Celebrating Women at Cboe

March 9, 2020

A Fireside Chat with Members of Cboe’s Boards

On Friday, March 6, Cboe offices around the world celebrated International Women’s Day during a fireside chat with members of Cboe’s boards of directors: Rebecca Fuller, Janet Froetscher and Jill Sommers. Women comprise 28 percent of Cboe Global Markets Board of Directors, outweighing the U.S. average of 19.2 percent. We’re proud to have strong female representation on our board and it was an honor to hear from a few of our board members about how they achieved their accomplishments and how other women can follow in their footsteps.

Our celebration began when U.S.-based associates rang the opening bell before gathering to hear from our board members and enjoy some good food — breakfast in our U.S. offices and ice cream sundaes in Europe. Speaking to full rooms in every office, Rebecca, Janet and Jill each spoke about their career paths before sharing their perspectives on a variety of issues facing women and society as a whole.

Each leader had unique and inspiring messages. The common theme? Support one another. All three women recounted crucial times when colleagues lent a helping hand or championed their talents. They also discussed the importance of feeling confident in one’s own abilities and accomplishments.

Rebecca started the chat in London and praised the work of women before her who helped pave the way for more women to pursue their passions. She recalled feeling equal to her male colleagues when she first entered the workforce but then realizing the stark differences in the opportunities presented to each gender. Today, Rebecca appreciates how much workplace equality has improved — a trend she hopes continues. Rebecca added that government and company policies like paid parental leave can help, but the way associates treat each other can do much more. Rebecca emphasized that women supporting other women is one of the best ways to impact equality.

Over in New York, Jill said seeing other women in leadership roles helped her aspire to new heights. When you can see someone like yourself in a role you might want, it’s much easier to think it’s possible for you to get there, she explained.

Jill also noted how important her upbringing was to her success. “My dad always told me I could be whatever I wanted to be, so I always felt like I could do anything,” she said. “Isn’t that what we want to teach our daughters and sons?”

In Chicago, Janet explained how even the most accomplished, smart and successful women can fall victim to imposter syndrome – the feeling that one doesn’t actually deserve what they have, despite earning it.

She’s counseled friends and family throughout the years on how to talk about their accomplishments and accept credit for a job well done. Moral of the story? Most women — regardless of age, field, position, etc. — struggle with self-doubt. Janet encouraged Cboe’s associates to support each other and have a little faith in what they’ve done and what they can accomplish.

The fireside chat left Cboe associates feeling empowered and — per Janet’s advice — ready to tell their colleagues, “I’ve got your back.” 

What Does Equality Look Like to You?

This March, to celebrate Women’s History Month and support the International Women’s Day theme — we’re asking women at Cboe one question: “What does equality look like to you?” Though no two answers are the same, they all make one thing clear: everyone has a role to play in creating an equal world and workplace. Follow #CboeWomen on social media for more insights from our community all month long.

Janet Froetscher

Janet has been a member of the Cboe Global Markets board of directors for over a decade. She is President of the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation. Here’s what she has to say:

“Equality to me means an equal opportunity for women to realize their dreams. Not just an equal chance for a job but an equal chance to succeed at it. To be equally able to be successful, women need to feel confident they can succeed at the job with equal experience and skills to men. They need to be listened to, believed in when they have equal experience and skills, and given an equal opportunity to prove themselves.”

Jill R. Goodman

Jill has been a member of the Cboe Global Markets board of directors since 2012. She is Managing Director of Foros. Here’s what she has to say:

“Equality in the workplace: transparent, rational application of rules and discretion to reach an unbiased result, where the result also passes a common sense test.”

Lisa Shemie

Lisa is Associate General Counsel at Cboe and Chair of Cboe’s Women’s Initiative — a new effort led by Cboe women to help promote equality in the workplace through a variety of avenues. Here’s what she has to say:

“To me, equality means having the support that one needs to achieve a given goal, and recognizing that different people may need different kinds of support. I am hopeful that the Cboe Women’s Initiative will continue to harness the energy and ideas of its fabulous women and allies to promote thoughtful equality throughout the company and the broader industry.”