Pod Leader of the Week: Deborah Bronston-Culp

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Deborah is a Managing Partner at Samothrace Partners as well as an MD and Co-head of Enterprise Technology at Golden Seeds. She invests in early-stage companies, serves on boards and mentors entrepreneurs.

Deborah has over 25 years experience on Wall Street and spent 15 years at Prudential Securities where she managed and trained Equity Research analysts. She was a top ranked consumer analyst for each of the 7 years she followed stocks.

Deborah is a graduate and Trustee of UC, San Diego.

 

Describe your career journey

My father took me to the gallery of the NYSE when I was about 14 after I had bought a couple of (literally two) shares of IBM stock with some of my babysitting earnings.  I loved the frenzied environment, the unpredictability, the math and how it looked (at least on this particular day) like everyone was having fun.  The seed was planted that I would have a career in the stock market. 

Fast forward fewer than 10 years and I started working in EF Hutton's equity research department.  Ultimately, I became an equity analyst covering textile and apparel manufacturers and some specialty retailers.  It was a very rewarding and challenging career.  One of the most important skills I learned was how to listen to what and how people were telling you their stories--whether it was clients, CEOs, middle managers, bankers, customers of the companies I covered or their suppliers.  I loved analyzing business models and pouring through financial statements. 

After rising to the top of my field and staying there, I decided I wanted a new challenge and thought I could help other analysts be successful.  I developed a training program.  Over time, I took on more management roles and I have mentored more than 60 stock analysts. My last traditional Wall Street employer was Morgan Stanley where I co-ran US Equity Research with some amazing colleagues.  

I left there in 2003 and traveled the world with my husband on and off for several years.  But, I got antsy and started looking for more professional stimulation.   I looked all over for my next gig and ultimately found that I could apply all the skills I had already honed--strategizing over business plans, analyzing financials, mentoring new and seasoned executives, etc.--in the world of angel investing.  It was a perfect match.  

Over the past several years, and with a couple of partners at Samothrace Partners, we focused on investing in female entrepreneurs in exciting new B2B and B2C technologies.  These entrepreneurs are truly inspiring.

1. What about your career has surprised you the most?
If you had asked me that midway through my career I’d have said how creative investing can be.  Economics can be pretty dry to learn but applying it in a variety of disciplines is very artistic.  Now, I am surprised by the number of people I have interacted with over the years and how many have circled back through my orbit or I in theirs.  It is almost always a positive experience to reconnect with someone I haven’t spoken with in awhile.  

2. What about the future excites you? 
All the new technologies that are being commercialized.  Obviously, blockchain and AI technologies are off-the-hook exciting.  They will truly transform so many ways we interact in commerce, banking, communications, medical records and diagnostics, transferring and tracking assets of any kind, including real estate, how we drive.  The applications for these protocols and platforms will touch many, many aspects of our lives.

3. What about the future scares you? 
Political partisanship and closed-mindedness.  Nuff said.

5. What is the best invention ever? 
There was a time I thought it was Bazooka bubble gum.  Then I thought nothing could top TV remote controls.  After losing my father to melanoma, Interleukin 2 seemed the answer.  As my horizons expand and technology pushes the boundaries of what is possible, this is a very difficult question to answer.  My mother is 92 and no longer drives but is very active.  LYFT and a smartphone are hugely liberating inventions for her and therefore my sisters and me.  Many disease therapies must go on the list, but is that better than the Internet, which is a never-ending source of learning?  I know that in 20 years, perhaps fewer, these replies will sound as juvenile and narrow as bubble gum does today.

6. What is your estimate on when we will have gender parity in the US? 
It certainly won’t happen before we stop calling ourselves “girls."  Nothing is more nails-on-a-chalkboard to my ears than when I hear grown females (or males for that matter) refer to other women, themselves, their friends or colleagues as "girls."  If we don't respect ourselves enough, how can we ask others to?

Kelly Hoey: Q&A

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On November 13, Kelly Hoey, a networking expert and writer, came to teach P3 about how to build a dream network. Kelly redefined how we think about networking by explaining that networking is every human interaction. She gave concrete tips on how to leverage digital spaces, how to build long-lasting connections, and explained the different types of networks we engage in. 

Because Kelly believes networking is about giving back, she has taken the time to respond to follow-up P3 questions via email.

