Why mentorship in finance matters featuring WCM Member Naina Garg

November 24, 2021
Naina Garg, 2021 WCM Professional Mentorship Program protégée

Toronto-based Naina, a 2021 WCM Professional Mentorship Program protégée, is thrilled to share her experience with the community. Naina’s story is the first in our new Community Feature series. She joined WCM in August 2019 after WCM was repeatedly and highly recommended to her by senior mentors and professionals across the industry. She currently works in investment banking. Naina is highly credentialed having completed a Master’s in Financial Economics and a Bachelor’s in Economics (Honours), Finance and Mathematics (minor). She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Data Science.

Thanks for sharing your experience with the community, why did you sign up for the WCM Professional Mentorship Program? I signed up for the WCM Mentorship program because it was a unique opportunity to meet and be mentored by experienced professionals in the industry. The professional mentorship platform created by WCM is one-of-a-kind as it not only puts female professionals in direct contact with top-quality mentors, it also provides us with periodic expert-led training to network effectively and advance our careers in finance.

My mentor was… Richard Wong. I can unequivocally say that Richard is the best mentor I have had in the industry. He has selflessly spent countless hours and resources to guide and support my career. I really lucked into a great mentoring relationship with this very fine mentor last year. Much gratitude to WCM.

The most surprising advice my mentor gave me was… that connecting young talent to your own network is not as challenging as it is made out to be. There is often some hesitation but all the barriers in introducing new people to industry professionals exist in one’s own mind and those barriers can be overcome with practice.

Through the WCM’s Mentorship program I learnt… that senior industry professionals reflect deeply on facilitating the growth and the success of young and upcoming female talent in the industry. A vast of majority of them are also willing, able, and ready to spend their time and resources in nurturing our interest and opening new doors of meaningful, professional opportunities for us.

Why do you feel that mentorship in finance matters? I feel that it matters because, for those who do not already have deep connections in the industry through family and friends, mentorship can find opportunities to connect and lessen such disadvantages. Good professional mentorship does not show negative bias towards individuals based on gender and ethnicity. In fact, it can create the needed pathways to meeting seasoned professionals and acquiring essential knowledge and skills for the next step in your professional advancement.

My piece of advice to future mentors would be... bring an honest commitment to the privilege of mentoring. It can lead a mentor to a fulfilling experience that will also reflect positively in other areas of your professional, social, and personal life. Bringing authenticity to any relationship (which in the case of mentorship may, at first, appear to be more about giving than receiving) provides solid groundwork for strengthening the roots of your character. And this industry thrives on character. The best mentors in my experience have been those who have genuinely cared, backing up their words with actions every step of the way.

My piece of advice to future protégées is... listen intently to the experiences of your mentors and act courageously on the good advice you receive. Don’t brush it under the rug. Challenge yourself and take deliberate action. Mentors find precious time in their schedule to spend it with us, and this is worth a lot of respect and careful attention.

Any last words? Equity, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of an empowering workplace, an equitable society, and sustainably happier economies.

If you are a member with a story to share, we would like to feature you in an upcoming post! We are looking for:

  • Members who have participated in a WCM program
  • Current or former steering committee members
  • Students who have participated in a WCM program
  • Students who have attended In2Fin (formerly Shebiz) or Job Shadow Day

Please reach out via our contact page and we’ll get back to you and learn more about your story!

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