It’s no secret that women are often treated
differently in the workplace. And that is especially the case
in more male-dominated fields such as financial services.
It’s for that reason that Clare Scherrer, a partner at
Sachs, advises young women to get in front of clients as soon
as possible. The idea: To get past any preconceptions, and show
off your ideas.
“One of the things I think is important for women to realize is
that we all tend to judge a book by its cover until we start
reading the book,” she said in a recent Q&A with
Goldman Sachs podcast, Exchanges at
Scherrer, who is global co-head of industrials in Goldman
Sachs’ investment banking division, cited an example from
her career when she had to do just that.
“I was flying to Milan to meet with an Italian client, and when
we landed and we’re going through Customs and Immigration, my
Italian male colleague got a phone call from the CEO who
said,”You didn’t tell me Clare, who you’re bringing to the
meeting, is a woman.”
Scherrer said the CEO was upset because he did not make
reservations for their meeting at a fancy restaurant. But
Scherrer made sure to illustrate her value proposition, and
within 15 minutes the CEO forgot all about her being a
“Isn’t that interesting that that’s what he was worried about?
And we got to the company, we started the meeting at the
cafeteria, eating sandwiches. Fifteen minutes into the meeting,
he no longer was focused on me being a woman; he was focused on
my content. He was focused on the fact that I actually
knew the most about the topic he wanted to cover within the
Goldman Sachs network, and the cover of the book didn’t matter;
the content of the book is what mattered.”
That experience informs the advice Scherrer passes on to
young women trying to make it in finance.
“So, when I’m advising young women, I tell them that the sooner
and the more often they can talk in front of their clients and
really deliver advice and judgments, the better,” she added.
“That’s the way that young women can really set themselves up to
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