Q: You had advised to go to each networking event with intent and to spend a lot of time planning ahead of time. Are you able to provide an example, such as the type of steps I should have taken ahead of Parity Partners event?

A: If you're part of the Parity Partners network, you've already taken a big networking step (in the way I think about networking). You've given serious thought to where you're looking to take your career. You've indicated you're invested in taking the steps necessary to advance your career by engaging in the P3 program. Yes, a lot of the networking groundwork has been laid. Now, the types of steps I'd suggest taking at P3 events:

  • Arrive early to take advantage of the informal conversations which occur before the speaker

  • Give some thought to who you'd like to meet. Is it someone who has a similar background or career experience? Ask the organizers to make introductions - beyond "is there anyone I should meet" as clearly, Parity is a network full of connections you should meet. Be specific.

  • Read up on the speaker. Not only will that give you more insights into the purpose of the event, it will provide fuel for informal conversations early in the evening.

  • Reach out to someone you met at a prior P3 event and see if they're attending the upcoming event.

  • Think up your post event follow-up! If you're going to connect with new connections on LinkedIn, is your profile up-to-date? Check your email signature line and online bio, as the people you've just met will be looking at those too.

Q: My network is definitely narrow and deep in the same industry and am struggling to go wide as you suggested. Throwing myself at that event the other night, surrounded by mainly finance and venture capitalists, when I am in marketing was one way---any other suggestions to push to widen that network?

A: I've been on this journey (and share it in detail starting at page 70 in my book) and know exactly the place you're standing in now. My suggestion: get curious! What other industries could use your marketing skills? Think about the ways your current industry is leading in marketing - and what the trends say for other industries. Maybe there is a way to pitch yourself in to something new. Similarly, scan Meetup or Eventbrite to discover new groups where the conversations center on the problems your skillset solves. Finally, take a look at where have professionals who have your skill set moved into new and different industries? Take a look at their bios for ideas for groups.

Q: I was struck by your comments about reaching out only when you need something. Do I need to be more proactive on that? And is it still ok to ask for help?

A: I'm going to pull directly from Chapter 7 of Build Your Dream Network (Networking #Fail). What you want to avoid is being the person who is always in need, only showing up because they need something and never being there to lend a hand to someone else. As I say in my book:

Death Eaters

If you’re not a Harry Potter fan, too bad. You’re not excused from this networking point.

In the Potter books, Death Eaters are evil witches and wizards. In networking parlance, they are the people who constantly ask for help or new connections or random introductions but who never, ever reciprocate in kind. No thanks or consideration, just endless asks. Masters of only thinking only about what they need, Death Eaters are the people who zap your energy and kill the strength of your connections.

Avoid them. And, more important, follow the networking guidance in this book to avoid becoming one.

Q: Any thoughts on best way to approach getting a mentor?


A: I'm going to pull from a blog post I wrote for Tunstone: it’s important to remember that mentoring doesn’t have to be a 1:1 arrangement or a lifelong commitment — and it surely doesn’t have to only occur over coffee. Instead, think about the guidance you're seeking - and not only the people but the different ways you can get that information. I suspect many of the role models you'd like guidance from blog, tweet, have newsletters or release videos. For me, Brene Brown would be an incredible mentor. What's the likelihood of 1:1 time with her? Highly unlikely. However, if I consider watching her TED talks, reading her books etc. as providing the answers I'm seeking, it is a pretty good mentoring. If you look at mentoring in a fresher, information gathering way, you'll see you have many more opportunities to be mentored -such as in asking me this question. And I truly believe that those who are proactively seeking ways to advance their careers, attract the guidance and mentorship they are seeking - which is what you're doing by joining the Parity Partners community.

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Most importantly, remember that being a good networker means being a decent human being: don't forget to follow up and say thank you to those who help you out, and to establish regular touch points to show people you care. Thank you so much Kelly for joining us at P3!

 

Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for future updates.

The P3 Program is an education initiative by Parity Partners, an executive search company committed to diverse work cultures & to supporting minorities succeed in their careers.

The Parity Professional Program is made possible by our generous sponsors:

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Susanne Greenfield, Pod Leader of the Week

 
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Susanne Greenfield is a Vice President of Corporate Development at Priceline Group. In this role she handles M&A, global strategy, and venture investing for Priceline Group's brands. Priceline Group is a 90BN+ market cap company that provides online travel and related services to customers and partners in over 220 countries and territories through six primary brands - Booking.com, Priceline.com , KAYAK, Agoda.com, Rentalcars.com, and OpenTable. 

