During a job interview a couple of years ago, a female candidate asked Kim Butler Hegedus, "How do you survive in the financial services industry as long as you have?"
The question led Hegedus, managing director of The PrivateBank, to mull the idea of forming a mentorship group for women in banking and finance. Just over a year ago, she launched an informal group called Financial Executive Women. Hegedus says there's definitely a need for it in what is still a male-dominated industry.
"I still go to meetings where I'm the only female in a group of 30 men," she said.
Still in its infancy, the group now has about 16 members, half of whom are more experienced professionals, the other half younger women whom they're mentoring. Its senior members include Diane Bridgewater, chief financial officer of LCS; Mary Coffin, an executive vice president at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage; and Karen Novak Swalwell, president of Francis & Associates.
Sometimes the group has a guest speaker at its monthly meetings, but many times it's just getting together over a glass of wine to talk about anything from juggling career and family to what to do when the discussion at a meeting turns to baseball, she said.
The group hasn't been organized under formal bylaws yet, but Hegedus expects that will come along with growth in membership.
The group's next meeting is scheduled for June 1. For more information, contact Hegedus at 515-619-6216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.