As an organization that is passionate about advancing diversity and inclusion and creating opportunities for women in finance, Bridgepoint Investment Banking was honored to be included in a recent opportunity to educate the business community about this important mission.
Bridgepoint COO, Natasha Plooster, recently spoke on a panel of high-performing female leaders in finance for members of ACG Nebraska. This incredible panel of women offered many valuable perspectives and actionable tips that can enhance the diversity, inclusion and overall performance of companies across any sector.
This panel was comprised of four finance professionals, moderated by Gallup President and COO, Jane Miller:
- Natasha Plooster, Chief Operating Officer of Bridgepoint Investment Banking
- Suzanne Yoon, Founder and Managing Partner of Kinzie Capital
- Megan Belcher, Chief Legal & External Affairs Officer, Corporate Secretary & Board Member of Scoular
- Donna Walsh, Operating Principal of Panorama Point Partners
Below we’ve compiled some of the top themes, tips and advice from this insightful panel.
On the competitive nature of high-performing women in leadership
- “Inclusion and success is a team sport. Don’t try to be a star player, work together to win championships by utilizing everyone’s strengths.” – Suzanne Yoon
- “The pursuit of excellence should bring others with you, not be to the detriment of others.” – Megan Belcher
- “Self-awareness about your strengths and weaknesses is imperative to ascending to positions of leadership.” – Megan Belcher
- “Differentiate competitive from cutthroat. It’s not worth it to win at any cost.” – Donna Walsh
- “You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room; you should be open to what everyone brings to the table.” – Donna Walsh
On the importance of diversity and inclusion, and how to embrace it
- “There’s no magic or shortcut to diversity and inclusion. It’s openness, being intentional and taking small steps.” – Natasha Plooster
- “Diversity in hiring is more than just hiring. It is also about making space for them and helping the team embrace them and mesh with others.” – Megan Belcher
- “Representation is key to building a pipeline that supports your DEI efforts.” – Suzanne Yoon
On the balance of career and family life for high-performing women
- “When you have values, you have priorities. In all things, know what your priority is.” – Megan Belcher
- “If you can’t give a big quantity of time, focus on making that time high-quality.” – Suzanne Yoon
- “Know that no one is doing it all by themselves.” – Megan Belcher
- “Surround yourself with a village; trying to do it all leads to burnout. Find what works for you and embrace it. Be present in whatever you do. Celebrate every success in order to refill your energy.” – Natasha Plooster
Practical tips for empowering women to become leaders
- “Making change in your organization doesn’t have to be overwhelming and complicated to be impactful – but it does have to be intentional. Think about the small steps you can take, and take them consistently.” – Megan Belcher
- “It’s the responsibility of a company’s leadership to ensure equity within the company.” – Suzanne Yoon
- “Build inclusive teams and be an ally. Unlocking others’ potential unlocks your own potential.” – Megan Belcher
- “Women need allies in their careers who are supportive and appreciative of what women bring to the table.” – Natasha Plooster
- “Men can make room for women at the table and encourage us to speak up about our ideas.” – Donna Walsh
- “When aiming for sponsorship and mentorship of women in leadership, leverage your power to take the most expansive view as possible.” – Megan Belcher
- “Look at everyone through the lens of looking for their best potential.” – Natasha Plooster
Bridgepoint Investment Banking is proudly committed to furthering the leadership and inclusion of women in finance. We hope this article has inspired you and given you practical steps that can be taken to empower the next generation of female leaders.