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“Women need to build professional networks, look for opportunities to shine, and come forward with their best ideas”, with Jason Hartman & Stacy Taylor

Women need to build professional networks, look for opportunities to shine, and come forward with their best ideas. Companies can help by creating formal mentorship programs for under- represented groups and creating flexible work scheduling and maternity programs that help women return to work in a way that supports families. Asa part of my series […]

Women need to build professional networks, look for opportunities to shine, and come forward with their best ideas. Companies can help by creating formal mentorship programs for under- represented groups and creating flexible work scheduling and maternity programs that help women return to work in a way that supports families.


Asa part of my series about strong female finance leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Stacy Taylor. Stacy joined the Sierra Nevada College Business faculty after 25 years as a Sales Executive in the banking industry, including time with Bank of America and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. She has served as a consultant to the international banking community, including Van Fed and Bank of Ireland. During her banking career, she specialized in entrepreneurial ventures, including serving as the VP of Sales for a start-up bank. In the past she has been a licensed securities dealer and broker. She now teaches Economics, Money and Banking, and International Finance. Stacy is an avid world-wide traveler and serves as a consultant to many local non-profit groups.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the Banking/Finance field?

I studied economics in undergraduate and loved the classes on money and banking. My first few jobs were in sales, then I returned to banking at a time when banks were hungry for sales talent.

Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occurred to you in your career so far? Can you share the lesson or take away you took out of that story?

At 32 I became the youngest District Manager at Bank of America. There were 55 District Managers at the time and 5 were female. So I was unusual in both ways.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

As a professor at Sierra Nevada College, I am passing my passion for finance to the next generation of students. My biggest joy is hearing form former students who are working in fields like mergers and acquisitions, venture capital and fin-tech start-ups.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Working at a small private university gives me the chance to know each of my students individually and tailor internships to their individual talents and strengths.

Ok. Thank you for all that. Let’s now jump to the main core of our interview. Wall Street and Finance used to be an “all white boys club”. This has changed a lot recently. In your opinion, what caused this change?

Finance is a numbers driven field. That is to women’s advantage. Success is clearly defined and exceptional talent is recognized.

Of course, despite the progress, we still have a lot more work to do to achieve parity. According to this report in CNBC, less than 17 percent of senior positions in investment banks are held by women. In your opinion or experience, what 3 things can be done by a)individuals b)companies and/or c) society to support this movement going forward?

Women need to build professional networks, look for opportunities to shine, and come forward with their best ideas. Companies can help by creating formal mentorship programs for under- represented groups and creating flexible work scheduling and maternity programs that help women return to work in a way that supports families.

Let’s now turn to a slightly new topic. According to this report in Fortune, nearly two-thirds of Americans can’t pass a basic test of financial literacy. In your opinion or experience what is the cause of these unfortunate numbers? If you had the power to make a change, what 3 things would you recommend to improve these numbers?

Families and schools need to start working with children in elementary school. Small children can start understanding finance through allowances, helping plan family spending, making their own budget and learning about consumption versus saving.

You are a “finance insider”. If you had to advise your adult child about 5 non intuitive essentials for smart investing what would you say? Can you please give a story or an example for each?

It’s not how much you save, it’s when you save. Starting a 401k at 22 allowed me to leave the corporate word at 47.

Slow and steady wins the race. A small amount saved every paycheck adds up with the benefit of interest compounding over time.

Keep focused. Don’t allow the news cycle or market fluctuations distract you from your goals.

You won’t spend money you don’t see. Use automatic payroll deductions to manage your saving plan.

Don’t touch the retirement savings unless you have an emergency. A new car is not an emergency!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I had many men and women help me along the way. One that stands out is Jim Barri, who now runs the retail bank at Compass Bank. He encouraged me to take risks and allowed me to fail, which was a tremendous gift.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Life’s lessons keep evolving. No one quote fits.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would require financial literacy curriculum in all grades of the public schools. Financial literacy would improve income inequality, create opportunity and allow more people to pursue their dreams.

Thank you for all of these great insights!

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