Please share a WIPN-inspired story that influenced your professional career. At a local WIPN event in Nashville, a representative from Invesco led a presentation on TEAM Dynamics and managing the “personality DNA” of your team members. Hearing this information brought into focus a critical element to successful team-building – the importance of putting the right people in the right roles on the team and learning how to really collaborate with each other by using each individual’s style of communication. This is a critical element of effective teams, and I have used the theories learned in that presentation many times.
What changes do you hope to see for women in the retirement industry in the next 5 – 10 years? I’m really encouraged to see a steady increase in opportunities for women to engage in decision-making at the highest levels of our industry. For years, women in the retirement and financial services landscape were woefully underrepresented. Fortunately, there has been a much-needed shift in corporate culture that recognizes the value of women in thought leadership. More and more women are being put in leadership roles … and I am completely here for it!
How important is it for you to be a role model for the upcoming generations of women in the retirement industry? Many women (like myself) find themselves in the retirement plan sector not intentionally but by a series of job opportunities that led them to where they are now. There was no specific college degree in “retirement plans.” We learned by doing, and in many cases the pathways to learning in the retirement space were limited to administrative roles. I think it is vitally important for the women today – particularly those in leadership roles – to forge the way for those who will come behind us by showing them what is possible.
Is WIPN a force for change? WIPN has been at the forefront of increasing the awareness of the inadequate representation of women in the financial services industry. Their initiatives to help women strengthen their knowledge and networking opportunities and to advocate for more women in decision-making positions have proven invaluable in advancing opportunities and creating new pathways for growth within the industry.
My favorite quote is …“Sometimes a Goliath will be placed in your life for you to find the David within you.” I’m not a big believer in spending a lot of time and energy wondering why things happen the way they do. I would rather figure out what they are trying to teach me. Sometimes our “David” is lying just below the surface, just waiting for the “Goliath” to show up to reveal what we are capable of.
What changes do you hope to see for women in the retirement industry in the next 5 – 10 years? Increasingly flexible work environments became more common during COVID and I hope to see this trend continue. I believe an accommodating environment in the workplace will encourage more women to choose a career in the retirement industry as they will have the flexibility to support a family while working to grow their career. Women bring an increased level of empathy, effectiveness, knowledge, and trust to the table, all of which are so important in retirement discussions.
How did you find out about WIPN? My company, OneDigital, is a WIPN sponsor and I was introduced to the group through that relationship. I would describe WIPN as a collaboration of women in the retirement industry who lead from all levels and stages of their careers, encouraging and supporting each other to reach their highest potential while delivering the highest value to those whom we serve. I highly suggest reaching out and getting involved in all of the opportunities that WIPN has to offer. Lean into the webinars and participate in the networking events and discussions. Embrace the opportunity to become a mentee or share your knowledge and experience by mentoring someone else, and create the time in your schedule to meet and engage with as many of the phenomenal women in this group as you can.
Is WIPN a force for change? If so, how? Absolutely. I believe that when women come together with a common mission to support each other, speak up for equality and invite all to the table to share their ideas and visions, the possibilities of what we can achieve together are endless. We strive to be a voice for all women and celebrate our similarities and our differences as we navigate the changing retirement landscape.
Prior to joining WIPN — how difficult was it to find mentoring opportunities in the retirement industry? I looked for mentoring guidance for several years but found few opportunities available. I joined WIPN in part due to the mentoring program and I have been thrilled with and grateful for the chance to receive guidance and support from an accomplished and professional mentor in a judgement-free environment. As a member of WIPN I have experienced not only the mentorship program but also the informative webinars and networking events, and I have made lasting connections with some truly inspirational and remarkable women in the retirement space.
My favorite quote is … This is a hard question because there are so many powerful quotes that speak to me. But the quote I have most recently been reflecting on is, “Get Used to Different.” This quote comes from the TV and book series The Chosen and it resonates with me in much the same way that WIPN’s “Changing the Rules!” does. Both serve as a reminder to question the status quo, even when it may be uncomfortable to do so, and to lean into and explore the great possibilities that exist from living with open heart, eyes and mind.
What changes do you hope to see for women in the retirement industry in the next 5 – 10 years? I’d like to see more flexibility in work schedules for women and further progress towards narrowing the wage gap. I’d like to see an increase in the percentage of women in the profession as well as more women in leadership and advisor roles in the future.
How did you discover WIPN? I found out about WIPN two years ago from one of our members. I knew after the first meeting that it was a group that I wanted to be a part of. Joining WIPN has been one of the best decisions I’ve made and I’ve met many amazing women with many varied backgrounds. Each one has been an inspiration!
How important is it for you to be a role model for the upcoming generations of women in the retirement industry? It’s important for me to be a role model for other women in the industry. I like to be available to share my past experiences in hopes that doing so may inspire and motivate other women. I’ve met women from all different career backgrounds working in the retirement industry today. I think this is great as it brings more diversity to the profession.
Is WIPN a force for change? WIPN is absolutely a force for change! This group of professional women can accomplish a lot. We are strong, intelligent, and motivated!
My favorite quote is … “I always believed that one woman’s success can only help another woman’s success,” Gloria Vanderbilt. To me, this is so inspirational!