 Prior to her current role at Priceline Group, Susanne was Director of Corporate Development at Griffon Corp., a private equity associate at Corsair Capital, and an investment banking analyst at Merrill Lynch. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Stern School of Undergraduate Business.

What about your career has surprised you the most?
I think the most surprising aspect of my career has been the fact that my path has not always seemed clear in the moment.  When I look back, however, it seems quite logical and deliberate that I have ended up where I am today.

What about the future excites you?
Assuming we are talking about my personal future, I am excited about becoming a more well-rounded leader.  I have recently taken on a new role at my company with new responsibilities.  This is allowing me to expand my skill set and forcing me to enhance my leadership abilities.

What about the future scares you?
Again, assuming we're talking about my personal future, I think it’s not living up to my potential. I try very hard to hold myself to a high standard and I have high aspirations to become a leader not just at my company but in my field and I have the customary worries of not living up to my goals.

Daring Greatly

Which book has had the most significant impact on your life and why?

I am by nature an introvert, which at times hinders my efforts to connect with other people.  Although a bit repetitive at times, a lot of the concepts that Brene Brown explores in Daring Greatly regarding forming connections and building relationships was eye opening.  She illustrates that by opening up to others and showing vulnerability you become more relatable to people.  Especially as a woman in a leadership position, I have found that the more stoic and closed off one appears, the harder it is to connect with and motivate people.  Women in business often feel the need try to show perfection, and I have found that this mentality often gets in the way of relationships in the end, as it is authenticity that allows you to truly connect with other people.


What tool do you use every day that is invaluable?
I cannot get through the day without my To Do Lists.  Although I constantly have to re-prioritize the items on these lists throughout the day, I find it very helpful to have all of my tasks laid out before me in one place.

What does the word 'power' mean to you? 
Having the ability to inspire and motivate others and/or effect meaningful change.

If you woke up and had 1,000 emails in your inbox and could only answer 100, how would you choose which ones to answer?
I always try to answer time sensitive e-mails first and I try to respond to the most senior people with whom I work as soon as possible.

If we could arrange a dinner for you with one person in your industry, who would you want to invite?
I would be interested in having dinner with a CEO of a major technology company who is really pushing the envelope and changing the world of technology as we know it (ie: Elon Musk. Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Ma etc..) I enjoy getting the chance to  speak to people who are  thinking outside the box and contemplating the future of technology in creative ways.  I find it helpful in my new role where I am helping set the strategy for a major public tech company to be able to think creatively about how to remain competitive and how to continue to grow and innovate in our industry.  

Vanessa Liu, Pod Leader of the Week

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Vanessa is the COO at Trigger Media Group. In her role, she is responsible for overseeing business operations across Trigger’s portfolio companies, sourcing investment opportunities and managing investor relations.  

Previously, Vanessa was an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company. Vanessa received her JD from Harvard Law School and AB in Psychology from Harvard University.

What about your career has surprised you the most?
If you told me at 21, when I was wrapping up my undergraduate degree in behavioral neuroscience, that I would be a digital media entrepreneur and investor many years later, I would have been really surprised. Back then, I thought I was going to be a researcher, and eventually, an astronaut. But then I slowly realized that 10-15 years could go by without any true impact being made - and I realized I was too impatient for results.

My career has taken so many turns since - from the sciences, I went to human rights and international law, then to management consulting and finally to where I am today, building and investing in businesses. I love the thrill of embarking on a new venture, building and motivating a team around it, and shooting for the moon while solving big pain points within an industry. It is still surprising to me that my desire to have tangible results and a lasting impact on the world around me has led me to having a career in business as I had never bothered to read the business section of the news until well after college.

What about the future excites you?
I am so excited by the advancements being made in alleviating poverty, eradicating diseases, interplanetary space exploration and in general, the development of new businesses in industries that are poorly served today. I love witnessing new developments happening right in front of us that change our lives for the better.

What about the future scares you?
As a mother to two young children, I am terrified about the social inequalities that are being brought on by globalization and automation. As much as I love technology, I know that it will mean deep structural changes that many will be unprepared for - and we need to start thinking of solutions today to create new opportunities and jobs and deal with the psychology of inequity. I am also incredibly scared of the effect being always attached to devices will have on society. I see kids nowadays unable to conduct deep conversations, much less establish eye contact with one another, because they are glued to their phones. Climate change is also keeping me up at night. These issues, taken collectively, make me realize that we may be the first generation leaving our children worse off. And this fear drives me in my work all the time.

