International Women’s Day – Q&A with Jackie Keshner, Director at Gateway Group

For International Women’s Day, we sat down with IR Director Jackie Keshner for a Q&A session about being a woman in finance, a heavily male-dominated role.

In honor of International Women’s Day, we sat down with Investor Relations Director Jackie Keshner for a Q&A session about being a woman in finance, a heavily male-dominated industry.  

Jackie graduated summa cum laude from the College of William & Mary as a member of Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in English and minors in Economics and Global Business. Over the course of her time here at Gateway, she has worked with more than 30 companies across a variety of industries, from technology to education to consumer products and more.  

A typical day in Jackie’s shoes involves leading strategic calls with her clients and crafting compelling narratives for client- and investor-facing reports. Here are some of the lessons and wisdom she’s gained from navigating a demanding environment.

Q: What do you like most about being in your role?

A: I’ve always loved writing, and I enjoy the challenge of applying my communications strengths to a wide variety of industries and market scenarios across my client base.  

Q: In your opinion, what are some of the unique strengths or perspectives that you bring to your role?

A: I strive to lead and communicate with empathy. Navigating this market isn’t easy, whether you’re a new executive preparing for your first earnings call or a seasoned public company leader working on a capital raise. By taking the time to understand my clients’ individual priorities and pressure points—and those of their stakeholders—I can provide more thoughtful advice and messaging.  

When I started at Gateway, I had more communications experience than finance experience. I know what it’s like to be a “newcomer” to certain market terminology and less familiar client industries. My learning process reminds me that our clients’ communications will reach newcomers, experts, and everyone in between. When I tell their stories, I focus on making even the most complex topics accessible.  

Q: Have you faced any specific challenges or barriers as a woman in finance, and if so, how have you addressed or overcome them?

A: When I’m the only woman in a certain setting, I’ve felt pressure to prove why I’m in that room, especially when those around me may have more experience and more in common.  

Additionally, there’s a prevailing standard in this industry that the loudest, most assertive voices are the most powerful. I’ve been told to “speak up" and “lean in.” I’ve heard that if you don’t speak within the first seven minutes of a meeting, you won’t be an influential voice in the discussion. As someone who’s quieter by nature, this advice pressured me to show up inauthentically. I forced myself to speak before I was ready, and I thought there was something wrong with me when it felt unnatural.  

I address these challenges by forming my own definitions of success. Making one thoughtful, comprehensive comment at minute 27 can change the course of a meeting—often more so than rushing a comment at minute three. In those situations, people turn towards your voice because they haven’t heard it before, and I find that they listen more intently.

I remind myself that I’m not in that room to be a carbon copy of the people around me.

I’m there to give my perspective, and if it’s a fresh one, all the better. My knowledge and capabilities earned my place in the room before I walked through the door, and I will keep earning opportunities as my skillset evolves.  

Q: What advice do you have for women pursuing careers in male-dominated spaces?

A: Seek community and mentorship with other women, both within and outside of your field. It’s important to surround yourself with people who support you and empathize with your trajectory.  

Above all else, trust yourself, and trust your process. While other peers and mentors have walked the path before you, your journey won’t look exactly like theirs. You won’t always feel confident, and you’ll often feel alone. In no way does that diminish your progress or your worth.    

Focus on developing your skills and character, and everything else will follow. You have value, you have talent, and you have time. You deserve to be who you are, where you are, no matter where your professional road takes you.  

Happy International Women’s Day to the hard-working women across all industries. We value your perspective and appreciate the unique strengths you bring to the table.

Have questions about investor relations? Contact us to learn more about how team members like Jackie can help you with your financial communication needs.

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