Online Networking Group Works to Build a Diverse & Inclusive Financial Services Industry
NAIFA announced today a new marketing partnership with Females & Finance, an online networking group for women in financial services. The partnership supports NAIFA’s continued efforts to promote diversity and inclusivity, two key elements of its strategic plan and a cornerstone of the recently announced Talent Development Center.
Sheryl Brown, Founder and CEO of Females & Finance, established the online networking group to support the idea of a holistic financial services professional group that embraces inclusion. “We have an unconscious bias problem and we need to extend ourselves outside of our comfort zone in our networking to be inclusive—that is a skillset that we need to teach,” stated Brown. “Females & Finance serves as a bridge-builder between populations and we are focused on building skills to bring more diversity to the table in order to truly bring equity into our communities.”
The Females & Finance online community started in social media as a group to allow women to come together for support and information exchange. The community quickly grew and now offers both a free and a premium subscription model so users may choose how they want to engage. While popular with female financial service professionals, the community also invites and recognizes male colleagues who are “female-friendly” through their Male Ally Network (MAN). “We have so many men reaching out to Females & Finance asking for help in how they can overcome unconscious biases and create female-friendly companies, agencies and work environments,” explained Brown, “it was only natural to welcome them in and create a safe space for men to engage in open discussions often seen as extremely sensitive to do in a public setting.”
“The culture of supporting your professional association is critical to a healthy industry,” stated Kevin Mayeux, CEO of NAIFA. “Partnering with Females & Finance is a cross-educational endeavor allowing NAIFA to raise awareness for the important work that we do every day advocating at the state and federal levels and supporting the voice of Females & Finance to raise awareness for diversity and inclusivity so that we can move the needle towards equity.”
The NAIFA-Females & Finance partnership offers special membership rates for NAIFA and discounts to the Females & Finance subscription. Additionally, Females & Finance is keen to educate its online population on the critical importance of advocacy at the state and federal levels where the voice of female producers is needed. The association-commercial partnership aims to further promote the culture of belonging and actively participating in the financial services industry.