This piece is the first in the Spotlight on People series, in which the editors of The Glass Hammer ask high-ranking women in business to share their secrets to success.
We first interviewed Pat David, MD and Head of Diversity for Citi Markets & Banking, about her experiences in banking and her advice on mentoring, balancing your work and your life, and getting ahead. Pat had the following wise words about mentoring to offer young women beginning a career in finance:
- Take ownership of your career
- Be a mentor to others – formal or informal
- Build strong relationships with senior management and other people of influence – create your own ‘board of directors’.
Pat also shared her thoughts on the juggling act that employees and employers need to do to achieve that elusive work/life balance. In her own words, Pat explained how to handle this challenging issue…
“Work/life balance is an issue that has been gaining more and more attention over the past several years and here there is a great deal of activity within [our] organization to help address it.
[At Citi] we’ve developed our flexible work plan and encouraged employees to explore their options. Most importantly, we’ve moved to instill the concept in our culture so that flexibility and creative work arrangements are part of our general mindset.
That being said, it’s a give and take between firms and people. The company has to make sure it’s properly staffed so it doesn’t miss the mark on what it should be doing. And people need to take charge of their own careers and lifestyles. The reality of work/life balance is that you can have it all – but over a period of time, not necessarily at the same time.
I believe that people need to make personal choices and do what works for them. The reality is that if you work on the trading floor, your hours are tied to the market – around 8am to 5pm. For other businesses, the hours are more fluid, depending on when the client needs your services. As a global company, this can be anytime of day or night.
I personally always felt it was my responsibility to manage my life. At this time in my career I wanted a position that fit into my work/life needs, so I felt it was my job to find a position in the company that allowed me to achieve the balance I need. It’s all about choices.
The new generation of women entering the workforce has more choices than the women who came before them.”
Pat concluded: “Women need to make long-term decisions about their careers: describe it, define it and then do it.”