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How to Reduce the Mental Load That Women Carry

In the 2017 viral comic, “The Mental Load: A Feminist Comic,” French illustrator Emma wrote, “When a man expects his partner to ask him to do things, he’s viewing her as the manager of household chores. The problem is that planning and organizing things is already a full-time job. When we ask women to take on this task of organization and at the same time to execute a large portion, in the end it represents 75% of the work.”

Inspired by this relatable comic, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) recently looked into this problem within their own company by surveying 6,500 employees in 14 countries across industries. They found that women often handle time sensitive, daily tasks — like leaving work on time to make dinner for the family and also cleaning up afterward. “This is the daily grind, and women tend to shoulder the primary responsibility for it,” they wrote.

Men, on the other hand, take on the less frequent tasks, which are not as time sensitive and are more easily outsourced, such as finances and yard work. “These men get more time to focus on their careers — to stay late at the office, meet colleagues for drinks or dinner after work, take on stretch assignments, or travel for business — and more time to decompress from the workday.”

BCG gave recommendations on how individuals and companies can fix this problem. “If companies are serious about getting more women into the ranks of leadership,” they said, “they need to address the burden of domestic responsibility and its contribution to the mental load that women carry.”

So, what can companies do?

1. Introduce More Flexible Work Arrangements

This can include allowing remote work or a shift in working hours. Companies can also be more flexible about needs that will inevitably come up, like employees having to leave work early for their child’s concert or their doctor’s appointment.

Thanks to the advent of technology, companies can also use tools like videoconferencing, virtual collaboration devices, telehealth services for parents with sick children, and online networks for employees to share advice about the challenges they face.

2. Place Emphasis on Dual-Career Couples and Promote Role Models

To get rid of the stigma associated with greater participation in domestic and childcare duties, men need to actively take advantage of flexible work programs and share real-life examples and stories about how they balance the mental load at home. Paternity leave is a great example, the BCG authors note.

3. Give More Support to All Working Parents

Companies can boost support by creating a parents’ network for both moms and dads, or offering onsite day care, backup childcare with locations near work, babysitting referral services, eldercare support, financial planners, and wellness providers.

In addition, companies can also go the extra mile to ease the mental load by providing online resources that vet and list popular outsourcing options — housecleaning, laundry, grocery delivery, and personal assistants — and provide discounted corporate rates for those services.

4. Reframe the Public Conversation

Companies can tailor their advertising and consumer messaging to remove problematic, outdated stereotypes. For example, the United Nations launched the Unstereotype Alliance to eradicate all harmful gender-based stereotypes from advertising, such as commercials that show women doing all the housework.

Not only is this helpful for breaking stereotypes, but it’s also good for business. In India, Procter & Gamble launched an ad campaign for its laundry detergent brand Ariel Matic, encouraging dads to help with laundry. The ads were a runaway success, generating a 42% boost in brand awareness and $12.3 million in “earned media coverage” and social media engagement.

Another example: Italian appliance manufacturer Indesit launched a 2017 campaign targeted at encouraging men to help with household chores. In its first three weeks, the campaign brought in more than 30 million views.

Katie Burke and I (Bridget Grimes) both founded our own financial advisory companies, and also co-founded Equita Financial Network together, because we firsthand experienced — and still experience — this mental load. Whether it’s having to go home early from work because your babysitter canceled or having to take an emergency personal call at work, women in finance should not be reprimanded for having to prioritize family.

As the BCG authors note, “If you ask working women with families why they step off the leadership track, it’s often not just because of what happens at the office. Rather, it’s because of the combined effect of their daytime job together with their second job of managing the incessant responsibilities of household and family care: what needs to be done, who needs to be where, how to make it all happen at once.” It’s time for this to change.

To learn more about our network of female financial advisors and our career-building opportunities and events, contact us today.

The Truth About the Pay Gap Between Male and Female Financial Advisors

Do men and women advisors get paid equally for doing the same work?

The working paper, “Examining the Gender Pay Gap Among Financial Professionals: A Blinder-Oaxaca Decomposition,” mentioned in a recent FA magazine article, argues that yes, women get equal pay for equal work.

But we’d like to say that, no, that’s not the case, and that the findings in the study are absolutely incorrect.

“Explainable” reasons

Derek T. Tharp, one of the study’s authors, says that “unequal pay for equal work” is not a major contributor to the gender pay gap among financial planners.

Instead, the study points to “explainable” reasons for the gender pay gap, saying 91 percent is explainable and only 1.8 percent is not.