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Which book has had the most significant impact on your life and why?
Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie is simply one of the best books on the meaning of life. We don't have much time on this earth, and the learnings in there are salient. “Devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” This is how I try to live my life, everyday.

What tool do you use every day that is invaluable?
aking 5 minutes each day to be mindful. I take the time to jot down what I'm grateful for and what gives me joy - and what things, activities or relationships I need to weed out because they aren't positive.

What does the word 'power' mean to you? 
For me, it means the ability to make positive change and have significant impact. 

If you woke up and had 1,000 emails in your inbox and could only answer 100, how would you choose which ones to answer?
Sounds like a typical day! I am people driven in how I respond to emails. I scroll through to first see if there are pressing things from my family or related to my children. Then I look for emails from my business partner or teams - since those typically need action on my part and they are the cornerstone of what I do. This includes, of course, the InsideHook emails my team publishes - to see that we are living up to our promise to help our readers save time with our content. Then emails from people I know - investors, acquaintances - would come next. Finally, everything else is tackled.

If we could arrange a dinner for you with one person in your industry, who would you want to invite?
I'm still waiting for my husband to organize a meal with his boss, Richard Branson (my husband is on his legal team), so I'd love for you to team up with him! Sir Richard is obviously a brilliant entrepreneur, but it is how he does it that is interesting to me - team first, and purpose driven - and while also innovating in areas I care deeply about, such as space exploration and poverty alleviation. He really is living his life meaningfully, a la Morrie, and that's inspirational.

Jodi Love, Pod Leader of the Week

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Jodi is a Managing Director and an Equity Research Analyst at Jennison Associates.

Jodi was previously at Balyasny Asset Management, where she was a senior equity analyst for consumer retail. She began her career as an investment banking analyst at J.P. Morgan Securities.

Jodi received a BA with first class honors from McGill University and an AAS in applied science and fashion merchandising management with highest honors from the Fashion Institute of Technology.

What about your career has surprised you the most?

Being in New York City really did open my eyes to so many different career opportunities that I didn’t know existed when I grew up in Canada.  I didn’t know what “a job in finance” meant when I was growing up, and now this is the career I have been in for almost my entire working life!   I love that all my different experiences have been incremental to what I do now – which combines my love for retailing and investing!  Every day, I try to understand where my weaknesses are and figure out how to build skills and gain knowledge which will help me invest better and adapt quickly to the ever changing world of retailing and investing.    

What about the future excites you?
 The new ideas/businesses/services/time savers that entrepreneurs will come up with to help my life in ways that I haven’t even dreamed up yet or know I need!!

What about the future scares you?
Goodness, this list could be endless!  My children getting hurt or getting lost, global warming, the unintended consequences of technology at the expense of human interaction, a global health epidemic, being fearful of the times we live in  … I think I’ll stop now.

 Which book has had the most significant impact on your life and why?
There are so many books that have impacted me!  One of the more recent in the past few years is All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.  There were so many reasons I loved this book – from my personal past as the grandchild of a Holocaust survivor and as someone who deeply loves to read this book is filled with amazing (and sometimes confusing topics – radio technology and carbon bonds??) prose and complex passages.  

I could not do as good a job explaining why its impact on me was so deep as the author – so I will let him explain in his own words: “The title is also a metaphorical suggestion that there are countless invisible stories still buried within World War II — that stories of ordinary children, for example, are a kind of light we do not typically see. Ultimately, the title is intended as a suggestion that we spend too much time focused on only a small slice of the spectrum of possibility."  The book helps remind me both personally and professionally to continually dig beneath the top layer of a person, conversation, business problem, stock idea, or question as there are so many little things that you can learn that aren't visible right away.  It also is a reminder to me to remember how far we have come in what is actually not that long a period of time in history.  It makes me reflect on my past and reminds me that even though the world we live in today is far from perfect, of all the progress we have made as a society and as human beings.

 

What tool do you use everyday that is invaluable

My Iphones (yes, plural)!  Lifesaver in terms of being able to be in constant communication work wise and personally.  I feel that mainly for the better (although yes, sometimes it’s stressful) being able to be in constant communication with my office or home means I don’t have to be physically sitting at my desk all the time (or vice versa) and I have the flexibility to stay in touch from anywhere.

