WSFS Bank

The Expert Q&A: Managing Change
With WSFS’ SVP Cindy Crompton Barone

Cindy Crompton Barone

Q: The changes we have experienced this year have been so significant, it almost feels like change is managing us. And yet, that is not a helpful way to think about it, especially if you are in a position of leadership. How do you think about managing change during this time of great changes in society, the economy, and workplaces?

My role as a leader at WSFS focuses on the wellbeing of our Associates. I have strong relationships with our lines of business and understand our Associates, their experience working at WSFS, and their needs to maintain a good work-life balance. This past year, I’ve broadened my focus, proactively addressing the changing landscape and Associates’ needs as we all respond to events such as the pandemic. A great company like WSFS is nimble and accepting of different strategies to provide flexible work arrangements, supplemental paid leave benefits and special incentive pay as opportunities to support our Associates through these changing times.

Q: Many people believe that remote work will continue to be a big part of our lives, even after Covid-19 is brought under control. Is that good news for professional women, or are there downsides we should think about now?

My vision is businesses will forever need to consider work-from-home as well as flexible work schedules for every Associate. Although women predominately may be the primary caregiver, I have responded to men, as well as women, who identify themselves as needing to provide childcare and learning assistance now that schools are utilizing virtual learning. I’ve researched and learned that children up to 6th grade need three hours a day of a parent’s time to assist them with their education. We are addressing flexible work schedules to provide time during the day that parents will need to provide this attention to their children. Our children are our future and we will provide the opportunities to retain our talent, which includes women who may consider leaving the workforce to care for their families.

Q: What are the most important tips you can share with people who may have lost their jobs and need to think about making an unplanned career transition?

Those in transition should complete a personal inventory of their talents. Job seekers tend to look for the same position they held previously or for many years. If they completed a self-assessment of their experience, they would realize they have knowledge, skills, and experiences meeting the requirements for other positions in different industries that are hiring. In addition to job search sites such as CareerBuilder and LinkedIn, networking with colleagues, community organizations, family and friends should be in their toolbox of sources when managing their job search. When in transition, be open to learning new skills as well as considering a position that may not be the exact level you held if that position is with a good company that can provide a sustained future to continue their career.

Q: What is one idea you have heard that has helped you personally adapt to change during this time—or one thing you have learned about change that might continue to help you in the future?

Working with our Associates, I’ve learned they all react to dramatic change differently and we need to be attentive to their emotional wellbeing. As an example, everyone adjusted differently to working from home and having limited accessibility to physically spend time with family and friends, and time outside their homes. We need to learn how change impacts someone and provide support if they are having trouble adapting. When working remotely and communicating through video conferencing, we need to be conscious of behaviors that are signals that tell us someone needs help. Out of care for one another, we need to develop our ability to ask those difficult questions to address others’ needs, should they be reluctant to ask for help themselves.


Cindy Crompton Barone, SHRM-CP, is SVP, Human Capital Management at WSFS Bank, where she has spent 16 years caring for the Bank’s Associates.


SPONSORED BY

WSFS Bank logo
WSFS Financial Corporation is a multi-billion-dollar financial services company. Its primary subsidiary, WSFS Bank, is the oldest and largest locally managed bank and trust company headquartered in Delaware and the Greater Philadelphia region. As of June 30, 2020, WSFS Financial Corporation had $13.6 billion in assets on its balance sheet and $20.8 billion in assets under management and administration. WSFS operates from 115 offices, 90 of which are banking offices, located in Pennsylvania (54), Delaware (43), New Jersey (16), Virginia (1) and Nevada (1) and provides comprehensive financial services including commercial banking, retail banking, cash management and trust and wealth management. Other subsidiaries or divisions include Arrow Land Transfer, Cash Connect®, Cypress Capital Management, LLC, Christiana Trust of Delaware, NewLane Finance, Powdermill Financial Solutions, West Capital Management, WSFS Institutional Services, WSFS Mortgage, and WSFS Wealth Investments. Serving the greater Delaware Valley since 1832, WSFS Bank is one of the ten oldest banks in the United States continuously operating under the same name. For more information, please visit www.wsfsbank.com.

Serving our communities since 1832, WSFS Bank is one of the ten oldest banks in the United States continuously operating under the same name. Other subsidiaries or divisions of WSFS Financial Corporation are listed below.


The Expert Q&A on Women, Money & the Markets with WSFS Wealth Investments Advisor Amy Solano

Amy Solano

Q: The stock market has been extremely volatile since the outbreak of the coronavirus, Covid-19. How do you recommend that women think about their money, the markets and volatility now?

A: Even though it is unsettling to watch all the news surrounding this virus, it is important to maintain perspective. One of the biggest risks investors face over time is overreacting to events and market volatility, which can negatively impact their savings. If you are investing for the long term and you have an investment plan that includes a well-diversified portfolio, it generally makes sense to stay the course. The markets will recover—just as they have done in the past. It’s understandable to be anxious about how recent market fluctuations will affect your savings goals. It can be beneficial to establish a relationship with a financial advisor who can help you navigate through volatile periods such as this.

