Antonia Corrales, MBA, CRPS®, CIMA® (She/Her)
Investment Specialist at John Hancock Investment Management
How do you see WIPN affecting positive change in your career? WIPN has opened my eyes to other areas within the retirement industry that I may have overlooked at one point. Connecting with women in different positions at different firms has helped me feel as though career opportunities are endless. The pandemic has impacted the ease in which we make connections and having a steady network of hard working, fun women makes me feel as though I am not alone. I was very lucky in finding my way to the Diversity committee within WIPN. Rosalyn Brown, WIPN’s DE&I Chair has been a source of guidance and mentorship. She helped me through a recent career transition and was generous with her time and advice!
How important is it for you to be a role model for the upcoming generations of women in the retirement industry? This is probably the most important thing for me when it comes to thinking about my professional career. My goal is to become the type of person that I would look up to. Coming from a diverse background, I want to make sure that women feel empowered by my journey, and I work hard to make that journey unique. I strongly believe that there is no linear path to success and right now, I look at each role as a building block to that success.
Prior to joining WIPN — how difficult was it to find networking and/or mentoring opportunities in the retirement industry? I do not think there is a better place for networking within the retirement industry outside of WIPN!! I think it brings such a great group of females together and we have the full support of some of the leaders within the industry. I would recommend it for anyone either considering entering the retirement industry or are looking for inspiration on where to go next professionally.
My favorite quote is … It has been expressed in many different ways but I really like the expression that says, “work so hard that you create your own luck.” I would just add to surround yourself with the right people while doing so. The reason why I think this is a good one is that there is no substitute for hard work. That is the one thing that we have full control over. The reason why I add the line to surround yourself with the right people is if you are around the wrong group of people your hard work may go unnoticed. In my short career, I have always had the support of my direct reports, and that, coupled with hard work, has opened the door for many opportunities.
Financial Advisor at Cetera Advisors, LLC
How did you find out about WIPN? I learned about WIPN this past summer and knew I wanted to join right away. WIPN came across my Instagram feed and it wasn’t the usual kind of post I see. I typically curate my social media to not involve my work. I have described WIPN to colleagues as a networking group that works for you. For example, within a month of joining I was able to learn about compensation research WIPN has conducted that helped me feel justified and supported in raising my own prices. Previously I had struggled to find definitive answers on what other professionals in my area were being paid for their same services. I’m also very excited about our diversity and inclusion program, and the opportunity to help increase diversity among the next generation of financial advisors and retirement professionals.
What changes do you hope to see for women in the retirement industry in the next 5 years? In the next five years I hope to see dramatic increases in the number of women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community working in the retirement industry, and hopefully as financial advisors like myself. I also hope the compensation research WIPN provides can help close the pay gap for women, people of color, and especially women of color, given how much additional disparity they are known to face.
Prior to joining WIPN — how difficult was it to find networking and/or mentoring opportunities in the retirement industry? Prior to joining WIPN, I did not like networking. I’m introverted by nature and hate having to sell myself in the way networking makes me feel I’m doing. Going to my first WIPN meeting was a surprise. I actually enjoyed myself and didn’t feel like I was making a sales pitch the entire time. WIPN is also the first organization I’ve joined that has a formal mentorship program. I’m hoping to match with a mentor myself next year.
My favorite quote is … “Our mistakes make us who we are.” I think it rings truer than many other, more famous quotes I’ve heard. If you went back in time 20 years and told me about my life today, I would have laughed at you. I didn’t have a good childhood and any number of different choices could have led me down a very different path. I’m grateful for mistakes because they give me the skills and knowledge to earn greater successes which led me to where I am now.
Sruthi Mylavarapu, CFA
Vice President Finance at Newport Trust Company
How did you find out about WIPN? And, how would you describe WIPN to a peer? I found WIPN through an old colleague of mine who encouraged me to join a WIPN event in Washington, D.C where I was attending a conference. I was floored by how friendly and open the group was, and they made me feel instantly at home. I would describe WIPN as a community of talented women who are working hard to support women in the retirement industry.
What changes do you hope to see for women in the retirement industry in the next 5 years? I would love to see more women in leadership positions in the retirement industry — managing organizations and effecting change from within in terms of pay equity as well as building a culture of diversity and inclusion. I would love to see women in the industry supporting and mentoring each other and building strong inclusive networks, and I would love to see the retirement industry becoming a model for other industries. I see WIPN playing a major role in driving this change.
Prior to joining WIPN — how difficult was it to find networking and/or mentoring opportunities in the retirement industry? It was incredibly difficult. WIPN is the only organization I know of that is catered specifically to women in the retirement industry. It is a great resource, and it’s even been educational for me to learn what others in the industry do. I am involved in a number of other organizations that are broader in scope and it is rare to find someone in retirement within those organizations.
My favorite quote is … not exactly a quote but I like to remind myself from time to time that, “how you portray yourself is how others will perceive you.” Like many women, I am wary of self-promotion and coming across as promoting my own agenda. I’ve realized that I have to advocate for myself and be assertive and persistent when needed.