“When we invest in women and girls, we are investing in the people who invest in everyone else” Melinda Gates
Over the past month Bridget and I have been asked to do a number of interviews relating to Equita, and discuss what we are offering and the benefits of the platform. One question we recently were asked was why now? The short answer is – we were tired of waiting. There are many other firms and initiatives in the industry targeted towards supporting women, but we wanted action now and Equita gives us a way to connect with other females planners today and for us to have a voice in an industry where we often feel that our words are dismissed.
FA Magazine recently published an article titled, “Want More Women Advisors?” and the writer asked advisors around the country to list what needs to be done to increase the number of women financial advisors. Reading the responses summarized in the article brought me back to remembering why I started my firm, Method Financial Planning, 3 years ago, what I needed and how I found it:
When my first son was born I was a new mom trying to succeed in a very demanding job and figure out the mom thing at the same time. My husband and I both had long commutes and demanding jobs and with no family local to the area we decided to hire a nanny to look after our son. A few months into my transition back to work our nanny got sick so my husband and I tried the best we could to cover work and childcare for the next few days until our nanny was well.
One morning after I returned to the office I was told that I needed to find a contingency plan for childcare if my nanny couldn’t make and it couldn’t be me.
I tell this story not to say, he (my boss) was wrong or how dare someone say that to me. I am telling the story instead because I know that I am not the only person who has had this situation and I want to help change the way the industry deals with this type of issue. I needed flexibility and to work for a firm that was able to understand my needs as a new mom. Owning my business allows me to both be present as a mom and also present with my business and clients. Yes, I work long days, and early mornings, and late nights and usually on the weekends when the kids are napping, but I love that I can have my career and still be present as a mom.
After graduating from college I spent 10+ years working for firms where I struggled to find my place and someone who I could model my career after. Where were all the women advisors? In my career I never have worked alongside a female financial advisor. Could I still survive in this demanding profession once I had children? Most of the men I worked with had wives that stayed at home when they had children. Where could I go to find someone who would understand where I wanted to go with my career? I joined networking groups and met some amazing women who were very successful in their careers but it was only after years of trying that I finally found a few women advisors that I felt understood me and could help me make some hefty career decisions.
When I finally launched my own practice I still very much appreciated the women I had met, but I needed even more support. I needed to find women that not only were planners but were also business owners.
Enter Equita and the ability connect with other like-minded business owners focused on offering exceptional client service.
No more wasted years trying to find a mentor, we are all gathering together with the mission to change the landscape of the financial services industry.
As a member of Equita I am able to run my business more efficiently, offer better solutions to my clients and continue to grow my firm with the support and collaboration of the other network members. Equita is about more than just my partner, Bridget Grimes and I. It is about the impact we can all have on an industry that needs to see change.