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  • by Kate Healy
  • Managing Director, Generation Next, TD Ameritrade Institutional

AdvoKate: Fathers, Front & Center

It’s June—time to think about dads and grads again. As someone who is passionate about growing the number of women and other under-represented groups in the ranks of financial planners, it’s no surprise I often direct my advice and encouragement to women.

Not today. Today, I’m talking to you: dad, father figure, godfather, uncle…any man who has a female in his life who looks up to him. This is for you.


Kate Healy and her father, Jack Healy, on Hawk Mountain while hiking the Appalachian Trail.


I come from a big Irish Catholic family. My father grew up in a time of traditional mindsets about gender roles. But since his father died when he was young, my dad had many strong females in his life—his mother, his grandmother, and his two sisters. So when it came to his four daughters, he made sure we knew we could be whoever we wanted to be. No limitations. (Especially me, because I was his favorite!) He was a wonderful man in so many ways, and I thank him for teaching me this all-important life lesson.

Let’s work together

Growing the number of women in financial planning is not a “women’s” issue. It’s everyone’s issue. Today is not about showing you the data on this (though I have a lot). Trust me. Bringing more women into the mix can be good for your clients, your firm, and our industry. I ask you to get on board and share some advice with your daughters.

I’m sure you have some events coming up…a Father’s Day barbecue, your niece’s graduation. Saturdays in June are usually pretty booked. Here are a few points you can share not only with your daughters, but with their friends and all the young people in your life who see you—the people who see your success and how much you love your calling as a financial planner.

Things dads can do to help

• Share thoughts about your career. Speak openly about what you love about financial planning. How did you get where you are today? How do you feel when you know you’ve helped a client reach his or her goals? Share success stories from women and men you know.

• Let them know that anything is possible. Whether you know it or not, you have a big influence on your daughter. I get it—financial planning isn’t the right answer for everyone. No matter what your daughter aspires to be, make sure she knows: no limitations.

• Encourage young women to advocate for themselves. I’ve been fortunate to have had great male influences in my career. In fact, I’ve worked for Tom Nally for nine years now. When we first started working together, he would call me out if I wasn’t sharing my opinions or speaking up for myself. I’m sure he’d agree that’s not a problem for me anymore! I’ve found that women are also less likely than men to ask for a raise or to negotiate during the hiring process. Be supportive. Help make sure women know it’s okay to ask for what they deserve.

• Become a mentor. You are already your daughter’s mentor. Offer to be one for her friends, too. Make a sincere offer to have them contact you to discuss career opportunities. Then go the extra step and formalize the mentor/mentee relationship.

• Share my blog! I promise to advocate for women and continue to showcase inspiring women in our industry. Perhaps the young women in your life can find some motivating stories they connect with.

• Simply be the best you. She’s watching. Be the person you want her to see.

Happy Father’s Day

I’m thinking of you today, Dad. And to all the father’s out there, Happy Father’s Day! Thank you all for helping show the women in our lives what’s possible.

I’d love to hear about the career advice you’ve given your daughter. Let me know: @KateHealy_TDA.


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Comments (5)

  1. John Mitchell says:

    Thanks for the note!
    Our CFO is a lady as well as our fixed income manager and the person in charge of client relationships with individuals. Our Board has 3 women on it.

  2. Kellie says:

    Thank you for sharing such a touching story about your father and his believing that you could be what ever you wanted to be, no limitations. This is certainly an important reminder for all women.

  3. Ken Gilpin says:


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