“Explainable” reasons include job role, experience, team structure, hours worked, revenue produced, professional designation status, marital status, and psychological factors such as degree of motivation by income potential, performance pay, work-life balance, and stable pay.

While this study provides an interesting look at the gender pay gap, reducing the issue to “explainable” reasons is missing the point.

“Statistically significant factors related to income”

The study says that the “statistically significant factors related to income” were experience, role, team structure, work hours, revenue, and psychological motivators.

“Having 20 to 30 years of experience was positive. Being an associate advisor or an executive (both compared with a lead advisor) was a negative. Working in an ensemble firm, when compared to working as a solo advisor with support, was positively associated with income. Higher work hours and higher revenue also led to more income. Being less motivated by work-life balance also led to more income.”

How can you have “20 to 30 years of experience” when there isn’t a solid career re-entry program in place for mothers? How can you be “less motivated by work-life balance” when you’re the one expected to take care of the kids? How can you expect to work more hours and have higher income when you have to manage children, aging parents, and career with an inflexible work culture?

And for the many of us who did work the extra hours at the expense of giving up quality family time, we still face gender discrimination: we’re drastically underpaid compared to our male peers.

The study absolutely misses the point. If women financial planners want to be compensated fairly, they need roles that allow them the flexibility to manage life and career, they need to be paid what they are worth (it’s not happening), and they need to have the female leaders/mentors to help them succeed, which is NOT happening at the traditional male-led firms.

Career path “choice”

The study says men often choose more “variable-compensation-based paths,” while women choose “stable-income/salary-based paths.”

And because women don’t take “variable-compensation-based paths,” that’s why they have unequal pay later down the line. As the study puts it: “The difference in compensation of men and women in the later years may be more a function of that choice about compensation path than unequal pay for genders that choose the same type/path.”

But is this “compensation path” that women end up on — the path to less income — really a choice?

Women advisors are expected to take the stable, salary-based path. The title of this Newsweek article, “Women aren’t risk-averse — society teaches them to be that way, study says,” sums it up perfectly. In our society, women are often told to be risk-averse, while men are told to be daring.

The Newsweek article concludes, “Exploring risk aversion could provide clues as to why men and women sometimes opt for different careers, and why women suffer from a gender pay gap, the authors wrote.”

Yet in the study referenced in FA magazine, one of the authors says, “It’s not clear why men appear somewhat more likely to choose one path and women another, and why men tend to have more years of experience building their client base.”

It’s pretty clear why.

Aspiring women financial advisors

The authors say that this news — that women and men are paid equally for equal work — should be a relief to women wanting to become financial advisors.

“Speaking only for myself, I do hope that these findings may be encouraging to women who may have been discouraged from pursuing a career in financial planning due to the large gender pay gap among financial advisors commonly referenced in the media,” Tharp said. “I can certainly understand why anyone would feel discouraged from entering a profession if they felt that they would not receive equal pay for equal work.”

Another author of the study, Katherine S. Mielitz, also echoed these sentiments. “I was very excited when I first read through our preliminary results. The idea that a gender pay gap does not appear to be a result of unequal pay for equal work is very encouraging. Women are very important to the growth and sustainment of our field. That equal pay for equal work seems to be available should be one of many things that encourages women to seek out this profession.”

But this study’s clinical view of the gender pay gap isn’t something to celebrate, and it isn’t a way to encourage more women to enter the industry. There are still deeper issues our industry needs to address — from the nonexistent recruitment efforts throughout the school years, limited mentorship and sponsorship opportunities, women being excluded from networking opportunities, to the lack of women in leadership roles in finance.

Equita Financial Network

Financial advisors are not robots. Yes, we have careers — but we also have lives, family, emotions, unexpected changes, and everything else.

Both Bridget Grimes and I (Katie Burke) know that the gender pay gap issue can’t be dismissed because of “explainable” reasons,” “statistically significant factors related to income,” and “compensation paths.” It is why we have dedicated our professional lives to empowering female financial planners to create the careers they have always envisioned for themselves — careers in which they feel valued and are appropriately compensated for their vast contributions.

If you want to become an Equita member firm and join a supportive and experienced network of women financial advisors, reach out to us today.

How to Build a Business on Your Own Terms

Throughout our careers, both Katie Burke and I (Bridget Grimes) have dealt with toxic business environments and have faced gender discrimination and ageism. We have heard it all: too aggressive, too ambitious, too idealistic.

