Women In Leadership Series: Stephanie Siders, Vice President, CC Capital Advisors

This post is part of a series. To read the introduction, click here.

What has your career path looked like? I grew up on a farm where I learned about hard work at a young age. I also learned I didn’t want a career that was dependent on the weather! I graduated with a degree in finance and worked in corporate finance at a large company for a couple of years. An analyst role at Christenberry Collet (CC Capital’s predecessor firm) came open and I applied, although I was convinced they wouldn’t hire a farm kid without any M&A experience. Thankfully I was wrong, and here I am 13 years later.

Who or what influenced the path you chose? I changed majors a few times in college, with law school on my radar as a next step. My older brother who was in banking at the time convinced me to consider majoring in finance. I took my first finance class and knew I’d found the right fit for my strengths and interests. From there, my path has been most influenced by my husband. He encouraged me to apply for the investment banking analyst role all those years ago, supported me through my pursuit of the CFA charter, and has been my biggest cheerleader and supporter ever since. We have three young children and I couldn’t fathom juggling an investment banking career, community involvement and parenting without him.

Have you had any particularly helpful mentors? My best mentors have been here at CC Capital. Not only have I learned the ins and outs of deal making from some of the best, but I’ve also been supported in pursuing professional and leadership development.  

What advice would you offer to young women considering a career in finance? Be confident and advocate for yourself. Use your strengths and don’t worry if they are different from those of your peers. Lastly, find mentors and other women in finance to be your support network.

Have you encountered any barriers that are particular to women? The biggest barrier specific to M&A is the unpredictability and oftentimes demanding nature of deals. That isn’t necessarily unique to women, but it certainly can be for working mothers with young children. There’s a reason why there are significantly more women in analyst and associate roles in investment banking and private equity than in vice president and director positions. Without support at work and at home, it can be incredibly hard for those of us who want to do it all well. I am grateful to have that support.

Up Next: Mindy Johnson, CFO, Apple Bus Company on March 25