Member Spotlight

April 2021 Member Spotlight

Lisa Vachalek

Client Portfolio Analyst at American Century Investments

How important is it for you to be a role model for the upcoming generations of women in the retirement industry? Ever since I started my career, I wanted to have the courage to be the tip of the spear. I wanted to contribute to the movement that changed work culture so that women in leadership were ubiquitous rather than something exotic or rare. Now that I’m a mom to a vibrant spitfire of a little girl, I’m resolved to be that spear for her. I want her and all the other young women+ of the world to think only of what it takes to seek out their dreams, without worrying if their gender is a factor.

Is WIPN a force for change? If so, how? There is strength in numbers. WIPN is a force for change in that it brings us together in a way that visibly represents the influence and contributions of women+ in the retirement industry. Individually, we may not feel we can affect much change, especially if role models are few. But together we can learn from one another and help each other up. And WiPN gives us the space to make those connections.

Prior to joining WIPN — how difficult (or easy) was it to find networking and/or mentoring opportunities in the retirement industry? I came from a social media marketing background, so I had access to industry networks. Yet even then it seemed difficult to “break in”—to get the opportunity to know women+ in industry outside of formal work interactions. Being active in WiPN made networking organic; working alongside someone towards a common goal is one of the fastest ways to get to know them.

I love the retirement industry because …  it has a tangible effect on everyone’s lives. Hardworking people have dreams, and this industry helps them learn, plan, save and seek out those dreams. There’s a great sense of community in that.

My favorite quote is “We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change.” Sheryl Sandberg

This is my favorite quote because it’s a graceful call to action. It acknowledges we’re all a work of progress, but it also doesn’t let us make excuses or be bystanders when our eyes open to see the need for change.

Lisa Vachalek

Rebecca Hourihan, AIF® PPC™

Chief Marketing Officer at 401(k) Marketing

What changes do you hope to see for women in the retirement industry in the next 5-10 years?
I would like to see women continue to break down barriers and create change in our industry. I think we’ve made a lot of progress, but we are still very much in a male-dominated industry (which I might add, we have a great group of gentlemen in this industry!). I want to see women given the same opportunity for career advancements as quickly and frequently as men have them. I think women need more support and resources to make these career advancements. Whether it is sending women advisors to more conferences, making study groups available to them, and continuing to create more women-centric industry awards (a great example is the NAPA Top Women Advisors).

How important is it for you to be a role model for the upcoming generations of women in the retirement industry?
If you’ve seen me at a conference, you’ve probably seen the 401(k) Marketing team as well. I happen to have a team of all women. As their boss or ‘leader’, I know that I want to be the leader that supports them and builds them up so we can all excel as a unit. I view it the same for the women in this industry. We all need to be role models and support for upcoming generations.

How do you see WIPN affecting positive change in your career?
I’ve been able to be connected with more influential women in this industry as well as cross-introduce women who inspire me as well.

Is WIPN a force for change?
WiPN unites inspiring women and shares information that might not be discussed in your typical conference room. This helps all women level the playing field and because of the comradery inspired through WIPN, it’s a comfortable environment to share professional growth stories.

Prior to joining WIPN — how difficult (or easy) was it to find networking and/or mentoring opportunities in the retirement industry?
WIPN is an accessible avenue for women looking to develop and further their careers. It’s a known and trusted organization that aspiring women leaders can come together. Oftentimes, their careers can accelerate because they are better networked in the retirement plan industry.

Rebecca Hourihan

Kathleen Hopkins

Communications Manager at CAPTRUST

What changes do you hope to see for women in the retirement industry in the next 5- 10 years? I hope to see more women involved in the retirement industry and rising to senior leadership ranks.

How did you find out about WIPN? And, how would you describe WIPN to a peer or colleague? I found out about WIPN because my company, CAPTRUST is a national sponsor. I would describe the organization as a meeting place for like-minded women in the retirement industry.

Is WIPN a force for change? If so, how? WIPN is certainly a force for change in the retirement industry by creating a space for women to come together to learn from each other and grow within their careers.

Prior to joining WIPN — how difficult (or easy) was it to find networking and/or mentoring opportunities in the retirement industry? Especially during COVID-19, finding any networking opportunities has been difficult. WIPN has introduced me to a whole new network of fantastic women throughout the industry who are eager to teach and mentor.

My favorite quote isEverything happens for a reason – it helps me to keep perspective that there is a bigger picture.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.