The idea of...
Women In Listed Derivatives (WILD) was conceived around an annual dinner table at the Futures Industry Association’s (FIA) Boca conference. The FIA Boca conference would bring together a global group of professionals in the listed derivatives space in Boca Raton and WILD co-Founder Leslie Sutphen looked around the room and noticed how few women there were. She organized what became a regular off campus dinner where women shared stories, laughed, and supported each other.
WILD expanded into an early version of what it is today in 2009. Co-Founder Jessica Darmoni organized a lunch for a group of her female friends in the derivatives industry. The group of emerging women had the same questions, all looking for mentors and wanting to establish relationships for educational and professional purposes.
Leslie and Jessica teamed up to organize the first official WILD gathering during the FIA’s annual Expo conference in October 2009 at the iconic Ceres Cafe in the Chicago Board of Trade building. The group of about 30 emerging and established women in the listed derivatives space took up a long table. It was surrounded by booths filled with their male counterparts eating breakfast before the markets’ open. It was a WILD sight!
WILD was built to provide mentoring services, educational resources and networking events. A personal goal of the co-Founders was to have a community of like-minded women around the world to build global business relationships as well as someone to go to coffee with in a foreign city on a work trip.
The community has grown into something that neither of our co-Founders could have imagined. The organization has a life of its own, with many other women stepping up to lead WILD to new efforts to support women in the derivatives industry as well as enable younger women to enter the space.