Deutsche Bank’s head of technology equity capital markets pretty much has it all.
In addition to leading the No. 2 team in a cutthroat industry, Kristin DeClark is a mother of two with a third child on the way — and a competitive runner.
Balancing these commitments takes hyper-organisation and a lot of dedication, but, DeClark insists, it’s all within grasp.
“There are ways to do it, and there are plenty of examples of women that are doing it,” DeClark, who has worked on the initial public offerings of Fitbit, NetSuite, Square, and GoDaddy, told Business Insider.
Across Wall Street, the proportion of women in each banking class, usually about 50% at the entry-level, tends to drop off as they advance in their careers to vice presidents and managing directors. That worries DeClark.
“Don’t opt out of the career you really like because you’re worried about being able to manage a family and other things,” she said.
She became pregnant with her first child while she was a director, and her friends and colleagues questioned her decision to have kids before making managing director.
“There’s never a perfect time to start a family; there’s never a perfect time to be in a position to get promoted,” DeClark said. “You just have to do what, in 10 years, is going to make you happy… then everything else will fall into place.”
One thing she’s learned to do is outsource chores — from buying groceries to doing laundry to house cleaning — via phone apps. It ensures the time she spends with her family is really quality time.
And though DeClark’s position means she travels a lot, her husband’s job is more stable in terms of his day-to-day schedule, so they don’t need babysitters on weekends or evenings.
To keep up with her running career, she wakes up extra early on weekends. During the week, she never goes to work or on a business trip without her running shoes; that way she can squeeze in a workout between meetings or at the end of the day before heading home.
Succeeding in the workplace
DeClark said if you want to succeed as a woman on Wall Street, you need to be really proactive.
“I’ll see younger women think, ‘OK, I bent my head down. I’m doing my job. I’m doing everything I need to do and that’s enough,'” she said. “Oftentimes it’s not.”
Instead, she said, you have to find a way to promote yourself without being perceived as too aggressive. You can do that by maintaining an ongoing dialogue with your managers.
“I think most young women don’t do enough of that,” she said.
The best way to do that is to keep an ongoing dialogue with your managers and with senior women in the firm, DeClark said. That doesn’t necessarily mean scheduling meetings, but rather popping into their offices and sharing what you’re working on to make sure they’re aware of your accomplishments.
“You have to build a relationship with the people that are managing you until they have a vested interest in your career,” she said.
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