Despite being one of the founding members of Freestone, Kim didn’t expect to find herself in the finance industry nearly 30 years ago.
What advice would you give to other women trying to break into your field?
The industry has morphed into one where holistic planning is a key component to servicing our clients. Very different from the brokerage environment where I started my career which (in my humble opinion) was primarily about peddling the next best stock pick. I believe comprehensive planning and solving complex financial matters for our clients plays to our female strengths. As a result, there is no better time to break into the industry. I am pleased to see more women who have become successful advisors and I am proud to work beside some of those successful women every day. And, if you are not interested in being a client advisor, there are so many other avenues to pursue in the world of finance. Many of the conventional skill sets (organization, attention to detail, problem solving) that women bring to the table are even more in need now as the paradigm of our business shifts. I think there are perceived barriers for women that no longer exist. If you want to be at a certain level and are willing to make the necessary sacrifices to get there, just go for it.
What does women’s history month mean to you?
While I do believe it is important to highlight the many women (and men) who have made great strides at changing the perception of gender roles in our industry, I also worry that the month risks highlighting our differences rather than showing how we can be equal. From my point of view and coming from my personal experience, there is nothing that stops us from accomplishing the same things as men in the business world, recognizing that it comes with sacrifices for both genders.
How have you managed a career and a family?
It’s very difficult to balance a career and family. It’s not always pretty, and it’s nearly impossible to do both with 100% success without support. I have been provided many opportunities so that I could have both. I feel very fortunate for that.
My teammate and business partner of the last 21 years continually highlights the fact that we have different skill sets that complement each other which doesn’t make either one of us better than the other. That is something I always remember and embrace, as I do believe it has everything to do with the success we have had as a team and an organization. That notion has motivated me to pursue the areas in the business that I most enjoy (relationship management and problem solving) and where my skill set is most valued. It has aided me in getting me where I am today in the firm, and in life.