Educational Initiatives


Patti Mittelman

Sharon Lewis

Committee Chair Patti Mittelman and Vice Chair Sharon Lewis

The Financial Women’s Association (FWA), in partnership with four sponsoring organizations, BMO Capital Markets, Deloitte, New York Life and PGIM, the Global Investment Management Businesses of Prudential are launched Back2Business in 2016, a unique and innovative program which will provide opportunities for individuals who have left the workforce for reasons such as childcare, eldercare, serving their communities, etc. to return in a way that recognizes the extra support they may require to re-start and re-establish their careers.

For more information, contact Patti Mittelman or Sharon Lewis.


Financial Literacy/Backpack

Lindsay Starr

Lindsay Starr

Suzanne Matthews

Committee Co-Chairs Suzanne Matthews and Lindsay Starr

Financial literacy is crucial for making smart money choices. Financial Women’s Association runs educational workshops for adults and teens to teach them skills and concepts related to budgeting, credit, savings, and more. Through ongoing trainings, FWA members can learn how to facilitate sessions on these key topics to pay it forward with their knowledge and experience.

In 2001, the FWA began offering financial literacy workshops to high school students through the Financial Backpack program, where participating students learn practical personal financial skills, such as budgeting, investing, and planning for college. In 2008, HSBC granted $900,000 to the FWA to expand the program’s breadth and depth. Over 2,800 students have participated in this program.

Financial Backpack is delivered in a classroom setting with a FWA member, NYC teacher, and college student team-teaching. The curriculum consists of six modules, which can be modified and arranged to cater delivery to the participating school or organization. We present these topics in a highly interactive manner, using real life case studies to get students thinking about real life applications of these important personal finance ideas.

The adult financial literacy program started in 2004 with the goal of enabling adult women to better control six critical areas of personal financial decision making. The committee works in partnership with nonprofit training organizations in New York City to assist them in providing these skills to their students: with the Grace Institute, where adult women are trained for entry level administrative roles, and Non-Traditional Employment for Women, where adult women train for entry into the construction trades. The workshops focus on skills that enable these women to develop budgets, manage down their debt, and make the most of on-the-job benefits.

The adult program is delivered in a classroom setting, with FWA members team-teaching sessions with the assistance of a peer trainer who is a representative of the student population, and a peer administrator who is responsible for the scheduling, attendance, and distribution of materials for each of the sessions.

For more information on joining the committee or scheduling a workshop with your organization, please contact Suzanne Matthews or Lindsay Starr.


Graduate School Partnerships

Christine Li-Auyeung


Committee Chair Christine Li-Auyeung

Launched in fall 2015, the Graduate School Partnership committee offers an opportunity for graduate level students to jumpstart their professional careers through a series of on-campus workshops on professional skills training and leadership development. Networking opportunities with the business community will be provided to help students build a professional network while they complete their graduate studies.

Through the FWA’s long-standing partnership with BMO Capital Markets’ Equity Through Education Program, we hope to provide students with new opportunities to help realize their educational ambition. While students pursue a specific course of study, it is very important that they are exposed to other areas in business to expand their knowledge base and excel in today’s dynamic and global business environment.

For more information, Contact Christine Li-Auyeung.


Member-to-Member Mentoring

Joan Shapiro Green

Marietta Bottero

Committee Co-Chairs Marietta Bottero and  Joan Shapiro Green

A new committee for 2017, the Member-to-Member committee focuses on pairing seasoned professionals with members that are starting their careers.

For more information, contact Marietta Bottero or Joan Shapiro Green.


Mentoring-Baruch College

Committee Chair Betsy Werley

Betsy Werley

Betsy Werley

In 2001, when the FWA decided to launch a college mentoring program, Baruch College was the obvious choice.  Its large undergraduate business program and diverse students, many the first in their families to attend college, made it a perfect partner to fulfill the FWA’s mission. With more than 200 graduates, many at NYC’s major financial and accounting firms, the program gets stronger every year.

Our impact: “The FWA has blessed me with a supportive network of powerful women, an incredible mentor whose footsteps I aspire to follow in, and opportunities I would have never been exposed to if it were not for this program. As a beneficiary of FWA/BMO Mentee Award, the program also served as a beautiful reminder to reciprocate investment in us so that we may contribute to the next generation’s success” –Salma Mohamed ’16

Program overview: Women business and accounting majors with a 3.5 GPA and student leadership activities are eligible to apply. We typically have about 35 mentee-mentor pairs who work together for junior and senior years, and often remain friends for life.

The program’s core is one-to-one mentoring with an FWA member, plus six programs that complement classroom learning and the offerings of Baruch’s Starr Career Center. Mentees connect with FWA members at FWA events. With the generous support of BMO Capital Markets, the program also offers needs-based scholarships, study abroad support and women’s leadership conference participation.

We welcome new mentors who are FWA members with professional experience.

