Advisor 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

Women’s Leadership Alliance Mentorship Program

The WLA Mentor Program, now in its eighth year, has been designed to provide one-on-one professional development to women along their financial planning career paths through the support and experience of another female financial advising professional.

 

Mentees identify specific areas of professional development for their mentorship and are matched with mentors to support those 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.

 

Together, mentors and mentees participate in a structured training to launch a successful mentorship relationship and receive ongoing support throughout the 6-month mentorship relationship.

Now Accepting Applications for 2024-25 Mentees and Mentors

Mentorships to empower women in the financial advising profession to build thriving and fulfilling careers

 

MENTEE Information

Program Dates:  September 2024 – April 2025

Mentee Application Deadline:  June 30, 2024

 

The Women’s Leadership Alliance is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization founded by and for professional financial advising women.  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 Mentorship Program, now in its eighth year, has been designed to provide one on one professional development to women in their financial planning careers through the support and experience of another female financial advising professional.  Mentors and Mentees participate in a structured training to launch a successful mentorship relationship.

 

Mentees  identify specific areas of professional development for their mentorship and are matched with mentors to support those 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.

 

Program Format and Timeline:

  • Mentee Application Due Date:  June 30, 2024
  • Interview Period (held virtually):  July 10-31, 2024
  • Mentee program acceptance invitations:  August 1, 2024
  • Mentorship program two ½ day, virtual training/onboarding in September 2024
  • Two (2), one-hour, 1:1 meetings with your mentor each month: October 2024-March 2025
  • One (1) monthly, 45-minute mentee group feedback session with full mentee cohort and facilitator: November 2024-April 2025
  • (Optional) Monthly mentee cohort gathering (January-April 2025)
  • Program exit survey: May 2025

 

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
  • Membership in WLA Ambassador community upon acceptance into the Mentorship Program (see further information below)
  • Commitment to consistently engaging in the monthly feedback sessions, and two (2) 1:1 mentor meetings between October 2024-March 2025
  • Participation in two, 3-hour WLA mentorship program training and onboarding sessions during the month of September 2024 (specific dates to be provided prior to acceptance into the program)

 

The WLA Ambassador Community:

The Ambassador Community of the WLA is a membership based community of advisors, allies and advocates receiving and sharing resources, tools, and support to advance women in the financial advising profession. All WLA mentors and mentees are asked to become a part of the Ambassador community during their time in the program.  This participation requires no additional time but does provide access to ongoing networking and support to both mentors and mentees.  The membership dues are $150/year or $75/year for early career advisors in their first four years.  Upon acceptance into the program, mentees agree to join the Ambassador community.  No additional costs are associated with the mentorship program. 

 

The program may not be a fit for you at this time if:

  • You are still learning “the basics” and are looking for training related to the systems or processes of your particular firm or office.  
  • You are unable to consistently commit to the program and mentoring sessions throughout the September 2024-April 2025 period.

 

The program might be a fit for you if:  

  • You are ready to challenge yourself to grow personally and professionally.
  • You value the perspective and experience of other women in the financial advising profession.
  • You are able to commit to two (2) September 2024 training sessions and two (2) monthly mentor meetings sessions and one (1) feedback session between October 2024-April 2025.
  • You want to be a part of a supportive community of women empowering one another. 

 

The WLA mentorship program is a firm-agnostic experience focused on the goals of the mentee. 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 are ready to maximize this development opportunity.  By pairing committed mentees with successful financial advising mentors, the WLA hopes to empower you to fulfill your personal vision of success.

Becoming a WLA MENTOR

 

The WLA Mentorship program would not be possible without the amazing women who give of their time to mentor another woman. With that in mind, we have structured our program to ensure that the time our mentors invest is time well spent, providing both mentor and mentee with an initial onboarding, together with a proven  program framework to guide the mentor/mentee experience. 

 

During the application and training period, mentees identify particular areas of development in which they would like to focus. 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, Strategic Planning, Branding Your Practice, to name just a few. 