And our experiences aren’t unique — they mirror what women across our industry face. At traditionally run, male-dominated financial planning firms, women lack mentors, role models, and opportunities for growth.
These frustrations led both Katie and I to launch our own financial planning practices before we knew each other — Katie’s being Method Financial Planning in Pennsylvania and mine being WealthChoice in California. We found that if we wanted to change the outlook for female financial planners, we had to do it ourselves. The system was broken.

When Katie and I met each other later and found that we had similar values and goals, we created Equita Financial Network, a registered investment advisor (RIA) network for women-led firms, in May 2018. Having celebrated our one-year business anniversary earlier this summer, here are some tips we’ve learned along the way on how to build a business on your own terms.
 

Define your mission

Katie and I founded Equita Financial Network because we wanted to empower women financial planners and change the industry.

When defining our mission, we decided on three main pillars: 1. Offer community, 2. Close the wage gap through our platform, and 3. Enhance the quality of people’s lives. This mission has been our north star as we’ve built our business.
 

Achieve what you want

It can be challenging fighting expectations and creating your own definition of success. But don’t get distracted by other people’s opinions.

As Maren Hogan of Red Branch Media noted in The Muse, everyone will have unsolicited advice: “No one told me just how opinionated others would be about my business. People will come out of the woodwork with what they believe to be sage advice, when they’ve never even been in my shoes. People who have had corporate jobs all their lives will tell you exactly what you should be doing to run your business. Just nod and smile.”

Business goals aren’t the only thing to consider when starting a company. What do you want to achieve personally? Do you want the ability to spend more time with family, travel, work from anywhere? Your personal goals are just as important.
 

Be flexible

While running your own business can be fulfilling and freeing, it can also be unpredictable. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, only about 50 percent of small businesses survive five years or longer.

As Inc.com notes, “Make sure to take some time each week to think about the long-term health of your business. Think about the goals you’ve set and how you’ll get there. Do you need to invest in marketing or employee development and training, for instance? Planning for the future will help ensure that your business is around for a long time.”

Equita Financial Network has created a network for female financial planners to grow and connect, and for clients to get trusted and experienced financial advice. If you’re interested in becoming an Equita member firm or working with one of our firms’ financial advisors, contact us today.

What You Can Do to Retain More Women in Financial Services

With #MeToo and #TimesUp, we’ve made big strides in highlighting and challenging the biases and discrimination women face in all facets of business — but we still have a long way to go. In investment banking, for instance, women account for less than 17 percent of senior leaders; in private equity, 9 percent of senior executives and 18 percent of total employees; and at hedge funds and private debt firms, 11 percent of leadership roles. As Cate Luzio notes in her opinion piece “Why women keep leaving banking” for American Banker, “Women leave for many reasons, but young women look up and either see too few people like them in senior roles or, worse, too few opportunities. In my view, if you can’t see it, you can’t be it.”

To further illustrate the gaps, take a look at the findings from a CNBC and LinkedIn survey about working in the financial services industry:

  • Nearly two-thirds of women polled say females are less likely than males to reach leadership roles.
  • Women (8 percent) are about four times as likely as men (2 percent) to believe women are excluded from networking and social opportunities, such as after-work drinks or golf outings.
  • Only 40 percent of women and 75 percent of men agree that the genders working at the same level are paid equally at their companies.
  • Nineteen percent of women and 12 percent of men say the biggest obstacle is a lack of female leadership.
  • Fourteen percent of women say their biggest obstacle is a lack of mentorship or sponsorship.

So, how can companies retain more women in financial services? Here are a few suggestions:

1. Rebrand the financial services industry to make it clearer that women can succeed in this field

As Céline Dufétel, CFO at T. Rowe Price, notes,  “Very few women seek those careers out of school. I remember when I was interviewing for an internship way back when, the banks felt intimidating to me.” Companies needs to make it clear that women can thrive in this industry, that they’re taking this issue seriously, and that they’re actually doing something about fixing gender inequality. As Margo Cook from Nuveen Advisory Services states, “Making these issues a standard, let alone accepted, topic for all leaders to talk about — male or female — is what will break down the walls.”

2. Provide opportunities for professional growth and career development through mentorship and sponsorship

We need more and better access to sponsors; firms can accomplish this by expanding offerings for formal sponsorship programs. According to a McKinsey & Company survey, less than half of financial services companies have such programs, and only 58 percent have formal mentorship programs. McKinsey notes that while female role models are crucial, both men and women should serve as sponsors and mentors to ensure that women build the diverse networks they need throughout their careers.

