Women at Baird Fixed Income Capital Markets: Alexandria Simons
Spotlight on Fixed Income Capital Markets
We believe providing the best service to our clients starts with hiring the best bankers and associates. We invite you to learn more about our leaders within Fixed Income Capital Markets.
Vice President, Business Analyst
Tenure at Baird: 10 years
- What is a typical day like?
As a business analyst, I put together detailed analysis to help leaders in Fixed Income with their daily decisions. It’s a fast-paced environment with a lot of interaction throughout the firm, from marketing, finance and HR to the trading desk, various branches and the COO. I have many recurring tasks, but I never know what is going to come at me for the day. It keeps me on my toes and interested every day!
- What obstacles have you encountered in your career?
One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is choosing to be a mother while still focusing on my career. There were times in my pre-Baird life when I was passed over for potential growth opportunities because my employer assumed my having young kids made me unavailable for conferences or events. Thankfully, this has never happened to me at Baird. The firm has been very supportive throughout and has offered flexibility and time off as needed so I can care for my children. It feels great to be seen as not just a mother, but a leader in my work and personal life. I feel respected!
- Do women in your field have a hard time advancing in their career?
I know that, traditionally, leaders within banking have tended to be men. My views might be a little skewed because of where I work, but I’ve seen more and more women working into traditionally male-dominated roles. I love what I am seeing!
- What characteristics do you see in successful women?
If there’s one trait I’ve noticed successful women at Baird share, it’s the ability to stay focused on the task at hand and not get distracted. They put their energy into getting the job done without thinking too much about the politics of men versus women. They are driven to make Baird successful, so every day they bring that energy to the table without missing a beat.
- When you began your career, did you ever imagine that you would be a leader in a male-dominated profession?
I never put much thought into it. I always came to the table with the mindset that if I work hard and show off my talents, I will have a successful outcome.
- Who inspires you, and why?
Ever since I started my career at Baird, my current leader, Stephanie Warren, has always stuck out. I’ve witnessed her become more and more successful in the firm and was truly excited to see a young woman become a leader in a male-dominated business. I think part of that has been Baird’s willingness to recognize and elevate talented women throughout the firm, but it truly was Stephanie’s hard work and determination that got her there. Watching her succeed has been so inspirational to me – it truly makes me feel the sky’s the limit at Baird if you work hard and put in the effort.
- At Baird we value work-life balance – what do you do to achieve
that balance in your own life?
Baird has always championed flexibility, which has really helped me balance my family priorities with my work priorities. That flexibility has given me the opportunity to not miss out on the important parts of my personal life, be it leaving early for my kid’s soccer game, staying home with a sick child or volunteering. There is that trust that I can balance both sides appropriately, and if I need to do a little extra at night or be extra accessible and communicative, I am willing to do so.
- What advice would you give the next generation of female leaders?
Don’t be afraid to take a chance! Leaping outside my comfort zone is what led me to Baird in the first place. I initially interviewed for a tax role at Baird since that was where my career trajectory initially pointed to. I didn’t get that job but was instead offered a very ambiguous role that wasn’t even related to my expertise in tax. I agreed, and it led me to a wonderful nine-year experience in Baird’s Finance department. When the FICM Business Analyst role came up, I thought I had no business applying, for a slew of reasons. But I took a chance, and here I am today! I’m so happy I put myself out there.