Michelle Pullen, AIF®
National Account Manager at Capital Group
How did you learn about WIPN?
I first heard about WIPN when a mentor of mine at Capital Group, Rochelle Rodriguez, suggested that I join. She knew how involved I was with the networking and mentorship opportunities at Capital Group and she thought it would be a good idea to expand my exposure to the industry. WIPN provides great virtual networking opportunities for women in the industry to connect such as Zoom trainings, mentorship groups, conferences and digital newsletters. When travel picks up again, I look forward to attending in-person events!
How would you describe WIPN to your peers?
I would describe WIPN using two words: development and mentorship. WIPN has provided me with opportunities to attend webinars and trainings with inspirational speakers to develop both personally and professionally. I have also met some amazing women who have helped me discuss my career from an outside perspective. They have encouraged me to think differently about how to negotiate for myself and to prioritize what is most important to me. This has resulted in raises and promotions since becoming a member.
How has the WIPN mentor program has helped you?
The mentorship program has added another layer of support in addition to my managers and mentors within Capital Group. For instance, my mentorship group “Sales Influencers” frequently discusses goal setting and self-promotion. We go beyond numerical goals and focus on how to communicate your impact to managers. Skills like these have enhanced my conversations with managers and advocates at Capital, impacting my promotion from internal to external sales force member by giving me the confidence to negotiate for myself and ask for more responsibilities. Knowing that there is a group of women who have your back can give you the self-assurance to reach for opportunities that might have otherwise seemed impossible.
How do you see WIPN affecting positive change in your career?
The ability to network has been the most impactful part of WIPN for me. Connecting with like-minded women not only provides camaraderie, but also candid conversations about the future of the retirement industry and our role in it as women. Recent conversations with fellow WIPN members have ranged from how to have candid salary discussions with managers to ideas about staying connected with clients during the work from home environment.
With your new role at Capital Group, do you see yourself continuing to participate in WIPN?
I anticipate that my new role will allow me more opportunities to engage with WIPN. For one, the ability to travel (when safe) will hopefully lead to attendance at more in-person events. Also, experiencing how WIPN has helped my professional development, I look forward to giving back to other members through continued interaction with the mentorship groups and WIPN leadership.
Any other thoughts you would like to add?
My parting advice would be that women should reach out to each other for mentorship, development, and networking opportunities. Joining industry groups like WIPN, as well as any in-house groups within your organizations, will help you grow personally and professionally by pushing you outside of your comfort zone and enabling you to reach for the best possible version of yourself.