Women’s History Month 2024: A Spotlight on Mentoring, Support, and Empowerment

The phrase that there is “strength in numbers” is very applicable when it comes to women in business today. Trailblazers in blazers in the 1990s and early 2000s paved the way, helping women shatter glass ceilings and earn their seats at male-dominated tables to showcase their value, strength, and ability. At the beginning of this women in the business revolution, opportunities for women, especially in areas such as financial services, were few and far between, which led to a competition of sorts, pitting women against one another, vying for the top spot.

Today, as more and more women walk in the footsteps of those who came before, they are shifting their mindset, recognizing that there is always room for women with talent, hard work, and positive energy at every table. This new realization increased the importance of women having mentors and being mentors for others while also creating a supportive environment fueled by empowering the women around them. Instead of finding ways to tear each other down, they found ways to build each other up – up the corporate ladder – sharing in and celebrating the success of other women. As boardroom tables grow more and more diverse by the day, instead of merely working to fill in the empty seats, women are consistently working together to add more and more chairs.

In the spirit of unity, there is no better time than during Women’s History Month for Withum’s Women in Financial Services Team to ask some of its female clients in the industry to provide their perspectives on mentoring, support, and empowerment. Here are some of these amazing insights.

Sharing Our Stories

Yana Andrea Klimova, CFO – Thirdsphere

“I have been inspired and mentored by many impressive and dynamic women over the years. However, in hindsight, I believe I learned even more from women at work with whom I did not agree in some ways. There is much to say about observing others and learning from examples of what not to do.

Throughout my career, I always looked to women in supervisory roles and asked myself whether I wanted to be that woman. If I found them inspiring, I knew that I was in the right place to learn and grow in that direction. There were jobs where the women in supervisory roles served more as cautionary tales, so it was a clear example that this was not a place I wanted to stay.

I have always mentored younger women and believe respect for each individual and genuine
transparency go a long way. I am always honest about my challenges, struggles, and difficult times in order to demonstrate that it’s a necessary part of the journey.”

Lorine Pendleton, Founder and Managing Partner – 125 Venture

“I’m in the midst of launching my new fund, 125 Ventures. Women I have known for years have connected me to people in their network, given me advice, etc. Since I started investing in private companies a decade ago, I’ve made time to meet with founders and others who are starting their investing journey. I am a big believer in paying it forward and giving back.”

Hallie Bonnar, Co-Founder and Partner – New Fare Partners

“I’ve been uniquely lucky to not only have a powerhouse female mentor but to work closely alongside her for the past six years which has led to immeasurable learning and growth – and been the greatest privilege on a multitude of levels. Early on in my career, I had formative training and guidance from a female boss that led to a deep expertise in marketing and really shaped my work ethic. Whether through relationships that become professionally central based on a fundamentally aligned approach, complementary skill sets, etc., or early career training, I hope I’m able to pay the fortune I’ve had forward with the women I work with in all different capacities.”

Contact Us

For more information on this topic, please contact a member of Withum’s Women in Financial Services Team.