Two pieces of advice have served me well in my career. The first came from my father, who told me it isn’t important how you got there – just show them what you can do. When I first started in this industry, I was told I was hired as a “token.” I can’t say if that were true, but I worked hard over the last 30 years to prove I could be as committed and successful as anyone.
I’d also recommend building a network of people who care about your success. Get involved with special projects at work and in the community and learn what you can from seniors and peers. I began my career as a shy girl on a large trading floor, and I quickly realized I wouldn’t last long without a thick skin and strong opinions of my own. When I first started, there were few people who were willing to “invest” in me, so I taught myself the vast majority of what I know about the fixed income business. I learned along the way that relationships are critically important, especially for young women. Finding those connections will help you accomplish your goals more quickly and provide stability when the “bumps in the road” inevitably come along.