This year hasn’t been easy. From shifting operations following COVID-19 outbreaks, to market volatility, to social injustices, it’s been a heavy year.
Unprecedented challenges that this year has brought have exposed some of our greatest weaknesses, but it’s also brought to light one of our society and industry’s strengths: resilience.
It’s a word that I’ve often used to describe our Women Financial Advisors Network, which has carried on for 26 years straight with our annual Women’s Symposium. It seems neither hurricanes in the past, nor in this year’s case — a global pandemic — can keep the Women’s Symposium at bay.
If you’ve ever been to one of the symposiums, you know there is a unique energy in the room. It’s an energy that is certainly challenging to duplicate and translate through screens.
Yet, as with all things in 2020, the silver lining is that now more than ever, we are extremely accepting of and adaptable to change.
Bringing the Women’s Symposium to a virtual format could not replace the truly unique in-person feel, but what it did this year was bring together the largest ever group of women advisors and prospects in the history of the Women’s Symposium.
With resilience as our theme, we kicked off our three-day virtual conference in mid-September with a record number of over 1,480 registrants, more than 750 women advisors from throughout the U.S., Canada and the U.K., and more than 40 prospective women advisors, all tuning in through live and on-demand sessions.
The Biggest Changes
During the conference, advisors candidly shared the challenges they’re facing and the biggest changes this environment has brought.
Most challenging was the lack of in-person contact with clients, many of whom are retirees who previously weren’t very comfortable with technology.
The unrealistic expectation to suddenly be a “Jill of all trades,” serving as an advisor, a super mom, a teacher, a chef, a cleaner, and more… simultaneously. The fear of not delivering in all of these significant areas of our lives is relatable.
Other women advisors felt the current circumstances have offered some unique benefits that they aren’t sure would have come about otherwise.