Financial Women of San Francisco and KPMG Collaborate to Expand Mentoring 

By Linda Wagner, FWSF Co-Chair, MarComm

 Mentoring Image

Mentorship can take many forms, but ultimately it has the power to positively impact a woman’s life and propel her career. While mentoring has been a foundational part of FWSF’s scholarship program, with mentors paired with each year’s scholarship recipients, FWSF believes in the transformative power of mentoring — regardless of where a member is in her career journey. Whether a member wants to be more effective in her current role, accelerate her advancement, or transition to a new role, FWSF wants to help its members be more successful. Therefore, FWSF is expanding its program to include mentoring for current members, focused on developing thought leadership and tools, and creating an environment conducive to varying types of mentoring interactions and relationship development.  

Decorative table at mentoring eventTo kick off the Members Mentoring Program initiative, on August 7th in San Francisco, FWSF and KPMG co-sponsored an exclusive, invitation-only mentoring roundtables event for top-tier sponsors and prospective sponsors.  

An esteemed group of leaders facilitated the evening by sharing their experiences and providing guidance and support on a variety of topics relevant to today’s rising leaders. Attendees, who were selected by their organizations, had an opportunity to engage in meaningful dialog with each other as well as with these accomplished senior leaders. The six women leaders were from a variety of backgrounds, which further enhanced the perspectives shared. The group included:

  • Lisa Daniels, Managing Partner, Bay Area Market, KPMG
  • Michelle DeBella, Global Head of Internal Audit, Uber
  • Kathy Kay, VP, Business Technology, PG&E
  • Jeanette Ourada, VP & Comptroller, Chevron Corporation
  • Denis Sterling, SVP, Finance and FP&A at Oportun Financial Corporation
  • Lisa Violet, Chief Risk Officer, Federal Home Loan Bank San Francisco

Round Table Leaders

The format of the evening was structured to allow each roundtable to experience three different senior leaders. The pre-determined topics, selected based on the attendees’ responses to a survey before the event, included:

  • Executive Presence
  • Public Speaking
  • Distinguishing Yourself
  • Promoting Accomplishments
  • Being Heard
  • Negotiation
  • Work/Life Integration

The six senior leaders all acknowledged that during the evening, all the participants mentored each other based on their personal experiences. It truly was a night of mutual sharing and inspiration, an opportunity to Lead. Mentor. Inspire.

Below are many of the evening’s key takeaways. We hope many resonate with you.

On the topics of executive presence, public speaking, distinguishing yourself, and promoting accomplishments:

  • Self-promote. Tell your story and your personal brand on LinkedIn. Develop your thought leadership by writing and speaking. What’s “your sentence”? How do you want people to remember you?
  • Practice public-speaking. The most unique tip of the evening — practice by recording yourself on your cell phone and watch or listen to the recording.
  • Be big. Be bold. Think of yourself as a mountain lion.
  • Distinguish yourself through service to others and be seen as someone who gets things done and is fun to be around. If you are a consultant, your goal is to help your client. If you are an employee, your goal is to help your company.
  • Think beyond being a subject matter expert. As you advance in your career, leadership skills matter more.
  • Develop your own confidence.

On the topic of being heard:

  • Credentialize your team. Give them power by elevating their roles and contributions.
  • Listen and know what you are solving for before you contribute to the discussion.
  • Find common ground with your audience.
  • Acknowledge and give credit to what someone else said. Pay it forward. Others will do it for you. You will be seen as a collaborative team member whom others want on their teams.
  • Don't underestimate the power of a question.
  • Self-advocate, but be strategic when you speak. Resist the urge to elbow in. The acronym, WAIT, was coined. Why Am I Talking?

On the topic of negotiation:

  • Think broadly about the skills and capabilities you have developed and practiced rather than narrowly about the jobs you have done in the past.
  • Learn from men who apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.
  • Shut up and listen.
  • Do your homework.
  • Always be willing to walk away.
  • Don’t be in a hurry.
  • Aim high and expect the best outcome.
  • Focus on the other side’s pressure, not yours.
  • Show the other person how their needs will be met.

On the topic of work/life integration:

  • Think about work/life integration over a period of time. Work-life balance doesn’t necessarily mean every day is balanced. Identify your priorities, and commit to spending time on them.
  • Be authentic. Talk about your priorities with your boss and your team. Set expectations and boundaries and stick to them.
  • Reverse-engineer the work-life balance equation. Rather than thinking about how you can integrate your life with your work, tell yourself, “I integrate the people I work with into my life.”

We want to thank Paige Venable, managing director, KPMG, for her leadership in developing this event and to KPMG for their significant sponsorship of FWSF for many years. As the immediate past-president of FWSF, Paige has worked tirelessly to support the organization, as well as to spearhead the members mentoring initiative.  Due to the success of this event, FWSF is planning a similar event in the coming months for FWSF members only.

Table of women at mentoring event

The Members Mentoring Program of FWSF will help our members be more successful — regardless of where they are on their career path. Our Members Mentoring Program will help our members work through transitions, accelerate their career advancement, and be more effective in their current roles.

Interested? Please complete this short survey so FWSF can assess and respond to your interests.  

Please also join us for our annual Financial Woman of the Year luncheon on September 14th. We are honoring Heidi Roizen, Partner DFJ. Heidi has been an exemplary mentor to women throughout her career. It will be a great opportunity to learn more about how to advance your own career. Individual tickets are still available

Website by Kindem Design