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5 women leaders share their best advice with the next generation

Setting and reaching goals

5 women leaders share their best advice with the next generation

Setting and reaching goals is never easy, and if you’re a woman, you will likely face additional challenges on the path to achieving your dreams.

To foster the success of future female leaders, five Wells Fargo honorees of American Banker’s “Most Powerful Women in Banking” are sharing their best advice with the next generation of female leaders:

1. Stick it out. Tracy Kerrins is Wells Fargo’s head of technology, a position equivalent to chief information officer. One of the only women at a large American bank with this role, Kerrins knows that roadblocks are a part of the journey that you should anticipate and plan for.

“Stick to your goals, even when obstacles emerge, and rely on those who are truly invested in your success,” she says.

This focus on preparedness keeps Kerrins on her toes in a rapidly evolving technological landscape. Recently, she and her team implemented a number of personalization technology solutions that are improving the banking experience, including beefing up fraud detection and delivering a virtual assistant to customers.

2. Stay curious. Transforming the banking industry is fundamental to Kristy Fercho’s role at Wells Fargo as head of diverse segments, representation, and inclusion. Her motto amounts to “The 3 B’s,” which include, “Be excellent at your job. Be curious. And most importantly: Be your authentic self.”

This attitude is valued at a time when Wells Fargo continues to commit to its diversity, equity and inclusion programs both inside the company and in communities where they operate.

READ MORE: Human rights leader shares empowering advice

3. Uplift others. For Ellen Patterson, general counsel for Wells Fargo, her own success is a reflection of the diligence and hard work of the team of over 1,200 attorneys and legal professionals she leads. She views every experience as an opportunity to learn from others and to teach others, regardless of seniority, and she values coming together as a team to put forth the strongest work product. That’s why she advises: “Be great at what you’re doing, and actively look for ways to be helpful to those around you. That applies in the early days and later on as well.”

4. Solve problems. Given her educational background, it’s no surprise that Tanya Sanders, head of Wells Fargo’s auto division, has confidence that solutions to most problems are just waiting to be discovered. Not only is she a banker looking to simplify the process for consumers to obtain auto loans and vehicles, she’s also a mechanical engineer who believes, “There is incredible power in forging new and inclusive solutions.” She advises future leaders to “Find ways to collaborate with professional and community colleagues to develop solutions that expand economic and social benefits for everyone.”

5. Communicate effectively. Kara McShane, head of Wells Fargo’s commercial real estate division, believes strong communications are a critical component of business acumen. Her advice is to, “Learn how to communicate clearly, concisely and confidently in order to be effective. Be direct but diplomatic. How you say it is as important as what you say.”

Whether you’re in school, recently graduated or in the middle of your career, applying the tried-and-true lessons of successful women leaders can help you meet challenges head on and make a bigger impact.


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