Women & Business Profile: Elizabeth MacDougall

“I am an empathetic listener, which helps build trust, a key aspect of any ongoing relationship.”

Wb ElizabethmacdougalVice President, Financial Advisor
MacDougall Financial Consulting 

Elizabeth MacDougall says she made the best decision of her career when she quit a job in private equity to join her father at MacDougall Financial Counseling.

“Before quitting, several people warned me of the dangers of leaving and never finding a job in the industry again,” MacDougall remembers. “It was a very transactional business, and the quick turnover of private equity was a poor fit for me,”

MacDougall Financial Counseling provides financial, estate, tax and trustee services to families across the country. MacDougall is the company’s vice president and works as a financial advisor. Her father is the company’s president.

MacDougall plays a crucial role in developing and managing the company’s relationships with clients. “Finances are often stressful, and our relationship with money is rarely discussed,” she says. “By encouraging reflection and offering support, I help people reconcile with their underlying emotions associated with money to create better long-term investment outcomes. I am an empathetic listener, which helps build trust, a key aspect of any ongoing relationship.”

MacDougall is also passionate about providing financial education to young people. In addition to giving her own lectures, she works with organizations that fill in the information gaps left behind by the public school system.

She also has been involved with the Children’s Institute for several years and supports women’s education and economic advancement through a family foundation. The connection to the nonprofit organization goes back more than a century: In 1902, her ancestor, Mary Irwin Laughlin, founded the Children’s Institute.

The best advice she’s ever received is to stop looking for the “perfect” job. “A job is a part of what you do, but you can also do things outside of work that fulfill your dreams or goals. Find passions outside of work that incorporate other interests and find a job that allows the flexibility for these passions,” MacDougall says.

What’s MacDougall’s advice to other women in business? “Try to connect with at least two new people a year: one person you can teach something to and one person you can learn something from,” she says. “Listen to others and listen to feedback. Criticism is difficult to hear but spending the time to incorporate it into your life, both personally and professionally, will significantly impact your life.

For more than 10 years, Pittsburgh Magazine has spotlighted exceptional businesswomen within our pages and at quarterly networking events. Join us for a vibrant conversation with our four inspiring honorees and a keynote speaker at our Women & Business Awards.

Our next in-person event:

When: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 22, 2023
Where: National Aviary
Ticket Price: $40 with $20 benefitting The Children’s Institute
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