at understanding and developing.”

Domarina Oshana is a social scientist and research development professional experienced in design and management of research, as well as evaluation programs and projects. She is passionate about working in multidisciplinary teams to advance knowledge discovery and address pressing human challenges. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Northeastern Illinois University and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She received her Master of Arts in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago, and her PhD in Research Methodology from Loyola University Chicago.

"I am seeing three big trends in my research," she says. "First, I'm seeing a focus on corporate culture because it remains one of the key drivers of ethical behavior in organizations. Intertwined with culture, I'm seeing themes such as 'the great resignation,' 'stakeholder capitalism,' and 'values matter,' chief among which are 'diversity and inclusiveness' and a pressing need for ethical leadership from the C-suite. Second, I'm seeing the possibilities and limits of predictive analytics. As financial institutions digitally transform, ethical questions emerge around algorithmic fairness and financial exclusion, for example. People are talking about, and more importantly, putting in place, safeguards on the ethical use of technology. Lastly, the third trend I'm seeing is on financial inclusion and whether it is enough to close the racial wealth gap. Research has emerged to suggest that access to financial institutions is important, but is unlikely to be sufficient to close the gap. Questions are being raised to understand the complexity of systemic challenges. For example, and to put it simply, research is bringing to light that people lack the resources to even have a bank account."

 

 

Timi Joy Jorgensen, PhD

Assistant Professor & Director of Financial Education and Well-Being

 

AREAS OF RESEARCH: Financial Well-Being & Empowerment, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Financial Education

“Financial stress is a universal challenge regardless of income level, cultural background, and income. Addressing stress and focusing on financial health and wellbeing is a great way for companies to inform consumers about their value proposition.”

Timi Joy Jorgensen joined The College's faculty in June 2020 after completing a six-month fellowship. Her research focuses on diversity, equity, and inclusion in financial services and on financial well-being and empowerment. Jorgensen has been a speaker, panelist, and contributor on the topic of creating a more inclusive and empowering financial services profession. She has spoken at conferences, on radio shows, and to several hundred couples and single parents at financial literacy courses. She is passionate about making financial planning a more approachable and empowering topic available to all American households. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in personal financial planning from Utah Valley University in 2014, and completed her graduate studies in financial planning in Spring 2020 from the University of Georgia.

 

 

 

Kaylee Ranck

Research Director, The American College Center for Women in Financial Services

 

AREAS OF RESEARCH: Women Working in the Financial Services Industry

"Women intending to return or to remain in the financial services workforce since the COVID-19 pandemic seek increased flexibility, career advancement opportunities, and supportive work cultures, including mentorship and future educational and training opportunities."

Kaylee Ranck joined The College in August 2021 and does research focusing on understanding the factors that encourage women to persist and thrive professionally in the financial services industry. She also looks at the consumer behaviors of low- and middle-income individuals regarding health insurance and financial products. In addition to research, she has worked collaboratively with a broad base of organizations and professionals on developing educational training programs, collegiate course instruction, and program evaluation and assessment. She is passionate about leading research initiatives to inform data-driven decision-making to advise in best practices, evaluate policies, and lead change. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Pacific University and a master’s degree from Montana State University. She is currently completing her doctorate in financial planning, housing, and consumer economics at the University of Georgia.

Ranck says she has seen two big trends in her research: a decrease of women employees in financial services, and numbers of women decision-makers in C-suite positions. "The financial services industry increased the representation of women among its employees during the last two decades, only to have a substantial exit of women employees with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic," she says. "Increased caregiving and household responsibilities led to nearly one-third of women leaving the financial services industry temporarily or permanently, rendering the progress of previous decades moot. Dr. Claudia Goldin, Professor of Economics at Harvard, describes the discouraging phenomenon accurately by stating, '[Gender] inequalities that existed before the pandemic are now on steroids.' According to a recent MetLife study, nearly 50% of women surveyed stated that the pandemic has negatively impacted their career path.

"For success in continuing with their current occupations or returning to the workplace, women are seeking increased flexibility and career advancement opportunities as well as skill development and supportive work cultures. Right now, women make up one-quarter of C-suite positions in the financial services industry. Women are less likely to aspire to an executive position in the industry when compared to men (McKinsey, 2021). Gender diversity among executive positions is shown to boost revenue and enhance innovation. Systemic institutional changes, such as training leaders on managing diverse staff and developing a formal mentoring program, can benefit recruitment and retention efforts designed to increase the number of talented women for entry positions and future leadership roles."

