56 minutes | May 31, 2020

Empowering Women Podcast S2: Kristen Saranteas, Head of Treasury Management - Women in Banking

*Episode 7 has been marked as explicit because rape and sexual harassment come up in discussion. Although these are not discussed in detail, we wish to be mindful that you might be listening to this podcast with others around.  Episode 7 (Season 2) of the Empowering Women Podcast GUEST: Kristen Saranteas, Head of Treasury Management at First Midwest Bank Resources: The McKinsey Report on Women in Finances BIO: Kristen (Ritchie) Santeas is currently the Head of Treasury Management & International Services at First Midwest Bank where she has responsibility for the overall client experience during the entire sales cycle -- from proposal through implementation, and support phase activities.    Notable Podcast Episode Quotes: “To me, what a great salesperson is is someone that can match the needs of that company to the products and services that you’re offering. I was not someone that was hawking a product because that was the shiny object of the day. Instead, I was very strategic around what I saw as the specific need of those clients, and wanted to be really helpful to the way in which the products we had could be make them more effective in what *they did… Feeling like I was really confident when I walked in the door to talk to a company - both because I’ve done my homework about them and I knew my products inside and out - that made me a very  successful salesperson.” “Once you distinguish yourself as successful in the route that you have decided to move up - that gets you noticed, not only because you’re having individual success, but because you’re seen as a leader in your craft.” “There’s one way in which you want to lead - as someone who knows your own and hones your own craft. But there’s also a way in which you want to lead and distinguish yourself for something you’re personally passionate about. For me, that meant giving back to our community. I feel really strongly that bankers, in particular, bear a service. It is incumbent upon us to be really great stewards of what we bring to the community and understand what those needs might be. So, giving back and volunteering, and eventually getting on boards, and bringing others along with that passion to be good community members is a way in which, not only did I rally my own team around similar values and ways in which to give back to the community. But it [also] distinguished me personally within my organization as someone who isn’t just a treasury management person, but I’m being recognized for the other things that I’ve led in. And for me, that’s been around community involvement.” “It is less typical to see women, not only in the C-suite or executive management positions, but clearly, they’re not being chosen as lines-of-business heads. So you’re not seeing [for example] women that are heads of commercial banking… I would never say that people making those decisions as to who is rising up don’t want women in those positions. Everyone is on record, and I know that they feel passionately that they should have women rising up. It’s an unintended bias when they’re looking at candidates - to look at people that look like them. We have to continue to press upon the decision-makers to go outside their comfort zone to start choosing a slate of candidates that don’t include just people that look like them.” “We need people in HR,
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