Contact Us
November 29, 2021

Women's Equality Day

In honor of Women’s Equality Day, we are excited to share some of our employees’ stories, as well as some photos, of their professional journeys. Read on to learn more about their experiences in the industry, the best advice they’ve ever received, their biggest inspirations, and how they overcome self-doubt.

Angel Naval
angel

  1. Could you name a woman who’s inspired you the most? Why?

My mom, she is an epitome of strength and resiliency. She inspires me to always be a better version of myself and to know my worth and never to compromise.

  1. Do you think you’ve ever experienced moments of doubt because of your gender in a male-dominated industry? How do you overcome any of those feelings?

Absolutely! As a mother of 2 girls and full time working mom, there are times where I doubt if I can even compete in the industry I am in but instead of looking at it as a hindrance, I learned how to use it to my advantage! Being a mom of 2, makes me more understanding, empathetic, agile, accountable and a better leader.

  1. What’s the best work-related advice you’ve ever received?

Find a mentor and be a mentor!

  1. What is one moment or event from your past that has shaped your career or molded the direction of your professional journey to where you are today?

1) Becoming a mother of 2 girls made me want to become the best leader that I could potentially be because I want to them to become one someday. I try to lead by example.
2) Meeting inspiring women leaders influenced me to become one.

Lucia Valenzuela
Lucia

  1. Could you name a woman who’s inspired you the most? Why?

Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor is the third women to serve on the Supreme Court and the first Latina member of the Court. As a Latina Attorney myself, I have been painfully reminded of the statistics that I had to overcome to reach my goals. Justice Sotomayor is a reminder that those statistics are not my limit. “I am an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences.” -Sonia Sotomayor

  1. Do you think you’ve ever experienced moments of doubt because of your gender in a male-dominated industry? How do you overcome any of those feelings?

Of course, it’s very hard to not experience some doubt when you’re operating at a high level and often the only woman at the table. However, I am a big believer that YOU own your own thoughts. Anytime that I am feeling any doubt, insecurity, or anxiety, I catch myself and immediately disrupt these negative streams of thought, there is no place for doubt in excellence.

  1. What’s the best work-related advice you’ve ever received?

Form a personal board of advisors that at a minimum includes someone of another generation that has been in your circumstance, someone that can introduce you to others, someone who will critique you and, someone who is your greatest cheerleader.

Penny Auterson
Penny

  1. Could you name a woman who’s inspired you the most? Why?

My Grandmother. She graduated from the University of Nebraska at during a time when many women didn’t even picture a life of where they could get a higher education. She married, had four sons and a career as an IRS Investigator for over 30 years. She has only demonstrated to me that if you work hard you are able to achieve any goal.

  1. Do you think you’ve ever experienced moments of doubt because of your gender in a male-dominated industry? How do you overcome any of those feelings?

While serving in the Army, I was deployed to Iraq. During that time I was stationed on a base as 1 of 5 females on a base with 700 men. What I came to realize was that I was able to bring a different perspective then the predominately male group. That uniqueness was actually valued among many of my team members and they would seek me out as I could bring a different perspective to a issue then their friends or other male soldiers.

  1. What’s the best work-related advice you’ve ever received?

No joke, but I must give credit to our own CEO Kevin O’Connell. Since I have joined MGO, I have heard Kevin say numerous times that he approaches issues with the mindset to always “Seek to Understand.” As I have learned in HR most in never what it appears. By approaching situations, people, etc. with an openness I have had the opportunity to meet and have some amazing conversations with people I never thought on face value that I had anything in common with.

  1. What is one moment or event from your past that has shaped your career or molded the direction of your professional journey to where you are today?

For me there was no one moment but understanding that your professional pathway is a journey. I started my college career as a Bio-medical science major, received my degree in Child and Adolescence Studies Major and made a career in HR. While these do not seem connect what I realize is that I have always wanted to help people, through education, support and understanding. It took a lot of turns and curves to get to where get me here and I wouldn’t have changed it even for a simpler path.

Sanjana Bhagava
sanjana

  1. Could you name a woman who’s inspired you the most? Why?

My mother. I have always admired her courage, patience and adaptability even in the most challenging situations. She puts others’ needs before her own, without thinking twice and has gone above and beyond in helping others innumerable times. I have always looked up to her while she took care of me and my sister when my father had to move to UK due to job switch and tirelessly shuttled between UK and India for a couple of years and us kids were completing our senior secondary and college studies. Goes without saying, we read about super humans and admire them in the virtual world, but I lived with one - my mother.

  1. Do you think you’ve ever experienced moments of doubt because of your gender in a male-dominated industry? How do you overcome any of those feelings?

I have been fortunate enough to have had supportive and guiding male colleagues. While I do agree that financial world is a male-dominated industry, but within MGO and American Express (my previous firm), I never felt sidelined or doubtful about my role and contribution to my team and the firm. I am glad to have received guidance and encouragement from my seniors and peers, male or female throughout my professional journey so far and hope it remains the same moving forward

  1. What’s the best work-related advice you’ve ever received?
    I think this is a really important one that has helped me grow both as a professional and individual. One of my mentor once told me to say “yes” to things you don’t think you can do. Whether it’s applying for a higher-level job, taking on a new task at work, or learning a difficult new skill, one of the best ways to rapidly level-up or advance your career is to say “yes” to the scary stuff.

For e.g. One of my manager from previous firm at UK, told me to prioritize what I want to focus on and either delegate the other bits or keep them parked to be picked up later. I don’t need to manage everything. By realizing what factors are under my control and focusing on them to drive the outcomes, I have been able to meet my personal goals as well as help my team grow and deliver on our team goals.

  1. What is one moment or event from your past that has shaped your career or molded the direction of your professional journey to where you are today?

While I was always clear about having a career in finance and accounting, I wasn’t particularly excited about appearing for the ACCA papers. My father had made a switch from IT to Finance late in his career and had cleared ACCA papers as I was starting my set. This really inspired me as well as gave me a lot of confidence to go through the long journey of ACCA and build a career in finance.

Zosia Jiang
Zosia 1

  1. Could you name a woman who’s inspired you the most? Why?

Sherly Sandberg – her strong self-management and adult supervision skills, advocating women leadership and espousing feminist virtues.

  1. What’s the best work-related advice you’ve ever received?

There is no such thing as a dumb question. If you need help, ask for it.