Q: Women investors have a reputation for being more conservative than men. But studies have shown that our investments tend to outperform men’s. What are women doing right?

A: I have found this to be true. I have very different conversations with men and women about investing. For example, at a dinner party it’s not uncommon for a man to approach me inquiring about the latest “hot stock” or with questions on technical data such as a stock’s PE Ratio. I generally don’t get these types of questions from women. A woman is much more likely to ask goal-based questions, such as has she saved sufficiently for retirement and allocated enough funds to cover the rising costs of healthcare.

With goals in mind, many women invest with a broad-based, longer-term view. When you plan, you are less likely to focus on short-term movements in the market, reducing transaction fees associated with trading and tend to diversify your portfolio more. Transaction fees can erode returns over time. Usually, long-term investors aren’t putting a lot of dollars towards one type of stock. If the price of the stock falls, there is a temptation to hold onto a stock in the hopes that the stock price rebounds. Of course, sometimes the stock price rebounds, and sometimes it does not.

Many women are known to be budgeters. If you are regularly allocating funds for investing as part of your budget, you are using a strategy that is called “dollar cost averaging.” This means you are placing a fixed dollar amount into an investment on a regular basis regardless of what is occurring in the financial markets. This can reduce volatility and remove the emotion of market timing.

This steady approach is a great way to reach your goals.

Q: Women now control more than half of all U.S. wealth. But we still invest less than men do. Why is that? And, are there signs this is changing?

A: Many reasons have been given why women invest less than men do. Investing can be intimidating. It can seem confusing unless you are well versed in financial jargon. Quite often the analogies used to make investing easier to understand don’t resonate with a lot of women.

Also, finding a financial advisor that you trust can be challenging. Traditionally, it has been a male-dominated industry. Many women seeking financial advice often feel more comfortable with someone who understands their experiences. Women typically live longer and are usually the primary caregiver both for their children and parents. Shared experiences help to build trust.

The Internet and social media have aided in building confidence and connections. They are great tools to locate and connect to financial advisors who share your values. They have also given women the opportunity to educate themselves. There are several websites that offer investment education and tools. Once you understand investing, you are less likely to be intimidated by it and more likely to do it.

Q: Should we think about investing as a smart way to advance wealth equity?

A: There are so many factors that come into play on both pay equity and wealth equity. They are closely related issues. It’s true that certain low-paying industries do traditionally attract female workers. It is also true that many women earn less than a man for doing the same job.

Working in a male dominated industry like financial services, I have either experienced or been witness to many instances of inequity or inequality. I have one piece of advice that I have learned along the way: Be assertive. Volunteer for that project, ask for the pay raise, express your worth and educate yourself. I know that is easier said than done, but by doing these things you are potentially growing your income. More income gives you the opportunity to save and invest. And, investing increases your wealth. If women can do this on a consistent collective basis, things can change.

Q: Businesses still have a long way to go to make gender equity a reality. As women, should we be thinking about investing in companies that have made clear commitments to gender diversity?

A: I am a big proponent of women in leadership roles. Women bring a different perspective to the workplace that is beneficial. I wish more companies would establish programs to develop a well-trained, diverse workforce. Diversity is one of many factors that investors should consider when investing in a company. Research has shown that companies that have a diverse workforce are more productive than companies that don’t have one.


AMY SOLANO is a graduate of the University of Delaware and began her career in financial services in 2003. She was first licensed in 2009 while working for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. In addition, Amy has held various positions at MBNA, Barclays, and UBS Financial. At WSFS Wealth Investments, Amy combines the experience she has gained throughout her financial services career with a deep concern for her clients’ personal and financial well-being to produce plans and portfolios that help her clients better achieve their personal, emotional, and financial goals. She holds her FINRA Series 7 and 66 securities registrations through Commonwealth Financial Network®. Amy earned the AIF® designation from the Center for Fiduciary Studies. The AIF® designation certifies that she has specialized knowledge of fiduciary standards of care and their application to the investment management process. She is currently working toward the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™(CFP®) certification. She also holds life and health insurance licenses.


SPONSORED BY

WSFS Wealth Investments logo
The financial advisors of WSFS Wealth Investments offer securities and advisory services through Commonwealth Financial Network®, member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Investments are not insured by the FDIC and are not deposits or other obligations of, or guaranteed by, any depository institution. Funds are subject to investment risks, including possible loss of principal investment. WSFS Bank is not a registered broker-dealer or Registered Investment Adviser. WSFS Bank and Commonwealth are separate and unaffiliated entities. Fixed Insurance products and services are offered through WSFS Wealth Investments or CES Insurance Agency. WSFS Wealth Investments, Greenville Center, 3801 Kennett Pike, Suite C200, Greenville, DE 19807. (866) 727-6537.

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