The Evolution of Women in Finance

Today’s episode of Women Rocking Wall Street features Ellen Lander, principal of Renaissance Benefit Advisors Group. As a 401(k) geek myself, I’m thrilled to talk with a woman who’s a true leader in the industry—she’s been named among Planadviser magazine’s Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisers of the Year and was even one of the top five finalists for the 2014 award. Ellen has worked on both the provider and advisor side of the industry, beginning her career in an actuarial consulting firm. Today, she’s principal at a firm that advises over $1.5 billion in retirement plan assets.

Working in finance since “before the dinosaurs,” as Ellen puts it, she’s seen the industry evolve in many ways, especially when it comes to hiring women. Although our industry has come a long way since Ellen began her career, there’s still much to be done. Did you know women still only account for about 30 percent of financial advisors? You, too, can be a leader in helping the industry see women’s potential, just as Ellen has!

I hope you’ll find some useful insights in today’s episode of Women Rocking Wall Street. Feel free to leave comments below!

Boldness Creates Opportunities

Jania Stout: How She Found Entrepreneurial Success … Even in a Recession!

Today I’m excited to introduce you to Jania Stout, managing director of Fiduciary Plan Advisors at HighTower. Jania’s been in the retirement plan business for 20 years, beginning on the provider side. Eventually, she made the move to the advisory sector, as she felt a natural calling to be on the same side of the table with clients, helping them achieve financial security.

Although going out on her own to work in the advisory business was scary—especially during the 2008 financial crisis—Jania said it was the best decision to grow professionally. And her hard work in the industry hasn’t gone unnoticed—last year, Jania won NAPA’s 401(k) Advisor Leadership Award. In a world where women make up only 19 percent of senior level positions in financial services and 2 percent of CEO roles, Jania is a true inspiration for women wanting to pursue their passion and succeed at it!

I hope today’s episode of Women Rocking Wall Street inspires you to take chances in your career and follow your true passions. What does your dream job look like? Let me know in the comments section below!

Changing Perspectives

Today I’m excited to share some wisdom from Farnoosh Brock, founder of Prolific Living. Farnoosh’s “Act 2” of her career, as she calls it, is a far cry from the industry where she began. Farnoosh started in electrical engineering school and over the years held roles in project management, sales operations and executive communications, always looking for the ultimate job fulfillment. But after 11 years of feeling uninspired, Farnoosh took the leap and started her own company.

Through Prolific Living, she now empowers others to do the same, whether becoming entrepreneurs or taking leadership roles in their current jobs. If you want to leave a legacy, as Farnoosh says, it’s critical to find a job that speaks to your passion and core values. On this episode of Women Rocking Wall Street, Farnoosh shares some of her best tips for tapping into your true calling and rising to leadership roles.

I hope today’s podcast inspires you! Please share all your comments and suggestions below. And for more of Farnoosh’s valuable tips, check out her Crack the Code to Get Promoted program, as well as her free course!

Confidence is Contagious

Confidence isn’t in our DNA—it’s something we learn. Talk about a great piece of advice from Tracy Hooper, founder of The Confidence Project, who’s here on today’s episode to teach us all about exuding more assuredness. Tracy’s background is interesting to say the least, with experience in TV reporting, voice-over work and hotel management. All the skills she learned from these jobs were critical to The Confidence Project, she says.

Today she’s offering us some of her best tips for being more confident and, in turn, positively affecting our professional and personal lives. This is especially important for women, as there seems to be a considerable gender gap when it comes to confidence. Even things as seemingly small as improving our posture and body language can have a big effect on our confidence and ultimately on our workplace success. As Tracy says, there’s a reason Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk about power poses is the second most-watched TED talk segment of all time, with 20 million viewers.

If you enjoyed today’s episode of Women Rocking Wall Street or have suggestions for future topics, please let me know in comments below! I’d love to hear from you.

Finding Your Inner Rockstar

Welcome to the inaugural episode of Women Rocking Wall Street! I’m excited to bring this podcast to all women working in finance, or those who are thinking about joining the ranks. Did you know women only represent about 30% of jobs in financial services? We need more women. We need you. My hope through this podcast is to help women find their inner rock stars so they can feel confident about pursuing a job in a male-dominated field. This isn’t about putting men down to elevate ourselves or blaming anyone for the gender disparity in finance—it’s about empowering women and helping them pave the way for success.

In each weekly episode, I’ll be interviewing some “kick aspiration” women who will share their experience and provide lots of good tips for surviving and thriving in the financial industry. As I launch this podcast, I’m reminded of a lovely quote from Jack Canfield: “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” Let’s get to the other side and see how much we can achieve!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the episodes, as well as requests for speakers and topics. Feel free to leave any comments below. Enjoy!