21 March 2023

March marks Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate women’s contributions to history, culture and society, including the invaluable perspective women bring to our workforce.

In sales and distribution organizations, women are playing an increasingly important role – and being recognized for the value that diversity, equity and inclusion bring to a culture and a team, but also the value they bring to the business and the overall success of the enterprise. Recently reported research shows that women are 11% more likely to win business than their male counterparts thanks to a propensity towards empathy, relationship building and active listening. 

So how do we ensure that the future of female representation in sales and distribution continues to grow? Lincoln Financial Distributors (LFD) launched the Women in Sales Network (WISN) in 2020 to build community for women in distribution and sales, advocate for female representation across the financial services industry and be better able to serve the unique financial needs of women as investors and clients.

In recognition of Women’s History Month, Brynn McLin, Assistant Vice President and Divisional Sales Manager – Annuities, and WISN co-chair, shares her thoughts on how personal triumph has shaped her ideas on being a mom and sales leader.


You recently completed a 50-mile ultra-marathon. You’re an athlete, a sales leader, the co-chair of WISN and a mom to two young daughters. What was it like to accomplish your ultra-marathon goal and how that journey relates to your other roles in life?

I initially signed up for the race as an opportunity to see the beautiful Antelope Canyon, a sacred region for the Navajo people that is not always open to the public. As I started taking the time for myself during the year-long training program, I realized that while I had been fulfilling all the other roles in my life, as a mom, wife and professional, I had neglected myself. I had neglected some of the passion and fire deep in me to accomplish hard feats.

By taking the time to push my own personal limits, I noticed that I became a better version of myself because I was making time to feed a piece of my soul that I needed to be challenged. So, what started as a “cool opportunity,” evolved into something deeply personal for me and my life.

Also, this was a reminder of just how capable I am. I think many women face down their own sense of “imposter syndrome,” personally and professionally and they doubt themselves. The idea that we can do it all isn’t realistic, but accomplishing this goal reminded me that I am capable of finding the balance and making the time for my own growth.

In your opinion, what unique value or perspective do women bring to a sales organization and the end clients?

The importance of female representation in financial services is directly linked to our clients, whether that’s the financial professional or the investor. Data has shown that 40% of working mothers[1] are the primary breadwinners in their household AND women control more than $10 trillion (about 33%)[2] of the total U.S. household financial assets. Although our industry has traditionally been male dominated, the data shows us that women are holding serious assets. If we are not ensuring that the female perspective is involved throughout business decision-making processes – whether that’s in product, marketing or sales – we’re likely missing the mark.  

Our CEO Ellen Cooper says that our mission at Lincoln is to help everyday Americans with their financial freedom. If we are going to truly help everyday Americans, more than half of that population is female and we need to make sure their perspectives are accounted for. By supporting a strong female sales force through WISN, Lincoln will get there even faster.

Why did you get involved in WISN?

I have always been passionate about elevating and supporting professional women. So, I was thrilled to join WISN several years ago when the group was formed. And now, I am proud to be co-chairing the group alongside Florrie Willis.

The women of WISN are so incredibly talented and each of them inspire me daily. The opportunities we offer one another are so valuable to me: to elevate, celebrate, idea share and learn new perspectives.  

As women, we have a unique perspective on the business and the industry. The more that we’re able to share that perspective, the better we will be – at Lincoln and far beyond.

As a female sales leader, mentor and a mom of two young girls, what is your hope for the next generation of professional women, in our industry and beyond?

Ultimately, my hope is to have more women in financial services. My WISN co-chair, Florrie, and I both agree that financial services offer amazing career paths for women, with opportunities to help people and make a difference. In many different areas of our industry, you’re able to impact people, including other women, achieve financial freedom, which is so important to me.

Also, I am hopeful that we can begin to breakdown the misconceptions that it’s too difficult to have a family with a career in financial services. It is possible to achieve success in a career, especially one with flexibility like wholesaling, while also remaining present for my family and achieving personal goals, like my recent race.

So, when I think about the next generation of professional women in our industry, it’s straight-forward: we need more of them. I am hopeful that we are beginning to plant the seeds to see more women and more female leaders in financial services. Because when I think of my two young daughters, I want them to know that the sky is the limit.

In your opinion, when will WISN have “crossed the finish line” in its mission to amplify women in distribution and sales?

Never – we will never cross the finish line. There is no ending to this pursuit; there are just different milestones. Even when I crossed that 50-mile finish line, that wasn’t the end of my own pursuit … it was just a part of the larger journey.

I think as an industry and as Lincoln’s WISN group, we will have accomplishments to celebrate along the way – more women joining the industry, more advancement in opportunities, more women in leadership – but there will never be a finish to the work. We will evolve and welcome more women in spreading our message even more broadly than before.


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