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There’s a common saying that members of Women in Insurance and Financial Services often embrace: If you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not growing.

That message was the theme of a Monday morning panel during NAIFA’s Career Conference and Annual Meeting moderated by WIFS incoming president Susan Glass.

“To get to a certain level (of success) you need to get to a level of discomfort first,” Evelyn Gellar of New York said. The marketplace is changing with the launch of new product lines, increasing consumer demands and innovation, she said. Geller advised the women in insurance and financial services to leverage their peers at organizations like WIFS and NAIFA who have unique abilities and “can help build your practice to the next level.”

Cheryl Canzanella of Jacksonville, Fla., said fear of rejection is a common state for anyone working in financial services. “We hear ‘no’ a lot, but if you have an opportunity to face those fears and you have the right people surrounding you and uplifting you, then you also have the opportunity to get in front of your fears and face them.” Fear may be uncertain, "but it also can be exhilarating," Canzanell said.

Kristin Alfheim agreed, saying the fear of making the right connections or talking with the right people doesn’t go away. “If it does then you are in a state of complacency. If we don’t have a fear of failure then we don’t chase success.” Industry events such as the NAIFA conference can help women move forward in their knowledge and careers. “Talk to the right people and make the right connections.”

On Monday, NAIFA and WIFS announced a partnership to strengthen advocacy and professional development.

“NAIFA and WIFS are closely aligned in our commitments to advance the knowledge and professionalism of insurance and financial advisors and position our members as industry leaders in financial services,” said NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux, CAE. “Studies show that American’s ability to save and plan for retirement is at an all-time low, so the need for consumer access to affordable, professional financial advice is critical. This partnership reflects NAIFA’s commitment to ensure our members have the knowledge to serve their clients, as well as our commitment to diversify the workforce with talented women advisors in the field,” Mayeux said. The NAIFA-WIFS partnership also will help unify our voice on Capitol Hill at a time of unprecedented challenges in the legislative and regulatory environment, Mayeux added.

“WIFS welcomes the evolving collaborative relationship with NAIFA.  This partnership speaks to our commitment to advancing women, supporting our members and lending our voice to the industry” said WIFS President Susan L. Combs



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