 What does the word power mean to you?
 Power to me means influence and impact.  Power comes from having the ability to make changes and influence others to make change.  Having the positive ability to impact whatever is in your sphere and create meaningful value is powerful.

 If you woke up and had X emails and could only answer X (ever) , how would you choose which ones to answer?
I'll focus on my work email as I have a separate personal email for family and friends.  I first focus on any email from any of my portfolio managers since they are the most important and typically require action.  I answer those first.  I then scroll through to see what news and research is out on my specific portfolio investments and put those in a second tier.  Thirdly, I read emails that have comprehensive recaps of all the news overnight in the consumer discretionary space globally.  Then, if I had any remaining emails left, I would respond to any emails about upcoming meetings or scheduling related. Keeping my personal and work emails separate is not only good for compliance purposes (!) but also because if a family member or one of my children's teachers need to reach me - those go to a different account so they don't get lost among work related emails.

If we could arrange a dinner for you with one person in your industry, who would be on the invite list?
Maybe stereotypical but for sure the person at the top of my list is Jeff Bezos from Amazon.  People who know me, know that AMZN has made my life amazing (on a personal level!) and extremely depressing on a work level (the mall is dying!  No one will ever shop in stores again! No one can compete!!).   Amazon completely and utterly changed the way in which people around the world shop and consume goods.  Jeff has singlehandedly changed the face of retailing forever.  He is truly a visionary and an incredible and motivational leader.  He encourages his employees to try new things all the time.  He is 100% customer focused.  Amazon has almost always been the first mover in everything they do and Jeff’s leadership skills and vision is just extraordinary to me.  I recommend anyone who has 5 minutes to read this year’s AMZN letter to shareholders – it gives a quick, yet fascinating insight into what makes Amazon and Bezos tick by always focusing on “Day 1”.

 

Adebola Osakwe, Pod Leader of the Week

Adebola Osakwe

Adebola Osakwe joined KKR in 2015 and is a member of the Human Resources Team, where she leads the Firm’s Inclusion and Diversity efforts. Prior to joining KKR, Mrs. Osakwe was an executive director on Morgan Stanley’s diversity and inclusion team, where she spent almost 9 years. At Morgan Stanley, she served as head of diversity talent acquisition strategy partnering closely with the experienced and campus hiring teams. Prior to this role, she was a diversity coverage officer supporting the infrastructure and investment management businesses.

What about your career has surprised you the most?
I started my career in college admissions working for Barnard College followed by several years at New York University.  As a college admissions counselor, I provided awareness and access to students interested in receiving a higher degree.  At the time, I never imagined that I would find another role that provided me the same fulfillment and had similar impact. And I certainly never expected to find that in the world of finance! Over 15 years later in my career, I find myself pleasantly surprised in my current role as Head of Inclusion and Diversity at KKR. At KKR, I have the opportunity to focus on attracting, developing, promoting and retaining diverse talent because we recognize/understand the importance of having diverse teams.

What about the future excites you?
I am excited about the prospect of continuing to make a difference in the financial sector.

What about the future scares you?
As a mother of 3 young children (ages 10, 7 and 5) I wonder what the future holds for them.  I want to make sure that I, along with my husband, raise good, kind-hearted, successful, hard-working, contributing members of society.  It is important to me that they understand how important it is to give back.

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Which book has had the most significant impact on your life and why?
Mika Brzezinski’s Knowing your Value is one of the most impactful books I have ever read.  It was one of the first books that not only outlined the thematic challenges that women face with speaking up, asking for what they want and being direct but it provided relatable examples and specific language that could be used in various situations.

What tool do you use every day that is invaluable?
I could not live without my phone. Given my busy life, it helps me stay connected to my family, keeps me organized around their various schedules and allows me to stay informed of current events.

             Sheryl Sandberg

What does the word 'power' mean to you?
Power means coming from a place of strength and being able to influence change, make decisions and impact your environment in meaningful ways.

If we could arrange a dinner for you with one person, who would you want to invite?
If I could have dinner with one person it would be with Sheryl Sandberg.  She has such an interesting background, remarkable career, and inspiring story.

Parity Partners Prepares Emerging Leaders aiming for the C-Suite

On August 9 at NEA’s offices in San Francisco, more than 150 venture capitalists and entrepreneurs joined Parity Partners to listen to a panel discussion on Leadership. The session was the 4th Parity Talk as part of the P3 curriculum. P3 (Parity Professional Program) is an education initiative created by Parity Partners that aims to build new leaders and diverse work cultures in high impact sectors.

