In honor of Women's History Month, I'm thrilled to introduce you to my wonderful colleague, and one of the newest members of CCM's team, Selene Serkland.

As defined by The Library of Congress, Women's History Month celebrates the contributions women have made to the United States and recognizes the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields. 1 

In a field where just 15% of financial advisors are women, 2  we are thrilled to note that at CCM, women make up more than 30% of our advisory team and 50% of our firm. Even more, we are wholeheartedly committed to ensuring our team remains diverse in perspective and experience and that the women we serve are empowered in their financial lives.

And now, a brief Q&A with Selene.

Q: Tell me about your path to pursue a career in wealth management.

A: Going into college I had no idea what my career path would be/look like! I knew I liked statistics, and that whatever I did I just wanted to help people. Prior to working in wealth management, I interned for a company specializing in battery oxides and additives in their R&D department. In this role I used data to help determine which types of carbon improved battery performance. As much as I love data and statistics, I knew something was missing … people!

The next summer, I was on the hunt for a role that combined my love of numbers with the personal relationship aspect I was lacking in my previous position. That’s when I was introduced to the wealth management industry. A friend of my mom owned a wealth management firm in Illinois that is similar to CCM. When she explained her role as a financial advisor I was amazed at how she was able to directly impact the lives of the clients she served. In addition, each day was new and exciting, as each client presented their own unique set of circumstances. I later interned for her company and fell more in love with the industry, and the rest is history!

Q: I think the financial services industry and wealth management particularly is a wonderful career for women. Do you agree? If so, why?

A: I 100% agree! Two key reasons come to mind: first, several key traits associated with financial advising are areas in which many women excel, such as being strong on empathy and compassion. I believe this industry allows me and other women to pair analytical skillsets with a deep need to care for and serve others. Whether it’s navigating a difficult divorce or the loss of a spouse, the comfort and care I see our advisors give to our clients is what drew me to the industry. I hope to one day make a similar impact.

Second, I think that working in the financial services industry provides a great opportunity to empower others as more and more women are helping to manage or are managing their families’ finances. I have been fortunate to have strong female role models in both my personal and professional life, and I hope that through my work in the years to come I can help to empower both women clients and those in the broader community to feel comfortable and secure in talking/managing their finances.

Q: Think about your future advisor self, say 10 years from now. What do you hope to look back on with pride? What are some accomplishments and milestones you hope to celebrate?

A: I’m hopeful that I can look back and see how I was able to positively impact the lives of the clients I have served. For example, the opportunity to work with generations of the same family, and see how the planning done with parents, grandparents, etc. has set up their children for success.

Of course, there will hopefully be lots of industry specific milestones along the way (obtaining my CFP®, becoming an advisor, etc.), but in the end, the reason I chose to work in this industry was to help those around me!

To get to know more of the women at CCM, please visit our team bios.


NOTE: The information provided in this article is intended for clients of Carlson Capital Management. We recommend that individuals consult with a professional adviser familiar with their particular situation for advice concerning specific investment, accounting, tax, and legal matters before taking any action.