 

The WLA mentorship program is a firm-agnostic experience focused on the goals of the mentee. As a Mentor, you will have the opportunity to work with a mentee whose goals are aligned with your areas of experience.

 

MENTOR Application Information

 

Program Dates:  September 2024 – April 2025

Mentor Application Deadline:  July 15, 2024

 

  • Mentor Application Period:  April 8 – July 15, 2024
  • Mentee Application and Interview Period:  June 1 – July 31, 2024
  • Mentee/Mentor Matching Process:  August 1-30, 2024
  • Mentorship program 3-hour, virtual training/onboarding, September 2024
  • 1:1 mentorship Meetings:   October 2024-March 2025
  • Mentor Feedback Session with full mentor cohort and facilitator, November 2024-April 2025

 

Mentor Criteria & Commitments

There is no single profile of the ideal mentor. Our mentors represent a range of years of experience in the business in working within a variety of different models. The one quality that all of the mentors have in common: the desire to positively influence the life and career of another woman in the financial advising profession.  

  • Participation in one 3-hour virtual training program with your mentee during the month of September 2024.
  • Commitment to consistently meet with mentee 2x per month for 1 hour, October 2024-March 2025
  • Commitment to participate in mentor feedback sessions 1x/ month for 45 minutes (Nov 2024-April 2025)
  • Membership in the WLA Ambassador Community. (see information below)

 

The WLA Ambassador Community:

The Ambassador Community of the WLA is a membership based community of advisors, allies and advocates receiving and sharing resources, tools, and support to advance women in the financial advising profession. All WLA mentors and mentees are asked to become a part of the Ambassador community during their time in the program.  This participation requires no additional time but does provide access to ongoing networking and support to both mentors and mentees.  The membership dues are $150/year.

 

WLA 2024-25 Mentor Applications are due by July 15, 2024

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

What makes the WLA Mentorship experience unique?

Something has been missing from the mentorship experiences often provided through formalized corporate programs.  Especially for women who are seeking to advance themselves in an historically and persistently male-dominated profession.  The Women’s Leadership Alliance wanted to address this void and to develop an impactful mentor program specifically designed to support women financial advisors.

 

After extensive research uncovering the specific challenges women often face in growing in this profession, we chose to create a carefully crafted program designed to provide training and facilitation for mentors and guidance to mentees, to help participants clarify and achieve their individually defined goals.

 

Our research revealed a significant lack of trained mentors properly equipped to deliver a meaningful mentoring experience. Additionally, we discovered that cookie cutter programs with preset goals and outcomes with no accountability and no opportunity for the mentee to customize their goals were less than effective.  What’s more, women advisors are often paired with male mentors who can’t always relate to the specific experiences that impact the career trajectory of advising women.

 

The result of this research is the WLA Woman to Woman Advisory mentorship program, now in its 8th year.  In partnership with Connie Deianni, founder of Corepoint, the WLA has thoughtfully designed a mentorship program that addresses these needs of women advisors.  Connie’s extensive experience designing and implementing successful mentor programs for corporations and other organizations made her an ideal fit to customize a mentorship program for the WLA.

 

So, what makes the WLA mentorship program different than 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 mentees to focus on what was most important to them, not necessarily goals related to production or asset gathering.  We help empower each mentee to determine what she wants to achieve.

 

Next, we carefully pair each mentee with a mentor whose background and experiences will provide mentees with the most suitable support to help her 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.

 

What’s more, throughout the entirety of the mentorship program experience, and beyond, both mentees and mentors now have access to the wider WLA Ambassador community of advisors, industry leaders, and allies, in a nationwide movement to attract, support, and advance more women in the advising profession.  This community creates a source of resources, support and organized advocacy throughout the various stages of an advisors career.

 

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 processes and outcomes in life and in business.  Participants also deeply value the fact this program is mentee-centric, allowing them to define success on their own terms.  For many, having the support and perspective of a more experienced, successful woman advisor committed to their success, has been an invaluable, often transformative experience.

 

To learn more about bringing WLA mentorship program to your firm, email our Executive Director at [email protected]