Do you remember when you were a child, and you thought about who the perfect…
The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) is thrilled that Dr. Renée Baker, DBA, RCC™, wealth building advocate and barrier breaker in finance will be the keynote speaker at the 2023 Breakthrough Breakfast on May 5 at the Philadelphia Country Club in Gladwyne, PA.
Dr. Baker is Head of Private Client Group Advisor Inclusion Networks at Raymond James where she leads a team focused on the recruitment, development, retention, and advancement of diverse financial advisors. Her work supports the long-term success of financial advisors to help them grow their businesses. She also collaborates with internal and external partners including the firm’s head of diversity and inclusion in support of the firm’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
In a recent interview with WRC, Renée shared her inspiring story of overcoming challenges as a wife, young mother and Black woman navigating the corporate ladder in the financial services industry. Despite the obstacles, she continues to persevere citing resilience, perseverance, and compassion as the sources of her strength and success. Renée remarked there were times in her career where she didn’t feel a sense of belonging and having equal opportunity was not always there, which created a sense of isolation and sometimes self-doubt. However, her disappointments fueled her determination to succeed. “I chose to be enhanced by my experiences rather than defined by them and leading the change I want to see in this industry and the world,” she said. She also saw that she could be a role model to other women. “I understand the challenges women face and I want to use my experience to empower women in this industry and beyond,” she stated.
She was the first person in her family to go to college and also went on to gain a Doctorate degree. She says her example of being accepted into college gave a sense of pride to her community in Southern New Jersey, where she grew up.
Renée holds a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Rutgers University, a Master of Business Administration degree from The Pennsylvania State University and a Doctorate in Business Administration from Wilmington University. Renée also completed executive education at the Securities Industry Institute, hosted by SIFMA and Wharton, and holds several securities licenses. She has been the recipient of several industry awards and was recognized by The Pennsylvania State University, as the 2021 Smeal Alumni Award Recipient for Diversity Leadership and Financial Planning magazine as one of the “20 People Who Will Change Wealth Management in 2020” and was also named as a 2022 Tampa Bay Business Journal Business Woman of the Year honoree.
Renée’s personal and professional story is uplifting, inspiring, and humanistic. She said of her motivation, “I think that my story reflects the challenges many of us encounter and must overcome. It’s about the barriers we all face and need to overcome in our lives. By sharing our experiences and the lessons learned, we can uplift women and communities and show them they are not alone. Moreover, we can encourage them to share their own stories. I am not defined by my experiences, but I’m enhanced by them choosing to see them as opportunities for growth and enrichment.”
Proceeds from the Breakthrough Breakfast will support the Women’s Resource Center, a 48-year-old nonprofit serving women and girls facing life transitions across the five-county greater Philadelphia region. Longstanding WRC services include an Information & Referral Helpline (701-314-4357), Counseling, low-cost Family Law assistance, a Girls Lead program, and a new Financial Stability program.
WRC Executive Director Cheryl Brubaker remarked, “Dr. Renée Baker represents kindness and strength. In her professional and personal life, she leverages challenges into opportunities for herself and others. Her compassion and resilience form the bedrock of her perseverance and success. As a nonprofit helping women and girls from diverse backgrounds find their voice and develop their own resilience in the face of obstacles, we are honored to welcome Renée to headline our Breakthrough Breakfast and look forward to learning from her journey.”