In celebration of TXWSW’s ten-year anniversary, we are featuring women in senior-level positions in finance that have made a difference in the lives of their colleagues and community. Be sure to join TXWSW in each of our chapter cities for our celebrations.
We recently interviewed Mary D. Bass, Partner at Spencer Stuart based in Houston, Texas and learned more about why she started her career in finance and her best career advice.
Define career success.
“Career Success is when people seek you out to ask your advice because you’ve become a Trusted Advisor.”
How did you choose finance as your career?
“I got an MBA with an emphasis in Corporate Finance. I love business. Finance makes it all work.”
Share your best career advice.
“Learn everything you can about your field, be open to other points of view (great way to learn), don’t be shy about raising your hand and help those who are coming up behind you.”
How have networking groups like Texas Wall Street Women helped your career?
“I was introduced to TWSW because I was asked to be a speaker (see question 1). Networking groups like this give us a platform to connect with people with whom we have a common interest. You meet people who are out of your everyday groups. You get different points of view which can broaden your thinking. You broaden your personal network which exposes you to other groups, you make friendships, you learn from each other. All of these things make you more successful in your career. Life is a constant learning journey. If you’re not learning, you’re not moving ahead.”
What is your advice on giving back and helping the next generation of women in finance?
“Make yourself available to others who are seeking advice. For the first half of my career, I was truly gender neutral and didn’t think about being a female and the difference it made to be a woman in business. As I’ve gotten more seasoned, I see some of the reasons women need to help other women. I love Madeleine Albright’s quote: ” there’s a special place in Hell for women who don’t help other women.””
“I like to think of it as lighting a candle for someone who, then, in turn, lights a candle for another and then, together, we can light up the world.”
Do you know a phenomenal woman making a difference in finance? We encourage you to nominate your mentors, friends, and colleagues so that we can celebrate their achievements and success by sending their name, and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.