Beyond formal programs, McKinsey also suggests that companies should monitor the quality of and access to sponsorship for both junior and senior-level women. “For example, a best practice is to send out an annual sponsorship survey to identify sponsors and candidates for sponsorship so that gaps can be identified and addressed early.”

3. Create flexibility, work-life balance, and job stability

While flexibility programs are common across the financial industry (about 90 percent of financial services companies offer extended maternity and/or paternity leave, and 92 percent offer flexible work policies), many women fear that using these flexibility programs might hinder their advancement and job stability. Having experienced just how detrimental lack of flexibility can be for career growth, we think the call-to-action is clear: Companies need to show their acceptance and usage of flexible working policies in order to keep more women in the field.

4. Offer a re-entry path

A survey of MBA alumni by the Graduate Management Admission Council found that 41 percent of women and only 12 percent of men report leaving the workforce at some time to take care of children. The financial industry must create a solid path for employees to leave and re-enter the workplace more easily. They can do this through sponsoring returnship programs, skills-update training, or creating more long-term, flex-work solutions.

5. Get rid of bias in reviews and promotions

While 79 percent of financial services companies offer unconscious-bias training, only 18 percent require it. A commitment to addressing unconscious bias needs to come from leadership. And this training needs to not only cover recognizing bias, but also how to address bias head-on in hiring, performance, and promotion discussions.

6. Create a culture that prioritizes — and values — diversity and inclusion

Companies need to do more than talk about diversity and equality; they need to take visible steps to make it happen. While 95 percent of financial services companies track gender representation across all levels, far fewer companies have clearly defined goals for this data. Financial services companies need to set targets for female representation and promotion rates, and keep leaders accountable.

When Katie Burke and Bridget Grimes co-founded Equita Financial Network, they wanted to fix the biases and systemic issues that had permeated their world for far too long. Today, Katie and Bridget are changing the financial services industry by creating an empowering network for female planners that provides them with the support and resources needed to run their businesses effectively. We know that women make exceptional financial advisors; now it’s time to show them how much we value their contributions.

Are you interested in joining Equita Financial Network? Contact us today

Why Female Mentorship Is More Important Than Ever

The financial planning industry has a gender issue — despite the fact that 70 percent of women seeking financial advice say they would prefer a female advisor to a male. Despite the fact that, for women who currently have an advisor, 73 percent report they are not happy with the one they have, and 87 percent say they don’t “connect” with their advisor. Despite the fact that 71 percent of women say Wall Street is not in touch with their financial needs.

Yep…there’s still a huge gender imbalance in finance. Allow us to offer up some more stats: In 2013, less than a third of financial planners were women, and only 23 percent had the gold-standard CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation. That number hasn’t changed in more than a decade, even though the CFP Board launched its Women’s Initiative (WIN) to address the “feminine famine” in financial planning. And today, the number of female financial advisors still rests below 20 percent.

In a Forbes article titled “Where Are All The Female Financial Advisers?”, financial advisor Eleanor Blayney said, “We do not have the professional culture yet that nurtures and supports women networks, mentorship and professional development.”

Mentorship Matters — and It Starts at the Top

We need to create a culture where female mentorship programs work. With the right mentor, women can see it’s possible to succeed in this industry. We need female mentors to help female financial planners navigate this male-dominated space, break stereotypes, develop a strong network, and gain leadership roles. Most of the financial planning leadership roles are still held by men, who are failing to hire female talent. A 2014 Center for American Progress report found that “women make up 54 percent of the financial-services labor force but only 12 percent of its executive officers and 18 percent of its directors.”

But as important as female mentorship is, change also needs to come from the top.

Sallie Krawcheck — co-founder and CEO of Ellevest, a digital financial advisor for women — voiced her frustrations about ineffective diversity groups and mentoring programs. At Fortune magazine’s inaugural Brainstorm Finance conference in June 2019, she said, “Guys, we’ve been doing that for years and years and years. If it was gonna work, it would’ve worked.” Instead, CEOs need to “break the wheel,” meaning they need to take dramatic, seismic action to address the finance industry’s gender and diversity problem. “One way to reduce the volatility on Wall Street, the research tells us, is to have more women,” Krawcheck said in a CNN Business interview.

Zaneilia Harris’s recent Financial Planning column titled “I am a black woman advisor. Am I valued by this industry?” highlighted how male-dominated the industry still is. “It feels like our industry measures who we are as minority and women advisors based on standards set by white men,” wrote Harris, the president of Harris & Harris Wealth Management Group. “As I’ve grown my independent financial advisory firm, there have been few mentors, let alone sponsors, willing to counsel me along my journey.

