Lindsey Dickman, ChFC (she/her)
Senior Vice President
Escalent, Home of Cogent and Javelin
Is WIPN a force for change? Absolutely! Force is a great word for it – WIPN brings strength in numbers and strength with its inclusivity and strength with — well…strength. This is an impressive group. I most recently witnessed this when it came time to share WIPN: The Story of Us research results. We had been partnering together to craft the story for some time, but as soon as it was packaged and ready I saw the results sweep across industry outlets. I see it as inarguable that WIPN has an important message to share, but when you combine that with members’ connections and dedication it’s clear WIPN has high capacity to have lasting positive impact.
How important is it for you to be a role model for the upcoming generations of women in the retirement industry? Influence and networking effects are key to creating change. While I don’t want to undersell the impact any one person can have — and, in fact, I think WIPN programming does a particularly good job of highlighting the power of each individual — there is value in allowing upcoming generations to continue a path rather than start at the beginning. I’ve certainly benefitted from previous generations knocking down barriers for me. While it’s not my philosophy that being a role model is a broad requirement (e.g., I’ll debate you on whether athletes should be held to a role model standard), I do believe it’s an implied responsibility as a member of WIPN. It’s not an unwelcome one, though – there’s an earnestness in members that makes you want to be at your best!
How did you find out about WIPN? I’ll admit to a lack of creativity when it came to seeking networking opportunities. I won’t say it was hard but rather that I didn’t pursue an improved version. It was eye-opening to experience such warmth, like mindedness, and transparent support with WIPN. Previously I saw the ‘guarded dance’ of other networking experiences as the available option. Many thanks to Holly Donovan for introducing me to Atlanta-based WIPs, which later converted to a chapter of WIPN through the work of Sara Lowery, my Atlanta co-chair, and Muriel Holmes.
My favorite quote is… Well, that is hard to pick! I have a book I’ve been maintaining since middle school that captures great quotes. It’s well-worn now but always interesting to see how my perception of meaningful ideas has changed over time. I’ll pick one that I have hanging by my desk: “Do it full out, with great conviction.” -Susan Stroman, Theater Direction and Choreographer. It’s a good reminder to be bold.
Alice Tang ChFC®, MIM
Partner & Vice President
BPG Wealth Management
What changes do you hope to see for women in the retirement industry in the next 5 -10 years? I’d like to see the percentage and the number of women in the profession grow, in both recruitment and those holding a significant role in their company. My vision is to help build a happy retirement community, and in order for that to happen, women need to be in charge of their money as they are typically the last person standing. Sometimes it takes a peer to help tell the story of why retirement planning is so important, and women advisors can help tell that story from their perspective.
How did you find out about WIPN? And, how would you describe WIPN to a peer or colleague? I was introduced to WIPN by a member, Ivana Polonijo, who was organizing an event. She invited me to speak, and as I learned more about the organization and the generosity of the membership, I knew it was a great organization to join and support. WIPN is a place for female financial professionals in the retirement industry to receive support and be inspired by one another. Our goal is to propel each other to a level of success that we wouldn’t be able to achieve on our own.
How important is it for you to be a role model for the upcoming generations of women in the retirement industry? It’s very important to role model success for future generations; the financial industry as a whole is a male-dominated industry, yet it is very suited for women as they are natural relationship builders and tend to take more time to assess a situation before giving advice; this a consultative approach. They may need more flexibility of time and place as they consider raising a family and are able to see the impact they make on a daily basis for their clients. The sky is the limit for those who are strategic, disciplined, and focused, but we all know that it’s sometimes hard to do something if you haven’t seen someone do it before. That’s why highlighting the success of women across the industry, just like we do with our new Vice President, women astronauts and engineers, is so important. It helps open doors and inspires others to see their future in ways they had not considered before.
How do you see WIPN affecting positive change in your career? Can you share a WIPN-inspired story? The WIPN members have been so generous with their time and connections that I’ve been able to build new relationships and turn those into future speaking opportunities, which wouldn’t have been possible without those key introductions and connections.
My favorite quote is … from author Bob Burg, “People will do business with and refer business to those people they know, like and trust.” I trust that strong, deep relationships are the biggest attribute for each of us to get to the next level, creating a successful and rewarding career and life. That’s why I do what I do, sharing insights to help individuals nurture their relationships to build the future they desire.
Vice President, Client Services
What changes do you hope to see for women in the retirement industry in the next 5 -10 years? I hope to see more diversity in leadership and advisor roles in the future. This includes more women in those seats. Groups like WiPN are helping to move this forward, but there is still a lot of work to be done in this regard.
I love the retirement industry because … I am given the opportunity every day to help others. In my role, I am supporting and educating Plan Sponsors to be able to offer this important benefit to their employees. I can’t think of a more impactful way of changing someone’s life other than helping them plan and save for their future.
How would you describe WIPN to a peer or colleague? A group of strong, successful women that come together to build relationships, share resources, and develop themselves personally and professionally.
How important is it for you to be a role model for the upcoming generations of women in the retirement industry? My passion is helping other women succeed in the retirement industry. Aside from WIPN, I am heavily involved in the Ascensus Women’s Network, and have several mentor relationships. I hope to share tools to build confidence, open doors through sponsorship and share my experience as a working mom trying to balance caring for children and growing my career.
How do you see WIPN affecting positive change in your career? Can you share a WIPN-inspired story? I have spent my entire professional career at Ascensus. In my performance conversations, I received feedback that I needed to better understand industry trends and connect with contacts outside of Ascensus. This is tough to do if you don’t have previous employers and colleagues to lean on. WIPN gives me the opportunity to meet women in all parts of our industry. My most memorable WIPN experience was being asked to sit on a panel to discuss my career. I participated with two senior leaders from other organizations. It was fun to be able to speak about my current experiences of moving through the ranks, vs. someone that has already made it. As an introvert, this was terrifying, but I am happy that I had the opportunity.
My favorite quote is … “Be the woman who fixes another woman’s crown without telling the world it is crooked.” I love this quote because it embodies the purpose of WIPN. It is about women supporting each other to enjoy collective success. The culture of women competing with each other has to change.