doing to promote women partners in
their firms and women running P&Ls.
I had a woman once tell me that she
wanted to make as much money as
possible and leave it to her daughter
so that she would never have to enter
the business world of investment
banking and commercial finance, and
face the same kind of challenges she
had. I don’t think people should think
that way. We should focus on how we
can make it better for women to enter
and stay in the business world.
Women need to network and to try
to help other women. When women
first started getting into the business, there weren’t very many women
who could mentor you. And it doesn’t
necessarily have to be a woman mentor. Men can mentor you –it just needs
to be someone who supports you.
You can’t do it alone. I know PNC has
programs where executive sponsors
are males as well as females. I think
many organizations are trying to improve support groups for women and
Bill Demchak, PNC’s CEO, has been a
great supporter of women. The heads
of our capital markets, commercial
bank and real estate groups are all
women. So PNC, overall, has been
stepping up to the plate and having
women run P&Ls. I think more and
more institutions are focusing on do-
ing the same.
Women should also definitely find
a group to network with, such as CFA’s
Women in Commercial Finance Committee. Most industry organizations
have a women’s group and a young
professional group these days.
You’re being honored by the National
Jewish Health in June. Could you tell
our readers what this honor means
(Editor’s note: This interview was conducted prior to the event, which was
held on June 3.)
National Jewish Health has focused on
the commercial finance industry and the
apparel industry; that’s even branching
out. In Los Angeles we have two honorees, me and Noel Ryan, who is an investment banker with Houlihan Lokey.
I’ve always believed in giving back.
I’ve always been involved in charitable boards and gotten involved in
projects, such as painting a school
or taking clothes down to Tijuana or
visiting teenagers in juvenile detention whose parents didn’t visit them.
I’m bilingual, so I thought I should use
that to help others; I was a volun-
teer translator in court for Spanish-
speaking women obtaining restraining
orders against batterers. Not only do
I feel like this honor is recognition
for industry as well as personal ac-
complishments, but I also love raising
money for good causes. I’ve always
been on the fundraising committee of
my daughter’s schools and my alma
maters. The money I donate to LMU is
designated to women of color in the
business school, preferably in the en-
trepreneurial program, because I want
to see more women business owners,
especially amongst minorities.
I went to visit the National Jewish Health (NJH) in Denver, and what
they’re doing with respiratory diseases — especially children with asthma
and COPD in adults — is very, very
impressive. I initially supported it because they had picked honorees from
the commercial finance industry. But
the more I got to know them, the more
I liked their mission. The cases where
no one else could figure out a cure,
where they did, is amazing! An athlete
who thought she had asthma actually
got so stressed out before competitions that her vocal chords restricted
causing her breathing impairment. So,
she had been taking all these asthma
medications for naught. When visiting
my own doctor two weeks ago, I mentioned I was being honored by NJH and
she said, “They are a great hospital.
One of my patients started going there
and her level of care and how it has affected her health has been amazing.” I’m
deeply honored to receive recognition
from an organization that is improving
the lives of so many. I encourage people
to check out their website and support
the work of NJH.
I’ve always loved giving parties,
and I am pretty good at it. I expect
people to have their dancing shoes on
for the gala on June 3 because there’s
going to be a great band for a celebration worth remembering.
In what industries is PNC seeing the
most opportunity in right now? What
industries are particularly challenged?
We all just have to be smarter in lend-
ing to cyclical industries. In 2008, the
housing industry was hit very hard, as
were companies serving the housing
industry. We expected that maybe au-
tomotive would take a hit, but automo-
tive companies weathered that storm
well. The economy goes up and down,
and there’s always some particular in-
dustry that gets hit more than others,
but they eventually all bounce back.