“When I talk to industry people, I notice the same look and feeling during our interactions. It’s distant, often distracted, and I can detect that they’d prefer to be chatting with other people — particularly the white men — in the room.”

The Power of the Tribe

When we (Katie Burke and Bridget Grimes) were just starting Equita, we reached out to other women financial planners to find out what they would value most in a business platform. By far, the number-one resource women wanted was a collaborative network of their female industry peers, who they could reach out to for business and client solutions. They wanted to share best practices and receive support and encouragement from women who faced the same challenges they did.

Today, we provide women with the collaborative network they need to succeed, at every age and stage of their careers. Equita is a platform for sharing best practices in business and for client solutions, but it is also creating organic outlets for mentorship, which helps women build successful careers in financial planning and keeps them in the field.

Change happens when you are willing to challenge the status quo. Let’s lift each other up, share stories, learn from other experiences, and empower future generations of women to new levels of success.

If you’re interested in connecting with other like-minded female financial advisors, contact us today.

Equita in the Media: Financial Advisor Magazine

It started with a mission inspired by real-life experiences.

The disenfranchised woman who works for a financial advisory firm that makes her feel alone — no like-minded mentor to rely on for advice, no advocate to seek out for support.

The woman who is overloaded with stress and anxiety, struggling to balance childcare and family obligations with a demanding job that doesn’t pay her the wage she deserves.

The woman who sees a better way — a path to starting the financial advisory firm she has always dreamed of — but doesn’t have the network or resources she needs to run her business effectively.

Equita Financial Network started with us — two women who were passionate about the financial planning profession but felt the pain of the biases and systemic issues that have permeated our world for far too long.

And now, it’s time for change.

We couldn’t be more excited to have Equita’s story, mission, and vision profiled in Financial Advisor Magazine. Here, our co-founders, Bridget Venus Grimes and Katie Burke, share their commitment to changing the financial planning industry through a network that empowers female planners to do their life’s work without sacrificing what matters most to them.

Read the full piece here.

If you are interested in learning more about Equita and how our platform can support your long-term success, contact us today.

3 Barriers We Must Break to Foster the Next Generation of Female Advisors

The financial services industry is about to be disrupted by an unprecedented, history-making shift in demographic power: Baby boomers, who make up America’s largest generation, are reaching their last years in the workforce and will be retiring en masse over the next decade. For our industry, that means many partner-level financial advisors are preparing to exit the firms and the teams they have helped build and grow. Simultaneously, those firms will see an increase in the number of high-net-worth clients who are seeking personal retirement planning and investment advice. Enter, the “next generation” — the young, up-and-coming advisors who have been primed to take the reins from their successors and prepare their firms to serve clients with a host of different, complex needs.

Unfortunately, a very low percentage of those next-gen financial advisors will be women. At least, that’s what the data tells us today: Sixty-five percent of newly hired, entry-level support (or “associate”) advisors are men, according to a survey report compiled by InvestmentNews and State Street Global Advisors. Moreover, male advisors are being promoted at a faster pace than their female colleagues, at a rate of 16.5% versus 10.3%, respectively.

The good news is that the industry is ripe for change. As we prepare for this major shift in advisor and client demographics, today’s financial advisory firms must re-invent themselves to remain viable and relevant — and that includes the make-up of their teams. There’s truly no better time to reverse the statistics and bring more next-gen female advisors into the fold.

There are three, major barriers we need to knock down first:

1. The Pay Gap

Last year, full-time female financial advisors earned 59 cents for every dollar earned by their male peers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. We can’t resolve gender disparity in the advisory profession without closing the pay gap. In fact, this is one of the reasons why we founded Equita Financial Network. Our mission is to offer female financial advisors the resources they need to run their own financial planning businesses, which can allow them to receive the pay they are entitled to and keep more of what they earn.

We hope that other leaders in the industry follow suit. By providing women with opportunities to run their own practices, and by encouraging firms to prioritize the need for female leadership, we can open doors for next-gen female advisors to work for firms that respect, celebrate, and nurture their talents and expertise. Empowering women as firm leaders also ensures that these next-gen advisors have role models to emulate and look up to. These women will be able to see themselves as leaders by following the example of those who came before them.

2. The Lack of Flexibility

According to the research conducted by InvestmentNews and State Street Global Advisors, 20% of women advisors noted that striking a balance between career and family was the top barrier to professional advancement.

