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Women's History Month is a time many reflect on the challenges women have faced and overcame; except we are still in a space of change so many years later. So, March becomes a time of encouragement, empowerment, and exhaustion all at the same time. For many of us, myself included, this is just another day and month in our lives. 

If we expect real and lasting change to happen, then we must call upon all of those who do not look like us. We need our allies and diversity change agents to speak loud and proud - and only then will we start to round the corner towards equity. 

One formula I use while running a women-centric organization is called R.E.A.C.H. I created this more than 10 years ago and it continues to serve me well in 2022. It's pretty easy to remember.

R - Relationships

When I reach out to professionals, I'm always looking at how the relationship with that one person can equal multiple opportunities elsewhere. That doesn't always mean money either. I'm looking to see what the greatest impact we could make together because I know we go further faster when we have the right relationships and plenty of them. Women are natural networking professionals. 

E - Energy

You know how you have that one client that makes you cringe? That is a personal letter from the Universe telling you they are not your people. Bad energy is soul-sucking and debilitates businesses far too fast. Rather, look for good energy in those right relationships - you'll know when you're there. You'll literally feel it. Women have a good sense when good energy is nearby.

A - Authenticity

Never ever change who you are to accommodate another. You'll find your people out there. Attracting the right people with good energy means being 100% yourself - and appreciating those individuals for themselves, too. Women enjoy working in environments where they can be their whole self and depending on their home situation can mean a variety of different hats on different days.

C - Community

Wherever you go - have a community of professionals to call upon. NAIFA is a good example of that kind of community, but you can always create your own, too. Belonging is a major part of being human.

H - Humanity

Having compassion for others is a big part of our being human, too. Seeing the good in others and shouting out when they're doing amazing work. Try sharing when you see a woman doing something good whenever you can. 

As we march out of this month (pun intended!) challenge yourself to meet more individuals who don't look like you. Diversify your client reach to make certain you're rounding out your book of business. Attend networking events you've never gone to before. And feel free to borrow my R.E.A.C.H. formula as you look at new connections being made. 

If I can be of service to you as a sister at NAIFA, feel free to call on me for help and guidance.

Sheryl Hickerson, FLMI, is the Founder and Chief Engagement Officer of Females and Finance and a contributing columnist for Advisor Today.

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