5 Pieces of Career Advice From Women in Finance

Morgan Stanley female leaders share invaluable career advice that have helped them navigate and thrive in the competitive world of financial services.

1. Preparation Is More Powerful Than Perfection 

Rather than strive for perfection, you’ll be much better off striving to be as prepared as you can be. I've always done my homework and tried to anticipate what might be next. The more planning you do, the more you’ll be successful in both the workplace and at home.

Clare Woodman

Head of EMEA and CEO of Morgan Stanley & Co. International Plc
View Profile

2. Admit Your Mistakes

My boss once told me to always have the strength to admit when I’m wrong. There’s nothing more intimidating than realizing you’ve made a mistake and it takes confidence and courage to admit it. Just remember that we’re all human and it’s better to own up to mistakes rather than hide them (plus, they rarely stay hidden). It really builds respect and trust among a team.

Elizabeth Porter

Executive Director, Equity Research
View Profile

3. Transparency and Honesty Are Key

When I got my first management position nearly 15 years ago, my global manager said to remember, ‘Transparency and honesty are key to managing relationships and gaining trust from people. And it’s harder than you think.’ It’s true. It’s incredibly hard sometimes to deliver a message you know someone is not going to like, but in the long run, it really pays off to be as transparent about a situation as you can be.

Yuki Hashimoto

Vice Chairman and Head of Fixed Income Distribution in Asia
View Profile

4. Have a Mentor and Keep Your Sense of Humor

One senior manager once said to us that learning and using technology is the easy part; it’s dealing with people that’s complicated. To a great extent, your quality of work will speak for itself, but I’ve found that having a mentor is invaluable. I think we can easily become emotionally invested in tiny issues, and it helps to have someone to go to, who can help you put things in perspective and keep your eye on your goals. Also, never lose your sense of humor!

Rose-Gaëlle (R-G) Belinga

Vice President, Technology
View Profile

5. Run Your Own Race

You should put aside what others are doing and put your best foot forward, based on your skillset and priorities. Even though competition does motivate me, I have found that doing my best within my capacity and priorities helps me stay calm and focused on long-term career goals, without getting distracted by what others are achieving.

Debashree Banerjee

Executive Director, Finance
View Profile