Glass Slippers to Glass Ceilings: Mentoring the Next Generation of Female Financial Advisors at Assante Hydrostone
In recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021, we want to celebrate our amazing team of female advisors and associates. These women go above and beyond every day to support each other and their clients.
Spearheaded by Senior Financial Advisor, Jane Smith and Senior Financial Planning Advisor, Emily Rae, the Women Mentoring Women Program at Assante Hydrostone is a safe, inclusive space for senior advisors to share their experiences, industry knowledge, and advice with an eager team of junior associates. “It is women helping women,” Smith says, “Women who have been in the industry a long time helping to provide a safe place for other women to talk about their particulars goals, maybe some of their fears and stumbling blocks, and to provide a general sense of community and camaraderie.”
Fun Fact! The word ‘mentor’ stretches as far back as Greek myth – in Homer’s ‘Odyssey’, Mentor is an advisor who is charged with tutoring Telemachus, Odysseus’ son. While the man himself is a bit ineffectual, Athena, goddess of wisdom, assumes Mentor’s guise to encourage Telemachus to ask questions about his father’s fate in the Trojan War and not simply believe what he is told.
In the spirit of Athena, female professionals are choosing, now more than ever, to challenge the limitations of traditionally male-dominated industries. “Ultimately, we want women to experience success in the role of advisor. To me, the role of Financial Advisor, in today’s world, is actually more suited to many women’s natural skills than men. We enjoy connecting with clients, listening to them, and developing a long-term plan and helping them along their personal path to financial success,” says Smith.
Wealth Advisor, Jennifer Rideout explains: “I feel that I have a responsibility to share my story and how I got to where I am to help empower women in the business who want to become advisors. Sharing my story, I hope, will help others take the step and become an advisor.”
As an Associate Financial Advisor with the Hydrostone branch, Kaileigh van den Berg was eager to participate in the female mentorship program. She explains: “I’m a huge believer in personal and professional development, let alone when the focus is on building up the female community in the office. Women are still very underrepresented in the advisor industry so it’s great to participate in something that aims to change that narrative.”
Workplace mentorship is becoming increasingly important to millennials. LinkedIn Learning’s 2019 Workplace Learning Report found that 94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development and the 2020 Report found that 59% of millennials say their learning focus is on developing leadership and management skills.
Corporate learning initiatives certainly have their place in developing these skills, but mentorship can offer so much more. “It’s very personal,” says Smith, “women with women at the branch level…our own little bubble.” While many Learning and Development programs concentrate on hard skills and technical knowledge, mentorship programs are where our current industry leaders can really influence the next generation and boost their confidence to take on future management and leadership roles themselves.
“I think this program will give the younger participants the confidence and push they need to move their careers towards becoming advisors,” van den Berg says of the twofold benefits of the initiative. “I’m looking to gain a set of strong female trusted confidants in both my peers and mentors, who I can lean on whenever I need support or guidance and be able to reciprocate that relationship for years to come.”
The result, Rideout says: “a stronger female brand from our branch.” A brand that ideally shows ambitious young women that Assante Hydrostone values the contributions that they can make to the branch and to the industry for years to come.
We are excited to not only promote a learning culture at Assante Hydrostone, but to work toward creating a positive leadership environment where future female advisors can thrive and reach their greatest potential.