Angela has launched various forums with the goal of promoting female talent, including a Women’s Financial Summit and the Credit Suisse and BlackRock women’s summit. Angela acts as a formal mentor, but also as a trusted confidante, on an informal basis, which reflects her inclusive nature and passion to help women make an impact.
Angela has been shortlisted for the 2020 WIBF Award for Achievement.
Can you tell us about your career path?
I certainly did not intend to go into banking but was inspired by a friend who thought I would thrive in the typically adrenaline fuelled environment of an Investment Bank. I began my career in a sales role within the Fixed Income markets and progressed to managerial roles before taking a break in 2010 where I co-founded an electronic trading platform. This was probably one of the highlights of my career in that I went from enjoying the benefits of working for a branded institution to having to sell an idea and indeed myself. I learnt more in that time about the meaning of success than at any other point in my career and felt the entrepreneurial experience I gained helped me to focus and prioritise on what really matters in a client-facing role.
You launched the Credit Suisse and Black Rock Press for Progress Women’s summit, can you tell us more about that?
The idea materialised after talking with BlackRock about the challenges we face in our industry in both recruiting and retaining women and that our experiences from the sell-side and buy-side were unsurprisingly not too dissimilar. Given that we share the same goals and beliefs in the power of a truly diverse and inclusive organisation we agreed there would be a huge benefit in bringing together our respective colleagues to press for progress and take collective action to inspire the next generation of female talent.
You are a member of the Vice President Coaching Program, what advice would you give to women considering coaching?
The power of being part of a coaching program can help provide a support system that is crucial to mapping out and managing your career plan. The importance of knowing that we have all faced similar issues at some point in our career can be reassuring and help to address and solve problems while not losing focus on long-term career goals. The benefit of coaching can help with emotional agility and highlight the importance of being confident in one’s abilities and not to undersell yourself be it asking for that promotion or pay rise. I encourage women to embrace their femininity and not feel they have to conform in any way which diminishes their authenticity. One of the best pieces of advice I was given by a very successful friend of mine in the industry was to create a personal board of directors which is a group of trusted confidantes to share your challenges in a safe space as they unfold.
Do you think the current crisis will have an impact on the progression of Diversity and Inclusion?
I absolutely do, particularly as ESG gains a greater focus in our Industry. To date, climate change has dominated the agenda but that is changing with the social part, the ‘S’ in ESG, becoming more of a focus particularly given the events of the past year with the Black Lives Matter movement and the pandemic. We are already seeing a trend of targets being set for the recruitment of black employees which ultimately is a good thing as it will help to focus the minds of hiring managers on their recruitment policies and help to achieve racial equality in the workforce. There is a huge amount of inclusive capital being put to work and companies that don’t properly address the issue will not only not benefit from the positive impact of having a truly diverse and inclusive workforce but ultimately could see the impact reflected in their share price.
What advice would you give to your 18 year old self, knowing what you know now?
That risk begets risk which builds confidence and is the ultimate path to success. In this business all that we really have are our reputations and relationships and therefore helping each other to be successful while doing the right thing is key to one’s long term success. Ask for help and own up to mistakes – it shows integrity and helps to build people’s confidence in your decision making process. Finally, try not to overthink everything, trust your instincts and most of all have fun with it.
What do you enjoy to do in your spare time?
As an older mother of a three-year old I now truly appreciate the demands of a working mother and career with limited downtime but I try to carve out time for activities in nature which for me are the perfect antidote to our stressful city lives. One of my most favourite pastimes is walking safaris and I try to get back to Africa, which is where I grew up, at least once a year. I love skiing and try to join my classic-car enthusiast husband on rallies although trying to figure out how to get a baby seat into a 1955 Jaguar comes with its own set of challenges. My other passion is free-swimming and something I want to do more of even if the weather is not that forgiving in the UK.