Reflections of New 2020 Members on FWSF

2020 is a year none of us will soon forget. With its significant challenges, it also brought some incredible gifts. Our organization was able to achieve so much, moving so much connection and programming online, and we continue to grow. While continuing to make a difference in the lives of so many professional women in (and pursuing) financial careers, we also welcomed new members.

Many of these new members have already begun to share their skills and talents with FWSF. We celebrate these new, dynamic women who have joined our membership and have benefitted from their energy. Below are some tips and insights they have shared over the year.

Watching how our members have faced the challenges of the pandemic has been inspiring. As new member Stefanie Thibedeau, Senior Fiduciary Officer and Team Lead, VP of Bank of the West shares, “It’s easy to say everything’s ‘fine’ and try to keep an upbeat, positive attitude, but, as a country, we’re dealing with some serious issues. So sometimes, take a step back from the media and technology to really ground yourself and self-reflect.”

Fatema Udaipurwala has worked for over 20 years in financial services. She sees FWSF as a platform to guide women based on broad experiences and at the same time, to learn from them. “FWSF gives women an opportunity to collaborate and elevate each other,” reflects Fatema. “I appreciate the structure of FWSF—the organization’s format encourages involvement, participation, and progress.”

At the heart of FWSF is the scholarship program, and Laura Long, CFO of Hanson Bridgett LLP, believes that it is “especially inspiring.” Laura says she loves to hear stories of how so many women have thrived with the help of FWSF. Another important part of FWSF that is important to Laura is the community of like-minded professional women. “I’ve enjoyed hearing from and meeting inspiring women, many of whom I have created relationships with over time,” she commented.

Professional relationships are key to Courtney Alexanderson, a Partner at EisnerAmper. Reflecting on FWSF’s value, Courtney said, “FWSF is important to me. I love all the ideas I hear from FWSF women and at FWSF events, particularly around what other women and their companies are doing to promote equality and diversity.” Like many FWSF members, Courtney takes the ideas she learns from FWSF and its membership back to help her own company continue to thrive.

FWSF is proud to have so many vibrant, wise, and dynamic women in our ranks, so willing to offer advice to the younger generation. As new member Nancy Corrigan, CFA of Corrigan Financial, Inc., said, “A very strong knowledge base will help establish your competency but even stronger “soft skills” including persuasion, influence, patience, leadership, collaboration, and emotional intelligence will help you establish—and have more control in defining—your success.”

Each of these women, along with our new scholarship women add such flavor to our organization. When someone new joins, we all benefit from her energy and insight. So, let’s remember, our doors are always open for women in financial services who want to join our organization, so please, don’t hold back from spreading the word and inviting others to join us.

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