Member Spotlight, Sponsors

WIPN Q4 Sponsor Member Spotlight

Jennifer Mulrooney, AIF®

Vice President, Regional Retirement Consultant at American Century Investments

When did you know that a career in the financial services industry was for you?
I am going to date myself with this answer, but here it goes…  Growing up, my siblings and I were encouraged (or I should say required) to save 20% of any money earned or received.  When I finally accumulated $1000, my father took me to the bank to purchase a CD.  At that time, the rate for a 3-month CD was somewhere around 9%.  My father just expected a quick trip to purchase the CD but it turned into a long conversation about how CDs work and where he thought rates were going and if I should go with a longer-term CD.  At that moment, my dad said, “I know what this kid is going to do when she grows up.”  I didn’t realize it at that moment but my interest in investing started at a young age.

What’s the value of offering WIPN to your colleagues? Can men be advocates for WIPN?
I think WIPN can provide value to all women in our industry.  We have fantastic programming, mentoring circles, networking events and a great group of members who stand ready to help and support each other. I believe we need the support of men to accomplish our goals. There were no women Congress members voting to pass the 19th amendment (guaranteeing women the right to vote).  We need men advocating for women when there are no women in the room to advocate for themselves. Achieving diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the financial services industry will happen sooner if everyone is involved.

How important is it for you to be a role model for the upcoming generations of women in the financial services retirement industry?
Although the financial services industry has made great strides in hiring women and diverse talent, I believe there are roles women don’t pursue as often as men.  When I was new to the industry, I didn’t see very many women in a sales role. Frankly, the percentage of women in sales roles is still low as compared to the total number of women in our industry. I want the upcoming generation of women in our industry to see that you can be in a sales role and still be a mom, wife, volunteer and pursue your passions.

How do you see WIPN affecting positive change in the industry?
I believe now, more than ever, our industry is looking at WIPN to help affect positive change.  Many firms and organizations are utilizing WIPN’s resources to:

Find diverse talent.
Mentor the young women joining their organization.
Learn from our proprietary research.
Ensure women feel a sense of belonging in our industry.

You’re stepping down as Head of Marketing to become WIPN’s President-Elect in 2022 – What’s your vision for WIPN in 2022?
First and foremost, I want to thank the outstanding marketing committee for their hard work and dedication over the past 2 years. Our rebranding initiative was a success because of this group of strong women and the team at Princeton Marketing. These women generously gave of their own time to help our organization grow and evolve. I am excited to see what the new Marketing Chair – the very creative Christina Tunison, will do to further advance WIPN’s social media presence.

I am really excited about working with WIPN’s Board for 2022 and alongside Lisa Smith. Selfishly, I am really hoping we will have more opportunities to get together in person next year.  In 2022, I’d like to see WIPN:

Continue to grow our membership by bringing WIPN to prospective members at our amazing chapter events and (hopefully) national events.
Continue to share our knowledge and experience with the industry through our 2022 proprietary research.
Continue to grow our group of valued sponsors by acting as an extension of their in-house gender diversity efforts.
Bring networking to the sponsor level by creating a network of DE&I leaders from our sponsor members where they can share ideas and learn from each other.

Any other thoughts you would like to add?
When I look back at pivotal points of my career, I remember having a mentor or leader who advocated for me and guided me. I feel very fortunate for having this experience and want to ensure that all women in our industry have the same opportunity.