An advocate for pay equity, Jeff Swartz understands that it's not just a women's issue, it's a moral imperative. Jeff works diligently at Morgan Stanley and at leading women's organizations to help women succeed.
An advocate for pay equity for well over a decade, it’s not surprising that Jeff, New England U.S. Private Wealth Management Regional Manager & Boston Complex Manager, was recognized for his efforts. “The gender wage gap requires all hands on deck,” says Jeff. “Men need to be at the table, involved in the discussion and part of the solution. It’s the current generation of leadership that will take responsibility and affect change.”
Jeff first got involved in championing pay equity when he became a member of the Boston Women’s Workforce Council, which works with businesses in the Greater Boston area, including Morgan Stanley, to close the gender based pay gaps, remove the visible and invisible barriers to women’s advancement, and help ensure that 100% of the talent pool is used to make Boston the best area in the country for working women. This public-private partnership between Mayor Martin Walsh and the greater Boston business community has trained thousands of women in salary negotiation.
Jeff recalls how fellow Council member and Chair, Evelyn Murphy, former Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, approached him years ago for help with financial seminars for college-aged women. “I was skeptical at first about the depth of the issue, but then began to look at the data,” Jeff admits. “There’s no question about the lack of fairness that exists when it comes to pay based on gender.”
Today, Jeff serves on the advisory board of another leading women’s organization in Boston, The Commonwealth Institute (TCI), and continues to work with the mayor’s office to train an additional 72,000 women by 2021. Morgan Stanley, where Jeff has spent his entire career, supports the initiative financially, by its signing of the 100% Talent Compact and through its women employees who donate their time to moderate and deliver the program’s training.
“For me personally, fixing the pay gap is a moral imperative,” Jeff says. “It’s just simply wrong. It was important to begin to affect change in my own little way in my community.”
Jeff started his career at Morgan Stanley as a Financial Advisor in 1990 then worked his way through the leadership development program, managing an office in Ohio and later becoming a Regional Manager in Chicago. He spent five years in New York as the Director of Strategy and Chief Operating Officer, National Sales for Wealth Management, before heading back to Boston in 2006 for his current manager position.
“What I love about the job is being in a position to help people,” says Jeff. “That manifests itself in many ways, from helping Financial Advisors assist clients to giving back to the community.” Out of his office alone, he says Morgan Stanley supports 100 different charitable organizations.
Jeff’s always had influential women in his life, pointing to his working mother and an aunt who, while not college educated, started and ran a travel business that was recognized as one of the top 100 women-owned businesses in Boston for several years. “I have seen strong women be successful, and now as a father with two daughters, it’s important for me to instill a sense of self-confidence in them.” he says.
Jeff, whose daughter and son are in college and his younger daughter in high school, imparts the importance of hard work and kindness. “That’s probably my biggest message for them,” he says. As a trustee at Hebrew Senior Life and board director of Jewish Family Services of Metrowest, Jeff involved his wife and children at a young age in a program called Family Table, delivering meals to those in need. “My giving is focused on social justice and those who are vulnerable,” Jeff says. “Hopefully the things we did as a family were impressionable and taught the kids the importance of helping others.”
For Jeff, education has also been a priority that his father, an inner-city high school principal, passed on to Jeff, his brother David and sister Debbie during their “happy and good upbringing” just outside Boston. David is also a Managing Director and Complex Manager at Morgan Stanley, and Debbie followed in dad’s footsteps working as a teacher in the Boston public schools.
Ultimately, Jeff is optimistic that the gender pay inequity will be resolved. “I believe the younger generation now entering the workforce doesn’t have the same stigmas or biases, particularly around women and pay. However, the current workforce owns the issue and needs to promote change.”
Proud to have been named a male MAKER, Jeff advises all to become knowledgeable on the issue of pay equity, then to get involved in their own way, ideally as a mentor to women. “For me, it’s helped shape who I am as a leader.”