Today Linda shares her learnings to help other women network and increase their confidence. She’s the global executive sponsor for American Express’ Women’s Interest Network, a community formed in 1993 to advocate for women’s professional growth and career satisfaction at the company. Programs range from small gatherings of women to discuss career advancement, to summer golf clinics, to a shadowing program, through which a woman executive accompanies a senior leader for a workday to gain insights into their leadership style.
During my chat with Linda, she included her ‘shadowee for the day,’ Rita Solodar, Vice President, Consumer Paid Digital Channels in the meeting. “It’s really easy to do, although I try to make the day more interesting than just taking Rita to finance meetings,” Linda jokes. She adds that, “It gives us a chance to connect on a professional and personal level and this creates a way for someone like Rita to gain me as a sounding board or to form a sponsorship or advocacy-type relationship, which is always helpful.”
Rita agrees, describing how, “It’s been tremendous to get an inside view of how Linda thinks and how she manages her day and her colleagues. This is invaluable for my career.”
Linda praises American Express, explaining that, “It’s part of our culture to encourage people to step outside their office and get to know other colleagues, in part through colleague networks. Each of us has a responsibility to help create a pipeline of talented professionals who are going to step-up to more senior roles someday.”
Recalling her path from Texas to New York and beyond, Linda concludes, “It’s about giving women confidence, to be comfortable speaking up about their career ambitions and taking the chance. It’s absolutely necessary in order to open that next door.”
For more inspiring stories from women leaders in financial services visit home.kpmg/mindthegap.
More about Linda Zukauckas: Since March, 2018, Linda has held the position of Executive Vice President, Business CFO Group, and Deputy Chief Financial Officer, with American Express, the globally integrated payments company. She joined American Express in 2011, in the role of Executive Vice President and Corporate Controller, following an 11-year tenure with Ally Financial, formerly GMAC. Linda held a number of executive posts at Ally, including Managing Director of Corporate Strategy, CFO of US Auto Finance, and Corporate Controller/Chief Accounting Officer. Earlier in her career, she occupied senior audit roles at Deutsche Bank/Bankers Trust. Linda began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers and holds a BBA in Accounting from Texas Tech University.