“The Western Woman Will Change the World”: Harnessing Our Collective Power to Ignite Change

The Dalai Lama, in all of his great wisdom, once proclaimed that, “The western woman is going to change the world.”

As women, there is such tremendous strength in our ability to collaborate, and in our empathy, compassion, drive, and intelligence. But moving the needle on this change requires more than just talking about it — it requires action. I’d like to share my story behind launching Equita Financial Network with my fellow co-founder, Katie Burke, and how we hope it can truly make a difference to women-led planning firms across the country (and to the many clients these planners serve).

Bridget’s Story

Several years ago, I launched WealthChoice, a financial life planning firm for women executives and their families. I should start by saying that I never intended on starting my own firm when I entered the financial planning industry.

But I was tired of the many years I spent working countless hours for a traditional RIA every week. I was tired of getting paid a fraction of what male planners were being paid at the firm and hearing from other firms that I was “too old” to consider a lateral move. I was tired of being told I was too ambitious by my boss, or that my efforts to bring women together were a waste of time. All of these feelings converged and, with unbelievable anxiety and stress, I launched my own financial planning firm in 2016, guided by a vision and passion and my clients’ trust.

This is where Equita comes in.

In order to provide the highest level of guidance to my clients, my firm, WealthChoice, needs the best business resources. As a small, woman-led business, I found it easier to outsource these resources rather than curate them myself, mostly for fear of missing key pieces or making mistakes. I also wanted to have more time to focus on client service, which was possible by outsourcing many business resources.

As financial planners, our role is to help women, who are working so very hard, live life on their terms. Financial planning is an absolute passion of mine, but so is having my own firm. We are intentional in who we serve, and how we serve our clients. My firm is an extension of myself, and it is a personal passion. It brings me tremendous fulfillment. But as my firm grew, it also caused me to step back to see how we could structure our business better so that we could do more of what we do best: serve our clients.

The Power of Collaboration

In the course of business, I met and collaborated with another financial planner on some client cases to great success: Katie Burke, President of Method Financial Planning. Together, we realized the great power that came with collaborating in our respective businesses. Clients benefit, we benefit. Katie and I started to share best practices in business and planning on a more frequent basis. We saw terrific results and knew that other women could benefit from the same type of relationship.

So, we started to brainstorm: What would allow us to become even better planners? How could we make that available for other independent, women-led planning firms?

We wanted solutions that would allow us to spend more time on what is most important to our firms — and that is great financial planning solutions for our clients. We both realized that by having outstanding business resources behind us, we would be capable of doing better work and running our businesses more efficiently. We could have more time and resources to grow our businesses intentionally. We could streamline the operational tasks that come with running our businesses, but often bog us down on the road to growth. And most importantly, we envisioned a platform for collaboration, for sharing curated resources, for succession planning, and for helping other women led firms be successful. To do this, we needed to create a suite of the best industry resources, which we spent the next seven months assembling.

Equita’s first two member firms were WealthChoice and Method Financial Planning — and since then, we have welcomed other women-led firms into our community, and look forward to bringing even more into the fold over the coming months.

We’re on a mission to make a difference to clients and women business owners on a scale we have not yet seen in our industry.

There is power in connecting smart, driven, like-minded women in business. Together, we will change the future for our clients, and for the female financial planners who make real, positive change in their lives every day.

Privacy Notice

We recognize the importance of protecting our clients’ privacy. We have policies to maintain the confidentiality and security of your nonpublic personal information. The following is designed to help you understand what information we collect from you and how we use that information to serve your account.

Categories of Information We May Collect

In the normal course of business, we may collect the following types of information:

  • Information you provide in the subscription documents and other forms (including name, address, social security number, date of birth, income and other financial-related information); and
  • Data about your transactions with us (such as the types of investments you have made and your account status).

How We Use Your Information That We Collect

Any and all nonpublic personal information that we receive with respect to our clients who are natural persons is not shared with nonaffiliated third parties which are not service providers to us without prior notice to, and consent of, such clients, unless otherwise required by law. In the normal course of business, we may disclose the kinds of nonpublic personal information listed above to nonaffiliated third-party service providers involved in servicing and administering products and services on our behalf. Our service providers include, but are not limited to, our administrator, our auditors and our legal advisor. Additionally, we may disclose such nonpublic personal information as required by law (such as to respond to a subpoena) or to satisfy a request from a regulator and/or to prevent fraud. Without limiting the foregoing, we may disclose nonpublic personal information about you to governmental entities and others in connection with meeting our obligations to prevent money laundering including, without limitation, the disclosure that may be required by the Uniting and Strengthening America Act by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001 and the regulations promulgated thereunder. In addition, if we choose to dispose of our clients’ nonpublic personal information that we are not legally bound to maintain, we will do so in a manner that reasonably protects such information from unauthorized access. The same privacy policy also applies to former clients who are natural persons.

Confidentiality and Security

We restrict access to nonpublic personal information about our clients to those employees and agents who need to know that information to provide products and services to our clients. We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect our clients’ nonpublic personal information. We respect and value that you have entrusted us with your private financial information, and we will work diligently to maintain that trust. We are committed to preserving that trust by respecting your privacy as provided herein.