Carla Brooks is often the only woman in the room.

But she considers it her responsibility to help more women break into the male-dominated financial industry.

"My passion is to make sure these young people succeed in their career," says Brooks, who spends most of her time these days helping banks raise capital. "The one thing you have to do with your life is pick a career you love. Don't pick it for the money. Pick what you enjoy and the money will come."

One former intern who Brooks continues to mentor is Kaci Burkholder. They hit it off years ago when Burkholder, then a college student, had come into the office part time for a few semesters.

Brooks advised her on everything, down to picking college classes that would offer an edge over other finance students. Burkholder says the extra accounting classes were not required, but have paid off immensely.

Though Burkholder has long since finished college, the two women still meet regularly for lunch.

And Burkholder, who now works at an investment management firm, welcomes the advice she gets on her career and life.

She also has come to appreciate how unusual such help is. She has not come across many other high-powered women in her field and none have shown an interest in mentoring her like Brooks."She was a great example that you can have a family, be good in your career, and have a balance between the two," Burkholder says.

Now Brooks hopes another woman out there will take the time to mentor her own daughter, who recently graduated from college.

"I hope somebody will take her under their wing," she says. "Sometimes children listen to another adult more than they do their parents."

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