 

 

Martha Fulk, PhD

Researcher, Educator, & Financial Planner

 

AREAS OF RESEARCH: Behavioral Finance, Risk Tolerance, and Financial Planning for Diverse Populations

“Financial planners need to maintain their relevance and value by providing individualized and comprehensive financial planning and advice.”

As a researcher, educator, and financial planner at The American College of Financial Services, Martha Fulk examines issues of behavioral finance, risk tolerance, and financial planning for diverse populations. She says she finds it important for advisors to take a client-focused approach and develop strong interpersonal and communication skills.

 

 

Chia-Li Chien, PhD, CFP®, PMP®, CPBC

Associate Provost, Graduate Programs

 

AREAS OF RESEARCH: Business Succession and Retirement Income (Reverse Mortgages)

“The RIA business model has been around for a long time, but consumers are catching up. Advisors need to transition or transform with the trends."

Chia-Li Chien is a Succession Program Director at Value Growth Institute and Associate Provost for Graduate Programs at The College. Before her consulting practice, she held several senior management positions in Fortune 500 companies, including Diageo, ABB, CIGNA, and RSA Insurance Group. Dr. Chien is a frequent speaker about succession planning at national conferences and has published three award-winning books. She publishes research on succession & retirement topics in a variety of academic and practitioner research journals. Dr. Chien serves on the boards of various national financial service associations. She holds a doctorate in financial planning and several professional designations and certifications.

Chien says in her research, she's seen growth in RIA spaces, including advisors moving from broker-dealer platforms into fee-only or fee-based platforms. She's also noted increasing numbers of advisors including reverse mortgages in their retirement and succession planning. She says one possible best practice for planning moving forward would be to use retirement balance sheets and national ratios to guide clients in considering reverse mortgages as optional retirement income or an income contingency.

 

 

Dr. Pamela Jolly

Senior Strategist for the American College Center for Economic Empowerment and Equality

 

AREAS OF RESEARCH: Racial Wealth Gap, Community Economic Development, Legacy Wealth, Financial Behaviors of Women and African Americans, Macro & Micro Wealth Indicators in the Black Community

"There is an increasing desire amongst the African-American community to build deeper relationships with the financial services industry that go beyond the transactional to the advice and services needed to pursue the goals, dreams, and aspirations necessary for increased levels of wealth that can be passed on through generations."

Dr. Pamela C.V. Jolly is the Founder and CEO of Torch Enterprises Inc, a strategic investment firm of 19 years committed to women and minority business growth and development. Torch Enterprises has assisted over 1,000 entrepreneurs, national non-profits, trade organizations, the Federal Government, philanthropic foundations, and financial institutions.

Dr. Jolly earned her B.S. from Hampton University, an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, an M.Th. from Boston University, and an Ed.D. from The Graduate Theological Foundation. She holds certificates in theology from Oxford University, Christ Church, in conflict resolution from the Boston Theological Institute, and in private equity and venture capital from the Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business and Management.

Dr. Jolly began her career in banking with Nations Bank; post-Wharton, she joined Accenture as a Sr. Manager in the Financial Services Strategy & Business Architecture Practice, working within banking, capital markets, insurance, and technology industries. She then merged her banking and strategy skills in the world of private equity (Dubois Partners), where she evaluated equity investment opportunities in the capital goods, consumer products, financial services, media, entertainment, and healthcare sectors. Jolly then refined her financial services corporate experience in marketing research strategy designing segmentation-based marketing strategies and executions, new product development plans, and consumer insight research studies through qualitative and quantitative methods (Rosetta). In 2014, Dr. Jolly became a best-selling author with The NarrowRoad™, A Guide to Legacy Wealth. Dr. Jolly launched the Legacy Wealth Initiative serving men, women, business owners, and faith leaders in 2018. She released The NarrowRoad™ 2.0: The Journey to Wealth Your Way, in 2020, furthering her culturally relevant approach to wealth as a legacy in the black community.

Dr. Jolly has served as the Senior Strategist for the American College of Financial Services Center for Economic Empowerment and Equality since 2020. Additionally, Dr. Jolly serves as co-head of governance on the Good Work Network Board in New Orleans, Louisiana, 2nd Vice President on The University of Pennsylvania Board of Alumnae, Co-Chair of the Invest and Recruit Committee for the Financial Alliance for Racial Equity, and on the BMe Board, of which she was a 2019 BMe Vanguard Fellow. A national keynote speaker, Dr.Jolly has hosted NarrowRoad™ workshops and training, demonstrating her lifelong commitment to accelerating the narrowing of the Black wealth gap in over 250 U.S. cities and abroad.

 

Check our social media platforms throughout the month of March as we recognize our women research leaders!