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Since it was founded in 1897, the YWCA Metro Vancouver has been a tireless advocate of women’s equality. The non-profit is dedicated to helping build better futures for women and their families with programs and services aimed at allowing them to gain economic independence and wellness through education, employment and leadership opportunities. I couldn’t imagine an organization lining up more perfectly with my values, not just as a woman in a historically male-dominated field but also as a mother, mentor and advocate for young women in finance. That’s why I was so touched when I was nominated for the YWCA’s Women of Distinction Award.

The nomination also means I’m eligible for the Connecting Community Award, which entails choosing a YWCA cause to support. The winner of the award is determined by the public’s votes and receives $10,000 that is donated directly to her YWCA cause. I chose to support the prevention of violence against women because it speaks to me on so many levels.

Long before my role as First Vice-President and Portfolio Manager of The Wong Group at CIBC Wood Gundy, I worked on the trading floor of an award-winning investment firm, which was connected to the World Trade Center in New York City. My second day was September 11, 2001. I ran from the building and watched as the twin towers crumbled. It was an event that was seared into my heart and mind and it has shaped who I am today and defined my purpose. As a Vancouver Investment Advisor, I help others move towards a deeply rooted state of financial strength and safety. Through calculated, smart risks, my clients can gain freedom and security.

This philosophy carries over into the rest of my life as well because more than an entrepreneur, I’m a mother first. I believe that safety begins at home within the family. I want to help women and children escape abuse and find safety. This creates stronger, healthier families, communities and a world at large. It also gives women a chance to start fresh and make an impact. I created and fund a UBC scholarship for women in finance and I’ve founded a number of events and initiatives to foster thought leadership and empower women. This has helped me see what women are capable of when presented with opportunity and the necessary tools. The YWCA has these tools. The organization raises awareness and provides supports for survivors of abuse and offers them programs and education to rebuild their confidence and gain independence.

I’m in the unique position to further my mission of supporting women and their families. I believe the women who could be helped by the prize money will flourish once they have the security of a safe haven. Your vote counts! Support the prevention of violence against women by voting for me with one click. Together, we’ll help women and their children find the safety they deserve.

Maili Wong

About Maili Wong

Maili Wong is an author, a leading Canadian investment advisor and licensed portfolio manager whose fresh, modern approach to investing for her high-net-worth clients sets her apart from others in her field. Her first book Smart Risk shares per personal story of resilience as well as lessons learned and secrets gleaned in her 15 years of international investing experience.