P3’s 4th Talk was designed to give attendees and program participants the tools they need to craft a path to the C-suite, a process that often lacks transparency. During the hour-long discussion, the expert panel shed light on what executive recruiters and senior managers look for when they evaluate the potential and achievements of promising candidates.

From left to right: Melissa Taunton (NEA), Andy Price (Index Ventures), Gia Scinto (Y Combinator), and Hilary Gosher (Insight Venture Partners).

From left to right: Melissa Taunton (NEA), Andy Price (Index Ventures), Gia Scinto (Y Combinator), and Hilary Gosher (Insight Venture Partners).

Panelists included Gia Scinto, Head of Talent at Y Combinator,  Melissa Taunton, Partner at NEA, and Andy Price, Mentor-in-Residence at Index Ventures. The discussion was moderated by Hilary Gosher, Managing Director at Insight Venture Partners and founding member of Parity Partners.

In the tech industry, companies develop a product through consciously building features that customers value and want to purchase.  In the talent environment, the individual is akin to the product, and one of the features that the market values is leadership.

Leadership is multi-faceted.  First, leaders require a goal and vision for what the organization or team should achieve.  Second, leaders are able to translate that vision into action. Lastly, leaders empower and excite people on the team, and work with them to create an environment of personal learning and accomplishment.  

Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM has noted, that leadership is difficult.  A leader should “always take on things you’ve never done before.  Growth and comfort do not coexist”.

Andy Price, an executive recruiter for 22 years who has completed more than 500 searches and recruited dozens of CEOs for high-growth startups and multi-billion dollar public companies, says that when he evaluates talent, he looks beyond “relevant experience” to understand what drives people.  He looks for people who “have a thesis or a point of view” worth defending, especially emerging venture capitalists.  Leaders put a stake in the ground and have specific ideas about what the team vision or investment strategy should be.  They are prepared to explain and defend their point of view.

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Melissa Taunton, who focuses on executive talent acquisition across NEA’s portfolio, highlights “integrity and authenticity” as key factors she looks for in leaders. She explains that the best leaders “really understand what they are good at...and they play to their strengths.”  Leaders that are aware of their own capabilities, can then surround themselves with team members who have complementary skills. For Ms. Taunton, it’s clear that leaders have strengths and they have honed their capabilities in specific areas.

When asked “what advice would you give to women in this audience about being a leader?”, Gia Scinto, who has recruited talent for Andreessen Horowitz, Google and now Y Combinator, recommends that people be “opinionated, definitely authentic, be human, be kind, and don’t try to be perfect.”

Ms. Scinto adds that you should remember to “weave in the personal into the professional” so your personal narrative is not lost in an effort to be perfect.

Among other questions, the panel also touched on mentorship, common mistakes emerging leaders make, and how leaders can create a climate of trust in the teams they lead.  The full Parity Talk can be listened to and watched below.

 

Follow Parity Partners on Twitter and LinkedIn for future updates.

P3 is made possible by the following generous sponsors:

 

Sophie Jones, Pod Leader of the Week

Sophie Jones (center), Principal at Centerview

Sophie Jones (center), Principal at Centerview

Sophie Jones is a Principal at Centerview Partners.

Dr. Jones is trained in surgery, specializing in heart and lung transplant at Columbia University, where she was Chief Fellow and served on the Boards Quality Council. She has been awarded an NIH fellowship, and has authored numerous papers and book chapters. 

Dr. Jones received her M.D. from Boston University School of Medicine, and a B.A. in History from Yale University. 


1. What about your career has surprised you the most?

I cannot imagine my surprise as a 22-year old university graduate, if someone had told me that I would be working in biopharma M&A advisory 15 years later. However, as my career has progressed from the United Nations, to the surgical amphitheater, to investment banking, I have viewed every step as an opportunity to challenge myself to impact the health of humans across the world in a more meaningful way.

2. What about the future excites you?

I do not believe I will ever truly discover what I want to “be” when I grow up. I love the challenge and excitement of a journey, and I find motivation and inspiration from working with brilliant teams of outstanding individuals.

