Rebecca Pomering: The Focus Is on Mentoring—Top Women Extended Profile

Bringing in women and keeping them in the field is just part of the picture

Rebecca Pomering has been on this list before. As the CEO of Moss Adams Wealth Advisors, and prior to that as the practice leader of Moss Adams Financial Services Consulting Division, Pomering has taken very seriously the importance of helping women—and girls.

In addition to her responsibilities in leading the company, Pomering was a founding advisory board member of Forum_W, which is focused, according to the company, on “the firm’s effort to accelerate its ability to attract, develop, retain and advance talented women.” Through this channel in particular, Pomering mentors women extensively.

“Moss Adams has about 1,800 people up and down the West Coast,” says Pomering. “[The field of] financial services and accounting attracts women, but doesn’t retain them. We committed a number of years ago to Forum_W to find ways to attract women and retain them, and help them develop, reach higher levels in their careers.”

But that’s not all. Pomering explains, “I’m very committed to [helping women] in my firm, and that has gotten me very focused on other women-focused things in the Seattle area.” One of those things is a program within the Boys & Girls Club called InfluenceHer, in which Pomering is also active and which the company sponsors. “We were the founding sponsors,” she says, “of InfluenceHer, which tries to bring programs and focus to girls.”

She is also involved with the Seattle Storm of the Women's National Basketball Association,—in fact, she says, she is “personally very focused on advancing females from the girls phase to the adult phase.”

She did, and does, she adds, have women mentors of her own, and considers one of the women on the judges’ panel for the Top Women list as a former mentor, someone she has always looked up to and been inspired by: Deena Katz. While she adds that it was not a formal mentoring relationship, nonetheless she has benefited greatly from it.

“People in my firm ... continue to mentor me,” she says. although “it takes a different shape as our careers progress. Areas where I look for it now,” she explains, “are different than when I was 22 and entering the workforce. There are people on my team who work for me that I consider mentors, and people who are my peers, both men and women.”

Pomering says she tries to keep her mentoring and other efforts focused. While the hope of helping the world by helping kids is very inspiring, she says, it can be tempting to spread oneself too thin and not accomplish as much as one would like.

Working to advance the lot of girls seems to be a family trait, as well; she says that her father is working to build schools in Vietnam and Cambodia for girls. “Bettering the position of kids in the world is better for all of us,” she concludes.

See the lead news article on the 2011 50 Top Women in Wealth.

See the 2011 50 Top Women profiles.

See the article on the process for choosing the 2011 50 Top Women in Wealth.

See the 2010 50 Top Women in Wealth.

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