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Top 3 Takeaways from Women in Consumer Finance 2023

WCF 2023 was packed with inspiration and insights. Here are just a few of the standout lessons we learned from the women who shared their stories, experiences, and lessons during our time in Palm Springs.  





1. Confidence is a competence. 


Carri McQuerrey-Funk (DLL) and Dr. Marlene Fuller (Citizens) led a workshop about making your voice heard. Effectively articulating ideas, asserting yourself in meetings, and communicating confidently are essential to professional success, but Carri noted that many women get stuck on that last bit.


"Confidence is a competence," she said. And like other competences (leadership, organization, delegation), it can be learned, developed, and improved. 


This is good news! It means that even those who don't consider themselves confident by nature can–and should–develop that competence through intentional practice.


2. Investment in mental health pays off.  


Twelve billion working days are lost every year to depression and anxiety globally, according to the World Health Organization. Michelle Macartney and Tricia Wyatt (Bridgeforce) highlighted this statistic in their workshop "Fostering a Culture of Mental Health & Well-Being in Your Organization." Investing in mental health initiatives can prevent many of these absences. For individuals, this results in greater job satisfaction and better performance. For organizations, it boosts productivity and retention.


Throughout the conference, we heard several accounts of the positive returns of companies investing in employee mental health. "The value and worth of your organization is shown when life happens," said Jessica Klander (Bassford Remele). She found this out personally when her firm stood by her throughout some of the hardest moments of her life, allowing her to adjust her schedule to get mental health care, take paid leave, and still make partner the following year. "I'm a lifer at my firm because of the way they support people," Klander said.


3. Connection is key.


Each year at WCF, a few women take to the stage to share their stories. This year's storytellers spoke with courage and vulnerability about their lowest points, reminding us that we are not alone in our struggles. Cassandra Hurst's (iCare Financial Corp.) story of unrelenting adversity had much of the audience in tears, but her closing message will stick with us long after those tears have dried. 


After all she's been through, Cassandra strives every day to continue connecting with others. "I make it a mission to connect with as many people as possible while I'm still here," she says. "Why are we here if not to connect and enrich each others' lives?"  


At an event that's all about connection and lifting each other up, this message truly hit home. 


Nothing is more powerful than a group of women from across an industry coming together to connect, inspire, and learn from each other, and we are honored to see it happen year after year. Whether you were right there with us or haven't yet had the chance to join us, we hope you'll find something here that resonates, motivates, or empowers you. 


Registration for WCF 2024 is now open! This time, we're headed to Fort Worth, Texas, from November 11 to 13. Make sure to grab your ticket early to get the best price!