As a world, we are at such an exciting moment in history for the healthcare industry. Advancements in technology have planted the seeds for major advances in the treatment of diseases. Going forward, our challenge is not only to recognize those opportunities, but also to develop an entirely new treatment paradigm, as we learn what it means to be human and compassionate when for the first time in history, it is possible for health to become a human right, rather than a privilege. I cannot wait to see what the future holds.

3. What about the future scares you?

I worry on a broad scale about the development of extreme divisions in society as globalization has created enormous disparities in wealth and opportunity, and individual achievement is increasingly valued over communal well-being. There is no simple answer as to how to decrease the divide and lift up the poorest and most disenfranchised among us. However, I am heartened by how many wonderful foundations are working to make an impact, and I hope to continue to lend my two hands however I can.

4. Which book has had the most significant impact on your life and why?

I think of books in the same way I think of paintings—words take on brilliant shapes and colors in my mind. I read Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude” when I was quite young. It was the first book I read that danced in vivid color in my mind. Before that book, I remember only faint black and white images. I believe Marquez’s writing unlocked the beauty hidden within the written word for me.

5. What tool do you use every day that is invaluable?

My most invaluable tool is my mind. I am so incredibly lucky to have been given the opportunity to pursue higher education and now, I am trying to put that to good use. It is a great privilege to have a career where my thoughts and creativity are valued, and my voice matters. Only a very few decades ago, women were not afforded such opportunities; and before that, it was only a very small upper class of men who had such an opportunity to pursue thought as a vocation.

6. What does the word 'power' mean to you?

Did I pay the electricity bill this month? Assuming I did, I think of “power” as a word steeped in duality. Within one small word, is an ability within individuals and groups to influence and mold progress when used in a positive manner. However, there is a darker component to power that holds the potential for great harm, and a loss of empathy towards those without it. While an individual or group might yearn for “power”, attaining it without the recognition of its deleterious potential, may be one of the most negative of human abilities. I find “power” a word to be used sparingly and only in specific circumstances, where it’s meaning can be fully comprehended by both the speaker and the listener. 

7. If you woke up and had 1,000 emails in your inbox and could only answer 100, how would you choose which ones to answer?

That sounds about like my morning! My approach is to cover the most ground possible first thing in the morning, so I am set up for the day. As a scientist and mathematician, I use a soft algorithm that includes first, checking for emails from my family – those get priority always. If my mother sent 100 emails, I wouldn’t answer anyone else. Next, I exclude all “update” emails and sort the rest by sender and topic. I answer one email per unique topic. If there were to be >100 topics, I would sort by relevance to immediate tasks I already know about, and then work towards the more obscure until I hit 100. There is nothing better than a nice clean inbox in the morning. It keeps me on top of the rest of the day.   

8. If we could arrange a dinner for you with one person in your industry, who would you want to invite?

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

I will remain contemporary, but take a bit of liberty in defining my industry to include former scientists so that I might have dinner with Angela Merkel, who holds a doctorate in physical chemistry. She is both brilliant and politically savvy. She has also shown herself to be level-headed and clear in her purpose to serve her nation and Europe. I would be on the edge of my seat to hear her thoughts on anything from the political world stage, to how she managed her career progression.

P3 Welcomes David Einhorn & Karen Finerman

Last week the Parity Professional Program (P3) welcomed David Einhorn, CEO of Greenlight Capital, and Karen Finerman, Co-Founder of Metropolitan Capital, for a Parity Talk on Managing Risk & Return.

More than 150 members joined the event in person and online to discuss how to embrace risk with confidence and how to practice resilience in the face of uncertainty.

In a candid conversation, David and Karen spoke about dealing with professional rejection, developing critical thinking, investing with confidence and managing a portfolio that endures. 

Thank you to all who joined the live stream and the in-person event!

Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for future updates.

The P3 Program is an education initiative by Parity Partners, an executive search company committed to diverse work cultures & to supporting minorities succeed in their careers.

The Parity Professional Program is made possible by our generous sponsors:

Parity Partners Launches New Program to Strengthen Leadership Diversity in Financial Services and Technology

Parity Partners Launches New Program to Strengthen Leadership Diversity in Financial Services and Technology

Parity Partners, a firm focused on advocacy, awareness and recruitment to close the gender and minority leadership gap in financial services, investing and technology companies, today announced the launch of its Parity Professional Program (P3). P3 is a 12-month curriculum-based program designed to provide participants with career-enhancing skills and access to a professional network that will help them succeed as the next generation of leaders.