Last week I got invited at one of our clients, to discuss the search of their new Treasury Manager. It was the third time that I had a HR Director saying to me, “Sofiah, it would be nice if there are a few more female candidates available for this treasury position". Reason enough, to write from the Executive Search point of view.
My job is to find the best treasury talent available within the market at a given moment, so I believe I shouldn’t discriminate. Female, male, hijab, black, pink, yellow, physically disabled, whatever. If it's a a great treasury person then I'll represent her or him, by all means. Still, most of our candidates are men and more and more clients prefer women on our shortlist.
Being a woman, a former Treasurer and a mother, I know that the treasury profession can prove a challenging environment. There are still men who have questioned whether I would leave the team to give birth on a certain point in my career. But when it actually happened, and I returned to the office 3 months after giving birth, it were 5 men waiting with the cutest presents for my newly born. Even the banking guys I worked with, left presents for my son and without even asking, my employer offered me to work a few hours from home. Flexible working, trust & support from the team and the people who take care of your kid when you're working, makes it possible to manage treasury with being a mother. That said, from the Executive Search point of view I find it important to work with candidates who are brutally honest with themselves. Female, male, hijab, black, pink, yellow, physically disabled, whoever. They need to be communicative, highly determined and they need to have that consequent wake up and make things happen kind of vibe. It's about the big picture, management of expectations and a sustainable connection between a persons life, their skills, the corporate environment, it's culture and their leaders. Lastly, too all women out there aspiring for a Corporate Treasury or any other demanding career: forget about work-life balance and having it all. Such thing don’t exist the way we think it should. Every day, I have to choose what I’m going to give my all to and try to just manage the rest. One day it will be work and another day it will be my son, and another it will be something else. I can’t be the best at everything all the time so I prioritize daily and often several times a day in the hopes that over the course of my life everything will balance out.
Write well . Edit often Curriculum Vitae
Sofiah van Maanen