Through her practical thought process, Guadalupe moved forward with purpose in the decisions she had to make. She explains that, “It’s normal for a woman to want to have 100 percent of the skills required for a new job, but that will never happen. I just told myself that I will keep learning and I’ll have the support of a huge team, so I can draw upon their skills.”
She also describes how developing your softer skills, and leadership savvy, can make up for specific technical expertise: “If you want to move forward, you need to develop communication skills, particularly your ability to listen to and understand others. The technical skills are actually easier to learn, but it’s the leadership skills that are more difficult and really make a difference for you.”
Guadalupe adds that her ‘team’ is inclusive by having a balance between women and men - who can support each other around the table. “Don’t assume that males are the enemy, they can be a very good ally,” she insists, noting that one of her strongest career supporters was a male who became a good friend and mentor.
Observing that her own employer has achieved a near balance of male and female executives, Guadalupe points out that, “Women should also collaborate, rather than going against each other. If we all have the same goal, then everybody will win.”
As I concluded my conversation with Guadalupe, I realized how important it is for up-and-coming women to hear that they are not the only ones to feel fear. It’s helpful for nervous presenters to know that many veteran actors still get stage fright, and the same applies for women and men climbing the financial services ranks.
Even industry veterans like Guadalupe have felt the fear and overcame them. And young women can learn from her strategy of staying focused on your end goal, put the risks in perspective and learn from them, and build the skills to grow your confidence.
For more inspiring stories from women leaders in financial services visit home.kpmg/mindthegap.