Michelle Lynch, vice president of the Network for Women Advisors at Raymond James, likes to say, “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.”
With women making up only 15% of Raymond James and the overall industry, women can feel like there are few role models.
This is one reason Raymond James recognizes five financial advisors during the firm’s annual Women’s Symposium.
“So if they can see it, maybe they’ll think they can be it,” Lynch said.
Lynch spoke with ThinkAdvisor about why it’s important to have these awards and highlight these women during the Women’s Symposium each year.
“It’s important because these women we’re recognizing are leaders — not only in their profession — but in their communities as well,” she said. “We talk a lot about work-life balance and how do you manage it all? And these women are managing it all — and they’re just kicking butt and taking names.”
The awards recognize successful advisors in each of the firm’s Private Client Group divisions who support the professional growth of other advisors and service associates and who are actively involved in their communities.
The 2017 Women of Distinction Award was presented at the awards dinner Thursday in Tampa.
“We have a lot of women here that are just starting out in their profession, who look up to these women as role models, and this is a way to further recognize their efforts and spotlight their successes in a powerful way,” Lynch told ThinkAdvisor.
Here are the recipients of the 2017 Women of Distinction Award.
Marta Shen, Raymond James & Associates
Shen has been instrumental in helping open the Atlanta midtown branch, increasing the firm’s presence in a rapidly growing area. Within six months of joining the firm in early 2015, she increased her asset base by $20 million, and within a year she grew her business 20%.
Passionate about professional development, Shen holds several designations, has served in leadership roles for the Financial Planning Association of Georgia and also served on the One FPA Advisory Group. In addition to serving on the Raymond James Women’s Advisory Council, she serves her community through involvement in programs like Junior Achievement, Funding the Future and Habitat for Humanity.
Laura Webb, Raymond James Financial Services