Leadership Mentorship Program

I would recommend the program to anyone who wants to advance their career and grow as an advisor. It is great to have a network of people with similar experiences that you can go to for advice.


– Alexa Kane, WLA Mentee

Being a source of support, guidance and information to Kate, I definitely got a lot out of it and I’m glad that I was able to give as well. It feels really good.


– Traci Richmond, WLA Mentor

2023-2024 Mentorship Program 

We could not be more excited to share with our community the amazing women joining this year’s Mentorship Program! Forty women will be a part of the WLA’s unique program, now in its sixth year, that provides opportunities for women to receive 1:1 support and professional development from other women in the financial advising profession. This year marks our largest mentee applicant pool, with women from around the country eager to further their professional skills to fulfill their personal vision of success. Over the next nine months, these mentees will participate in small group sessions and 1:1 monthly mentoring with their paired mentor to advance their professional growth based on their specific goals. And it would not be possible without the time, talent and expertise of our mentors! The WLA mentors embody what make women amazing financial advisors, in addition to bringing the hard skills required to be successful in this work, they understand the value of listening, guiding, and leading with compassion. Thank you, to these women, our 2023-24 Mentors, for helping other women to be what we can see!


2023-24 Mentees: Ann Austin, Erin Bethge, Gina Blair, Dafna Gold, Alea Groshek, Marla Hinman, Jenny Hite, Melissa Jones, Tayler Kottinger, Gyles Laney, Emily Lietz, Kelley Manning, Leslie Nettles, Misty Robertson, Susan Rogers, Amanda Schneider, Alisa Schultz, Florence Smith.


2023-24 Mentors: Tracy Alm, Becky Bell, Kimberlee Bouska, Verna Brand, April Delange, Pamela Grey, Kjersten Lazar, Becca Mathis, Laura Maxfield, Judith McGee, Jennifer Napper, Danielle Page, Traci Richmond, Jackie Schlup, Beverly Shean, Kristy Sullivan, Donna Walton, Christie Williams

Stay tuned later this month for an updated 2023 Mentorship group photo!

Women’s Leadership Alliance Mentorship Program: 2023-24

*Applications have closed for the WLA 2023-24 Mentee Program. Please check back in the spring 2024 for information on the next cohort.


  • Program Dates: September 2023-April 2024
  • Mentee Application Deadline: June 30, 2023


The Women’s Leadership Alliance is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization founded by a group of women who have been leaders in their financial advising careers. Our vision is a transformed financial advising industry in which women comprise an equitable representation at every level. Our mission is to attract, develop and empower a diversity of women to build thriving and fulfilling financial advising careers.


The WLA Mentor Program, now in its sixth year, has been designed to create opportunities for support and professional development to women on their path as financial planning professionals. The intent is to provide learning and skill set building through 1:1 mentoring with other women who have found success as financial advising professionals. As a Mentee, you will have the opportunity to identify specific areas of professional development on which you would like to focus. You will be matched with a mentor who will work with you to support your defined goals.


Possible areas of mentorship focus include:

  • Professional Presence
  • Public Speaking
  • Financial Analysis
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Networking
  • Client Acquisition
  • Account Management
  • Divorce Planning
  • Estate Planning
  • Developing a Marketing Plan
  • Branding Your Practice

to name just a few. You will have the opportunity to explore areas in which you would like to focus to help you build your ideal career.

Program Format and Timeline:

  • Mentee Application Due Date: June 30, 2023
  • Interview Period: July 10-31, 2023
  • Mentee program invitations sent out: August 1, 2023
  • Mentorship program one-day, hybrid training/onboarding week of September 25, 2023 (specific date TBD)
  • Two (2), one-hour, monthly 1:1 mentorship meetings, October 2023-March 2024
  • One (1) monthly, 45-minute mentee feedback session with full mentee cohort and facilitator, November 2023-April 2024
  • Program exit interview with WLA program team member, May 2024

Mentee eligibility requirements include:

  • Minimum of 2 years’ experience working as a financial advisor
  • Completion of the WLA Mentee application form
  • Two professional references
  • Participation in a program interview with a member of the WLA Mentorship Program team
  • Commitment to consistently engaging in the monthly feedback sessions, and two (2) 1:1 mentor meetings between October 2023-March 2024.
  • Ability to participate onsite or virtually in one-day, WLA mentorship program hybrid training and onboarding during the week of September 25, 2023 (specific date to be provided prior to acceptance into the program.).


This program focuses on the mentee, and you will determine what success looks like for you. Please assess your ability to commit the time, effort, and energy to this program to ensure you maximize your development opportunity. It is equally important to have the support of your management team. By pairing committed mentees with successful financial advising mentors, the WLA hopes to empower you to fulfill your personal vision of success, and further advance more women in the financial advising industry.


Thank you for taking the first step in applying for the program. We wish you every success!

The top thing I got out of the mentorship was confidence. My mentor Traci has instilled in me that I can do this and that I will succeed.


– Kate Starkey, WLA Mentee

My role is to really be the champion, because I know it can be done, because I’ve walked that whole gauntlet. It’s all about accelerating success.


– Pamela Grey, WLA Mentor

Building a Tribe

Talk to almost any successful woman advisor in this industry and you’ll learn that she got where she is thanks in no small part to her ‘tribe’; that circle of advisors, confidants and mentors who helped her define her goals, overcome obstacles, stay motivated and achieve success.


That’s the reason why the Women’s Leadership Alliance saw the need to tackle the project of offering an effective mentor program. After extensive research uncovered the many challenges women face in growing in this profession,  we chose to offer a carefully crafted, small group program designed around providing formal training for mentors as well as focusing on helping mentees achieve their individually set goals and objectives. Our research uncovered a significant lack of trained mentors properly equipped to deliver a meaningful mentoring experience for their mentees. Additionally, we discovered that cookie cutter programs with preset goals and outcomes with no accountability or opportunity for the mentee to customize their goals were less than effective.


Enter Connie Deianni, founder of Corepoint HQ.


Connie is what we at the WLA like to call the ‘secret sauce’ to our program.  She has extensive experience designing and implementing successful mentor programs for many corporations and other organizations over the past several years.  The majority of the programs she designed are still being used, long after their initial implementation.  Connie is the founder of Corepoint HQ (click on the link below to learn more about her organization).


What makes our mentor program different than the many others currently in existence?  First, we threw out the concept that all mentees needed to have the same, top down mandated goals.  We encouraged our advisor participants to focus on what was most important to them, not necessarily goals related to production or asset gathering.  We let each mentee decide what they wanted to achieve.   Of course, managers and practice owners were brought into the loop to ensure goals set were in alignment with the branch or practice’s mission.


Next, we carefully pair each mentee with a mentor whose background and experiences will allow them to best help the mentee achieve these goals.


Then, we provided extensive distance and in person training sessions for our volunteer mentors.  We wanted to be sure to get these advisors the tools and resources they needed to be effective mentors.


Finally, we check in with both mentors and mentees on a monthly basis via conference calls throughout the course of this six-month program to gain feedback, answer questions, and provide additional resources to the group.


Mentees in our program have repeatedly commented how pleased they are with their pairings and how the similarity in backgrounds and experiences is making a real impact on their daily routines and work environments.   Participants have also voiced that they appreciate the fact this program is mentee centric and allows them to work toward goals they set for themselves.  For many, having the ear of a senior, successful woman advisor committed to listening to them has been a truly meaningful and unique experience.


Interested in learning more about the WLA mentor program?  Email our Executive Director at [email protected]