See it, Be it Role Model

Alyssa Moeder

Private Wealth Adviser Merrill Private Wealth Management New York

Even small things can make a big impact, said Alyssa Moeder, private wealth adviser, Merrill Private Wealth Management and founder of the Merrill Lynch Women’s Exchange.

About 15 years ago, she had a simple notion of creating a gathering for sharing ideas and fostering informal mentorships between junior and senior women within her office. Her idea was embraced, the event was a success, and the concept took off. Women from neighboring offices, then regional offices, got on board. Now there are more than 5,000 members from 60-plus offices nationwide.

The main areas of emphasis of the exchange are mentoring, networking, educational programming and volunteering.

What’s behind the program’s rapid growth and long duration?

“It was grassroots; the members created what we wanted to do,” Ms. Moeder said.

The exchange's innovate mentorship program was another factor. The mentorship program is structured as one-year long and is supported by an accountability process, whereby exchange committee members follow up on mentor/mentee match-ups to make sure the participants are following through.

“I never imagined it would grow the way it did,” said Ms. Moeder. “I’ve participated as a mentor and a mentee and I’ve gained a tremendous amount by being on both sides.”

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