NC – When you think of the financial sector, do men in corporate stuffy boardrooms come to mind? That’s certainly a widespread perception. But in reality, the financial services industry has always been quite progressive when it comes to attitudes toward women in the workforce.
Even though research data from a recent American Express survey shows that only 31% of Canadians agree there is “an equal number of women and men in corporate boardrooms”, some of the better companies have actually been putting their money where their mouth is.
Jane Skoblo, the CFO at American Express Canada, believes her workplace has opened doors for her continued personal and professional growth by fostering an environment for female leadership.
“When I decided to work at Amex, I wanted to know it was a place where I could truly build my career and have a real role in shaping the company’s future. I didn’t want to be known as a successful female CFO, I wanted to be known as a successful CFO, who happened to be a female. In other words, I didn’t want my gender to define me, but rather empower me.”
Here are three tips to help you carve your own path in the financial services industry:
Bring your personality: The financial services industry leads many to believe that one must assume a hyper corporate persona, but this is not necessarily true. Sure, you have to be professional as you would with any career path, but find a way to make your personal brand stand out and you will empower other females within the organization to do the same.
Embrace your expertise: The finance department might not strike people as the most exciting place in the company, but there is always something interesting to extract from your role and to inspire your peers. Find a way to position yourself as a go-to individual in your role even if you’re not the most senior, and you will be top-of-mind when colleagues need a perspective.
Seek outside opportunities: Look for finance-focused events to attend or panels to participate in where you can represent your company amongst other industry professionals. Not only will this provide growth and learning opportunities for you on an individual level, but it will make your company look good and in turn, show your initiative and keen interest in your role.