How did you know that a career in the financial services retirement industry was right for you?
As a very young person, I was fascinated by the financial decisions made by those around me. I was interested in how two different households from the same socio-economic status would spend versus save at different levels. Financial considerations are so unique from person-to-person and business-to-business. The behaviors that result from our diverse needs and experiences intrigue me still. That interest, coupled with my penchant for saving, (I started my 401(k) when I was 19-years old) make me a textbook candidate for retirement services. I’m proud to work in an industry aimed at helping Americans save for a dignified retirement.
What changes do you hope to see for women in the retirement industry in the next 5 – 10 years?
I hope that women enjoy increasing representation in stakeholder roles with the opportunity to influence important business and industry decisions. And then I hope women celebrate their success by championing other underrepresented groups in all business and industry.
Please share a WIPN-inspired story that influenced your professional career.
My path to leadership was entirely influenced by supportive women peers. I will never forget the welcome, praise and comradery I received from women colleagues when I returned to the retirement industry after several years home with my children. My associates – women in particular – were so grateful for the research and answers I provided to support their business decisions. With a fresh eye on the business, they allowed me to naturally shape the role we played in our organization with clients and with partners. Ultimately, I went “from buddy to boss” as I took the leap into leadership, largely as a result of their encouragement. Women supporting women will forever be my favorite dynamic.
How did you discover WIPN and how would you describe WIPN to a colleague?
A Product Manager at my firm, whom I admire very much, encouraged me to join WIPN before we attended the NAPA 401(k) Summit in Las Vegas in 2019. I’ve been all-in ever since! I joke that, not only did WIPN have the lanyards with the most bling at the conference, they hosted an incredible speaker, Dr. Ben Sorensen. I recall looking at his listed education and credentials with awe and being even more moved by his speech.
When promoting WIPN in my firm, I tell colleagues that WIPN is a forum that connects. We connect through shared experiences, like barriers to success. We connect through shared goals, like work-life balance and fair compensation. We connect through intentional woman-to-woman relationship building — from virtual coffee talks to planning our local chapter events. Humans are wired for connection, and WIPN is a forum that connects.
How important is it for you to be a role model for the upcoming generations of women in the retirement industry?
To echo the sentiment other ladies shared at a recent WIPN National Webinar, I spent the first part of my career adamant that if I did a good job, my work would speak for itself. I know better now. It was exciting and humbling to realize that the shadow I cast as a woman leading others in the retirement industry, gives me the power to influence future women professionals. That’s incredibly important to me. It’s an honor and privilege to engage in WIPN and other industry committees – to have thoughtful conversations about best practices in the way to conduct business together – to drive workplace cultures with a values-based approach – and to support and encourage one another so very intentionally that it becomes routine.
Any other thoughts you would like to add?
I’m lucky to have an opportunity to express my appreciation for all of my fellow WIPN members! You inspire me with your hard work, mentorship and vulnerability. Thank you all for your leadership!