At Equita, we have seen, firsthand, the unconscious bias and discrimination that can arise in firms in which a healthy work-life balance is not a priority — particularly for women who juggle child-rearing and caregiving responsibilities while managing demanding careers. We can boost the number of women who actually stay in the industry when we provide the culture and environment that makes them feel fulfilled in their work and quality of life.

3. The Missing Network

In the InvestmentNews and State Street Global Advisors report, DeAnne Steele, Managing Director and Private Client/Institutional Advisor at Bank of America Private Bank, asks:

“What can we do to create a better sense of inclusion? Why do women not think to become financial advisors when they are so perfectly suited for this industry?”

At Equita, we believe that networking is the solution to so many of the issues that female advisors face — but most importantly, it solves the issue of representation. Since our company’s inception, we have spent countless hours talking to our female peers, with the goal of uncovering solutions to these detrimental problems affecting our industry. In every conversation, we have realized that what female advisors truly want (and need) is a group of women they can rely on — women they can turn to for advice, for support, and for partnership.

It’s why we have dedicated our professional lives to providing women with the collaborative network they need to succeed, at every age and stage of their careers. Equita is a platform for sharing best practices in business and for client solutions, but notably, it provides that critical missing piece to help women build successful careers in financial planning, thereby retaining them in the field.

The financial services industry will not survive if it doesn’t disrupt itself. Firms must transform to retain diverse, next-generation advisors that will help bring fresh perspective and expertise to their clients. Help us lead the charge to effect change and keep women in a profession that so desperately needs them.

Are you interested in joining the Equita network or learning more about how we can help you? Contact us today.

Why Equita, and Why Now?

“When we invest in women and girls, we are investing in the people who invest in everyone else.”
— Melinda Gates

Over the past year, Bridget and I have been asked to do a number of interviews about Equita Financial Network, in which we have discussed what we offer our members and the overall benefits of the platform. In one such interview, a reporter asked us the question: “Why now?”

The short answer is: We are tired of waiting. In the financial services industry, there are many other firms and initiatives targeted at supporting women — but we want action now. Equita gives us a way to connect with other female planners today, and it enables us to have a voice in an industry where we often feel like our words are dismissed.

Last year, Financial Advisor Magazine published an article titled, “Want More Women Advisors?” The writer asked financial advisors around the country to offer their opinions on what they felt needed to change to increase the number of women financial advisors. When I read the responses summarized in the article, it reminded me of why I started my firm, Method Financial Planning, three years ago; what I needed; and how I found it:

Flexibility

When my first son was born, I was trying to succeed in a very demanding job while figuring out the “mom thing” at the same time. My husband had a demanding job as well, plus we both had long commutes. With no family local to the area, we decided to hire a nanny to look after our son. One day, a few months into my transition back to work, our nanny called in sick — so my husband and I tried our best to cover work and childcare for the next few days until our nanny was well.

After I returned to the office, my supervisor told me that I needed to find a contingency plan for childcare if my nanny couldn’t make it — and that “plan” couldn’t be me.

I tell this story not to say that he, my boss, was wrong; instead, I share this story because I know that I’m not the only person who has encountered this type of issue, and I want to help change the way the industry deals with it. At that particular moment in my life, I needed flexibility — I needed to work for a firm that was able to understand my needs as a new mom.

Owning my business allows me to be both present as a mom and 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. I have opportunity and options that I simply didn’t have before.

Support

After graduating from college, I spent over 10 years working for firms where I struggled to find my place and a career mentor. I would ask myself, “Where are all the women advisors?” In fact, over the course of my career, I have never worked alongside a female financial advisor. Most of the men I worked with had wives that stayed at home when they had children. Would I be able to survive in this demanding profession once I had kids of my own? Where could I 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 whom I felt understood me and could help me make some hefty career decisions.

When I finally launched my own practice, I still appreciated the women I met previously, but I needed even more support. I needed to find women who were not only planners but business owners as well.

Enter Equita, which offered me and other like-minded female firm owners the ability connect with each other and share best practices that allowed us to achieve our ultimate goal of offering exceptional client service. No more years wasted trying to find a mentor — thanks to Equita, we have gathered, together, with the mission to change the landscape of the financial services industry for the better.

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 other network members. Equita is about more than just me and my partner, Bridget; it is about the impact we can all have on an industry that needs to see change.

Are you interested in joining Equita Financial Network? Contact us today