As we celebrated International Women’s Day this week, I took some time to reflect on my own experiences as a female in the workplace. In some ways, not much has changed since I first earned my license back in 1981. The wealth management industry is still heavily male-dominated and it’s a little puzzling to me why this trend continues. I have always been a working woman, since my early days in New York when I earned college money by working as a teller at J.P. Morgan Trust Company. I believe women are well suited for careers in finance, especially in the financial planning industry. Most of the situations I counsel clients through, I’ve already experienced myself. I’ve been a working mother and a proud member of the sandwich generation. I’ve taken care of my mother, tended my marriage, and willed myself through devastating loss, when my husband died ten years ago. I’ve seen my employees, many of whom are females, juggling full lives outside the office even as they dedicate themselves to the task at hand. I admire the way they’re raising their children and dealing with issues of marriage, health and family. It’s not easy, but these challenges make us stronger both as advisors and as human beings. The key to this industry isn’t spreadsheets or software. It’s empathy and I’m so proud to say I see that every day in my office. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the women in my life – my Russian grandmother, my feisty mother, my daughter Tanya, my lifelong friends, and the dozen wonderful women who join me in working for Winch Financial. It’s nice to have a day to celebrate international women, but it’s even nicer to recognize their value all year long.