Why mentor? “Mentoring is such a life-enhancing experience,” says Betsy Werley, program chair. “I’ve mentored four students, and with each one, I’ve contributed to her success, learned from her 20-something perspective and been inspired by her very different life experience.

Our students represent the future of New York City – it’s a privilege to be involved in their lives. This program exemplifies the FWA’s commitment to developing future leaders in financial services.”

“My hopes are to see my mentee benefit/flourish from my many life experiences. I so look forward to sharing with her as well as the professional guidance it will provide,” Mentor Marline Alexander commented.

For more information, contact chair Betsy Werley.


Mentoring-Seton Hall University

Carol Doyle

Carol Doyle

Committee Chair Carol Doyle

FWA of NJ, a regional committee of FWA of NY, Inc., initiated a mentoring program in the Fall of 2015 at the Stillman School of Business of Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ.  This program grew out of a desire for the FWA members who do not live/work in Manhattan to be engaged in a program that is focused on the next generation of women leaders in the business world.  The FWA in NJ committee had engaged with the Stillman School of Business over the years by having FWA events on campus.

FWA Mentees at Seton Hall University

For the first year of our mentoring program we had 11 FWA members as mentors, and 11 mentees.  The Dean of the School of Business, Dr. Joyce Strawser, PhD, and Associate Dean, Leigh Onimus, JD selected about 20-25 female students who were sophomores, juniors, seniors and a few first year MBA students and invited them to interview for the FWA in NJ mentoring program. Members of the FWA in NJ committee, including the co-chairs of the mentoring program interviewed the students.  Selections were made based on ability to match the student with an appropriate mentor, assessment of the student’s need for a mentor, along with a judgment on their commitment to making the most of a mentoring relationship.

After a successful first year, we expanded the program for the Fall of 2016 with 15 mentors and 16 mentees. Some of these mentees were continuing from the prior year.  In cases where the mentee continued in the program, they stayed with the same FWA mentor.  For the Fall of 2017, the program expanded further, and we have 21 mentees with 20 FWA mentors.  Current highlights include a generous MUFG funded scholarship opportunity for the mentees to apply for as well as financial support for the mentoring program that will allow increased programming to benefit the mentees.

The capacity of our program is limited by the number of mentors.  We encourage FWA members to consider giving back to the next generation.

For more information, contact co-chairs Carol Doyle.


Mentoring-High School

Mindy Kipness

Mindy Kipness

Beth Dorfman

Beth Dorfman

Committee Co-Chairs Beth Dorfman and Mindy Kipness

The mentoring program powered by the FWA assists mentees to smoothly transition into long, successful careers after gaining the knowledge and leaving with the tools provided by experienced women part of this organization. This mentoring program, has been underway for many years allowing students to benefit from:

  • One-on-one teaching that is conducted in person, by e-mail and phone
  • An online community that students and mentor facilitators can access at anytime
  • Professional development and career readiness lessons
  • Confidence building
  • SAT’s and PSAT’s Prep Classes.

The FWA relationship with the NYC High Schools has been highlighted as being the longest running program within the system. It began at Murry Bergtraum HS where it had over a 25 year relationship. FWA continues this NYC High School relationship at the High School of Economics and Finance. Many graduates of this program are the first in their family to complete high school and continue onto college. Since program inception, all mentees have graduated on time and enrolled in college.

For more information, contact co-chairs Beth Dorfman or Mindy Kipness.


Pacesetter Initiative

Amy Hertenstein

Marian Olah

Committee Co-Chairs Marian Olah or Amy Hertenstein

pacesetter: a person, group or organization that is the most progressive or successful and serves as a model to be imitated.

The FWA is proud to have the opportunity to recognize each year a new exceptional group of achievers, who are emerging leaders in their fields and in thier companies.

The FWA is honored to provide a Program of Leadership and Development for these outstanding individuals through a series of specially-tailored Pacesetter events each year.

For more information, contact Co-Chairs Marian Olah or Amy Hertenstein.


Undergraduate Scholarships

Committee Chair TBA

The Scholarship Committee provides oversight for the scholarships awarded to current mentees and renewing mentees that meet the renewal requirements for an additional scholarship award.

For more information,contact Michael Taylor, FWA Educational Programs Manager at


Wall Street Exchange

Committee Co-Chairs: TBA

Wall Street Exchange (WSE) was formed in 1976 for upper level college students working within the New York area who will soon be joining the workforce. Over 1,000 WSE participants have been hired since this program’s inception upon graduation after completing weekly sessions for nine weeks. The informative workshops provide information on the presenting firms, professionalism, leadership, resume writing and interview techniques. Programs also cover networking and the best ways to create a powerful marketing plan for one’s career.
Both men and women alike are eligible for this program. Requirements include:

  • An interest in exploring a career in finance or business
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • A paid summer internship in the New York City metro area with a financial services firm or a financial function internship with a non-financial services company.

For more information, contact Michael Taylor, FWA Educational Programs Manager at

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