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
– Alexa Kane, WLA Mentee
– Traci Richmond, WLA Mentor
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.
Questions about our innovative mentor program? Email Michelle Danielson, WLA Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested in learning more about how you can implement a program like this in your office or practice? Contact Connie at email@example.com
– Kate Starkey, WLA Mentee
– Pamela Grey, WLA Mentor