Today’s guest on Mitlin Money Mindset™ is Sheryl Hickerson, an international speaker on social and digital marketing strategies for financial services organizations and has worked with thousands of professionals to grow the presence of the financial services profession through online platforms.
She is the founder of Females and Finance, a private online membership organization dedicated to fostering the recruitment training and advancement of women in financial service or financial technology roles. Females and Finances’ membership has grown to more than 3000 and is rapidly increasing. Cheryl has dedicated her professional life to promoting better networking and diversity initiatives within her community. I am proud to be a member of Females in Finance as a male ally and I am a huge supporter of Sheryl and her efforts.
You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…
- What was the genesis of Females & Finance? [2:26]
- Why hasn’t there been a network like this before now? [7:42]
- Why is the male ally so important within the network? [10:20]
- What are the top 3 things Sheryl has learned creating this organization? [15:49]
- Sheryl’s definition of success for the organization [19:47]
- What’s the next step for Females in Finance? [22:14]
- What Sheryl did today that put him/her in the right mindset for success? [27:39]
What makes Sheryl feel successful?
In her lifetime Sherly hopes to have accomplished or at least started, making financial services more accessible for everybody. She thinks every person should have access to some sort of financial literacy or financial planning.
But the real way she measures it now is when people call her up and they say, “Hey, I was at a meeting today and I heard about females and finance”. She does very little actual talking about what she does in the community. She runs and leads it, but says she has more fun talking about individuals and knowing personal details about them.
She measures success by whether Females and Finance comes up in a conversation? If they’re talking about it then an organization like hers gets that ripple in the pond bigger and bigger so that we know we can actually change financial services and make it better.
Sistering the support network to be stronger
An important component of Females & Finance is the male ally network or M.A.N. and it goes back to the beginning when Sherly interviewed 383 women over the course of 13 months. There were several questions she asked each woman and the two bonus questions were: Do you feel successful? That’s something each woman does or doesn’t feel regardless of whether or not you or I or a building full of people see them as successful. The second question was, did you have a male ally somewhere along the process?
Not 75% or 90% but 100% of the women who self-identified as successful said they had a male ally somewhere along the way. Sheryl knew that if she wanted to come out and build a new, unique, better community, the male ally part of this was going to be imperative for growth.
In architecture joining two things together is called sistering. You’re sistering the walls or you’re sistering the support structure to be stronger. That’s what Females and Finance does when it’s joined with their Male Ally Network, it makes it stronger.
Sheryl’s 3 C’s – Communication, a place to Commune, and Community
I asked Sheryl what were the top three things that she learned in the process of creating this organization. She didn’t even hesitate when she said it’s her 3 C’s – Communication, a place to Commune, and Community.
The very first thing that Sheryl found is important is communication. Opening the door to communication, not only between professionals of different genders but a sort of cross-pollinating between different veins of expertise.
In order to communicate, you have to have a place to commune. The platform becomes critical. You might have Slack or an amazing website but is everybody going to use it? The platforms that people are being trained, psychologically trained, to use are social media. You can manipulate that in a good way to provide you with a space that’s easy to access, easy to navigate, easy to communicate on, and allows you as the organizer to be able to see the breadth of professionals you have.
And lastly is community. One of the things you have to learn about a community is respecting the tree for the forest. You are not a forest until you have many trees and many trees have many different personalities. Sherly says learning how to navigate all the personalities was definitely a learning curve.
Resources & People Mentioned
- Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor
Connect with Sheryl Hickerson
An international speaker on social and digital marketing strategies for financial services organizations, Sheryl Hickerson has worked with thousands of professionals to grow the presence of the financial services profession through online platforms.
In 2018, Sheryl started Females and Finance, a private online membership organization dedicated to fostering recruitment, training, and advancement of women in a financial service or financial technology role.
Membership today recently crested 2,900 professionals with no signs of letting up. After 30 years in financial services, Sheryl has dedicated her professional life to promoting better networking and diversity initiatives within her community.
Guests on the Mitlin Money Mindset Show are not affiliated with CWM, LLC, and opinions expressed herein may not be representative CWM, LLC. CWM, LLC is not responsible for the guest’s content linked on this site.
Connect With Mitlin Financial
- podcast(at)MitlinFinancial.com – email us with your suggestions for topics or guests
- Follow on Twitter
- Follow on Instagram
- Subscribe on Youtube
- Follow on Linkedin
- Follow on Facebook