“Putting you in handcuffs”; so reads the Forbes 2010 article title about non-compete clauses in employment contracts. This negative portrayal of non-competes is not unique. A Harvard Business Review blog titled “Non-compete clauses punish the wrong party” is just as damning, and a recent poll by the Boston Globe has shown that 70% of the Massachusetts respondents want non-competes banned across the state.
“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” T.S. Eliot
We seem to be encouraged to take risks in many aspects of life in the hope or expectation of reaping greater rewards; from high-risk, high-return financial investments to extreme sports for “the thrill”. In our careers, we are also challenged with taking risks to increase the likelihood of successful career progression. Playing it safe, we’re told, will not differentiate us from our peers.
Guest Contribution by Devika Arora
Today’s woman is ambitious and hungry for individuality. She is eager to live her dreams, for which she wishes to become financially independent by earning her own bread and butter. This is why an increasing number of women are finding themselves back on the job hunt. But what happens when the same women sit for an interview and are questioned about their capabilities? Why is it hard for them to nail a job interview that should have been a walk in the park? The following article will highlight the 10 of the most common mistakes that women tend to make during job interviews.
The boss doesn’t appreciate what I do. I am not getting paid enough. I am twice as smart as John, and he is getting better assignments.
Any of these thoughts ever go through your head? Undoubtedly, because according to the American Psychological Association, almost half of employees feel undervalued at work.
By Michelle Hendelman
The pivotal moment of Kelly Williams’ career came when she was given the opportunity to step outside of her comfort zone and go in a completely new direction. “I started as a project finance lawyer in the private sector, where I was one of few women,” said Williams, who later took a position working in-house with Prudential Financial.
“Then I had the chance to move over to the business side because someone believed in me and recognized that I had the skills and ability to thrive in this new role in a different environment than what I was used to,” Williams continued.
By Beth Senko
In its fourth annual survey of CFO total compensation, The Wall Street Journal/S&P Capital IQ study placed, not one, but two women in the top 10. The study measures who got paid the most including salary, bonuses, stock awards, option awards and other compensation. Oracle’s Safra Catz topped the list of highest paid CFOs of both men and women in 2013 with total compensation of $43.6 million. Former Accenture CFO Pamela Craig placed 8th with total compensation of $12.8 million. Craig retired in August 2013.Two other women made it to the top 20. Kinder Morgan’s Kimberly Allen Dang earned $10.4 million in 2013 while Morgan Stanley’s Ruth Porat took home $10.1 million.
By Beth Senko
In a recent round-table of derivative portfolio managers of the largest insurance companies, Esther Yang found herself being the only female among this male dominated profession. How did she get to where she is now?
Esther Yang did not have a conventional route to success in financial services. In fact, she didn’t begin college or her career with intentions of entering the field at all. However, Yang used her instincts and willingness to try new things to guide her into the position she currently holds.
Guest Contribution by Anne Litwin, PhD
I heard this kind of statement often from the women in my research on women’s relationships in the workplace. This research, involving women from many professions and countries, shows that many women have different expectations of how female leaders should behave. Women also often report preferring to work for men, which could be a significant problem for our careers if almost half of the workforce does not want to be led by us.
With ethics and codes of conduct being so pivotal to the internal success of companies, industries and consumer based trust – a heavy onus is on organisations to foster a culture that nurtures and promotes adherence to them irrespective of gender. However, there has been many articles written about one gender being more ethical than the other; women over men.
A recent conversation between Shakar Vendatam and David Greene on NPR suggests that men tend to ‘have more lenient ethical standards than women’ and The Guardian goes further to explore the constructs that encourage men to bend the rules more frequently.
We have to wonder; do we run the risk of giving free license for our male counterparts to blame unethical behaviors on their gender? Likewise do we give women leverage to operate from a moral high ground as the ethical ‘light-bearers’ of society which inadvertently extends to the workplace?
The Glass Hammer explored this topic in 2013 when we looked at research out of University of California, Berkeley by Jessica A. Kennedy and Laura J. Kray which looks at how when women perceive a departure from a code of conduct, they are less likely to want to be part of it.
Why this matters for you as a leader?
In today’s current economic climate where consumer trust is at a low, establishing a code of conduct or ethical standards within an organisation couldn’t be more important for three main reasons.
• It provides a unified and universal standard on what is considered right and wrong behaviours for an organisation.
• It builds trust among colleagues within organisation.
• It promotes trust from the consumer base.
The Gender Issue
So workplace ethics are a big deal. Yet research is suggesting that men do not regard them as highly as women. Not only has research found that women are less willing to compromise ethical standards for career success, but that they are also more likely to believe that corporate ethical codes would make a positive difference. Last year, a research team at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School released a study where men and women were provided a series of fictitious job descriptions which they had to evaluate. Each job description included an ethics component and the outcome showed that women are less willing to sacrifice ethical values for money and social status and that women associate business with immorality more strongly. Could this be one of the reasons why globally, women still make up only approximately 9% of corporate board memberships?
When Carin Pai joined Fiduciary Trust 18 years ago in an associate- level position within the Investment department, she knew that she was an analytical person who had a strong creative side as well. These skills, along with a strong work ethic and circle of mentors have set a strong foundation for Pai’s rewarding career.
“I studied architecture at Brooklyn Technical High School and loved the combination of the artistic and technical elements,” explained Pai, who said she enjoys this same balance in her current role as executive vice president and director of equity management.
A Committed Leader
Throughout her career Ms. Pai has remained committed to broadening her investment management and leadership skills: in 2006 she became a Chartered Financial Analyst and then in 2011 she attended Harvard Business School’s Executive Education in Investment Management program.
Leading and managing her team of portfolio managers is one of the most rewarding aspects of her job, Pai said. She is especially proud of the fact that in spite of the market turmoil in recent years, she successfully guided her team and their clients through and the group is now reaching new highs.
Although she acknowledged that there can be challenges of leading a multi-generational team, Pai enjoys discovering new ways to be an effective leader and utilize the individual strengths and talents of everyone on her team. “It is a very dynamic environment where it is important to strike a balance between motivating senior professionals and mentoring the rising stars,” she explained.
According to Pai, the team-centric environment promoted by the leaders at her firm creates a wonderful company culture where everyone knows they are appreciated. “As many companies have been forced to make job cuts throughout the market downturn, Fiduciary Trust has emerged with new technologies, resources and talent to provide our clients with the best investment solutions,” she explained.
One of the newest investment avenues Pai and her team are following is ESG investing, which stands for Environmental, Social and Government investing. “ESG awareness can go a long way with investors who are committed to these issues,” said Pai. Right now, Pai is conducting extensive research in this area to gauge client interest. “If ESG is ranking high among our clients, then we will respond by dedicating more resources to this new alternative investment channel,” she added.
Another area of interest, Pai indicated, is to expand opportunities in the global high net worth markets, such as Asia and Latin America. “Asia, for example, represents one of the highest growth segments currently and we are strategizing on how to expand our presence in Asia,” Pai explained. She will be attending the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (“STEP”) Asia Conference in Hong Kong this fall in order to stay on top of Asia’s rapidly-evolving wealth management landscape.