In every new career journey we embark on and every new company we join, we all want to feel valued and supported. Any role is more satisfying when we have someone in our corner who encourages and champions our growth – and that’s exactly what a good mentor does.
Mentors see those in their trust as future leaders, not just employees. Unlike a trainer covering a list of tasks, a mentor focuses on their protege’s goals and professional aspirations, providing valuable advocacy and insight based on their own career experiences and market knowledge. This guidance is crucial in accelerating their protege’s success.
This type of support is especially valuable for women in the insurance industry. Even though more than half of the insurance industry workforce is women, recent studies point to a “leaky pipeline”—a large chasm between the number of women starting out on the administrative track and those advancing to senior positions.
A study by KPMG found that people in positions of influence who actively mentor, support, and guide women as they progress through their careers can help “leak-proof” this pipeline. Sixty-seven percent of women in the study reported that they gained confidence and learned important lessons about leadership from their mentors, and eighty-two percent felt that networking with female leaders helped advance their careers.
Three women inspired to achieve
We talked with women leaders at M Financial Member Firms across the country about the impact mentors have had on their own careers, and how this support and guidance encourages other women to blaze their own trail in today’s professional landscape.
“When I started in case design, my first boss was a woman. She was strong and smart as a whip. I could not have found a better role model for my career. She was really instrumental in helping me develop at the firm and supported me along the way. Because of her influence, I could more easily see myself in a leadership role.”
—April Lewis, Director of Client Service,
Barry Evans Josephs & Snipes
“I’ve been here for 19 years, so I’ve been a mentor to a lot of women and have developed a very large female advisory network in this region, which has been instrumental to my success. You learn from everyone you interact with, and we counsel and advocate for each other. Developing this type of network is something I recommend for any woman in this industry looking to succeed. You can’t succeed without other people to help you. And, at the end of the day, it’s about helping others succeed.”
—Lorrie Baldevia, Principal and COO, AssuredPartners MCM
“Last week I was in Detroit visiting clients and I took one of my mentees with me. Now the clients know her and she gained insight and experience that she will need as she grows in her role. This is how mentoring empowers women to succeed. I’m setting her up and putting her in a position to win.”
—Beth Lang, President, Gateway Financial
Creating a path for success
M Financial understands that creating a path for women to take on leadership roles requires advocates to champion their career advancement. This is why mentors play a significant role in the Magnet training program for financial advisors.
Magnet places high-performing individuals into one of M’s Member Firms across the country, then matches them with a firm leader who has been fully trained to act as a mentor to the new Advisor. The results have been impressive.
“The mentoring component of the Magnet program is a game-changer. It makes us responsible at the firm level to take an active role in our new Advisor’s success.
“The structure of the program is well thought out, and mentors are trained to provide much more than the technical knowledge an Advisor needs to perform the job. We’re trained to give the Advisor the support and guidance that helps them be stronger and more confident in themselves, and to make our experience relevant and valuable to our mentee. It’s made mentoring a rewarding experience for everyone involved.”
—Nancy Shepard, Managing Principal and Chief Operating Officer, Lindberg & Ripple
Can individual support and mentoring be key in developing the careers of professional women? The research says yes – and we see the evidence every day at M Financial.
There are many paths to success in the insurance industry.
Magnet training and development can help you get where you want to be.
Learn more about the M Financial Group Magnet Program.