1. Can you tell us about your work experience journey? Has it been a linear path to reach your current position?
Interestingly, my career started as a 15-year old high schooler when I participated in a Merrill Lynch summer internship. I worked in the securities vault, where I helped count paper securities, batch them, and move them to their next location. It was exciting to me, and it is where my career in financial services began. My internship continued through college, and after graduating with a marketing degree, I accepted my first full-time job at Merrill Lynch as an analyst. I stayed with Merrill Lynch and later Bank of America for more than 25 years, assuming roles with increasing levels of responsibility, until I joined DTCC as CMO in 2012.
2. Have you worked with any mentors or coaches during your career? And do you mentor or coach anyone at the moment?
Yes, to this day as both a mentor and mentee. Not only have mentors helped me to grow in all areas of my life, but I am so happy to be able to give back and share my experience with other men and women. For me, I see it as my responsibility, as a leader, to inspire people to do their best work and help them to see their growth path and potential. Equally important to mentors/mentees though are sponsors and advocates who can actively help people to reach their goals.
3. Who is your most important role model?
I truly cannot name just one person. There are many people in my life who I look up to, both personally and professionally. As I grow older though, I am finding that I have become increasingly impressed with those who are trying to 'change the world', or even just their own corner of the world. I deeply respect and admire people who have the personal courage to try to make the world a little bit better than how they found it. They’re using their voices and taking an active role in making our society a better place, and that, to me, is simply spectacular.
4. How did you know you wanted to work for an exchange or CCP? Was this always a career aspiration?
I have been honoured to work in an industry that is so critical to everyday life. Working for a CCP wasn’t a career aspiration for me; I didn’t even know what a CCP was until well into my career. As I learned more and better understood the important risk management roles that CCPs play, I was delighted to be appointed as CMO at DTCC. It’s an absolute pleasure to work for a company that is truly making a difference in the industry and is so critical to the smooth functioning of the global financial markets.
5. What advice would you give to other women who want to develop their careers and gain leadership positions in financial services firms?
First and foremost, you must be authentic – bring your full self to your role and have a point of view. Make sure you speak up and share your expertise. Second, make building your network a top priority. Go out with colleagues and meet as many people as you can. These relationships may help you, but in all cases, try to seek mutually beneficial relationships. Third, never assume people know what you want – ask for it, whether a new project or role. And finally, take measured risks. There aren’t any 'sure things' but you must step out of your comfort zone to truly grow. Take a calculated leap of faith!