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International Women's Day: A Conversation with Caroline, Global Head of Brand and Communications

Today we celebrate International Women’s Day – a day created to highlight the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. At DRW, we have many innovative and talented women leaders , including Caroline, the Global Head of Brand and Communications. Learn about her career and how her identity as a woman shows up in the way she leads her team.

What was your path to DRW?

I spent much of my career on the consulting side, working with large companies going through periods of turbulence – mergers, CEO transitions or some sort of crisis. I got my first exposure to the trading world when I took an in-house role at GETCO. I loved it, but after being impacted by the firm’s layoffs in 2012, I went bouncing back to the agency world. In 2018, DRW approached me when I was six months pregnant with my daughter. I wasn’t looking but knew of the firm and its great reputation, so I decided to have a conversation. After a full day of interviews (including a “surprise” one with Don, our CEO), I was sold – I believed in the firm’s leadership, its values and saw significant opportunity to use communications and marketing to help the firm achieve its goals. Plus, I thought it said a lot about DRW that they didn’t blink when I announced I’d be working for about 4 weeks before needing 12 weeks of maternity leave.

What is your favorite part about your job?

I love the challenge that comes with learning a complicated subject. In communications and marketing, you’re only good if you can take that complexity and turn it into a story that resonates with your target audience. At DRW, there is never a shortage in concepts to navigate – whether understanding the ever-changing market dynamics or the nuances of a tech project.

How has your identity as a woman showed up in your work and how you lead your team?

I am an advocate for bringing your whole self to work. For me, I proudly own that I am a full-time working mom. I am always imperfectly balancing both roles and doing “life calculus” on what to prioritize. I think this type of authenticity and openness about things that matter to us as humans allows us to build trust and honesty, which ultimately results in better work.

What are some of the biggest hurdles that you have faced as a woman?

While I don’t mean to suggest that things are perfect – and I’ve certainly had my share of “you have to be kidding me” moments – I can’t identify a specific time where being a woman has proven to be a huge hurdle to me. I’ve been lucky enough to work at companies where I’ve felt supported, my voice was valued and I was “encouraged” to sit at the table. No doubt, there is a long line of women who deserve my humble gratitude for the work they did to make that possible, and still more to be done.

There continues to be a gender gap in the Fintech industry, what are some specific ways that you advocate for change?

While I would like to think that I am a big-picture thinker, I am a small-scale operator. I think we sometimes take for granted the significant results that can come from small steps. For me, that means being very intentional in my own hiring and being willing to spend the time to look for highly qualified, exceptional candidates that also are diverse. I also set up a #new-moms channel when I got to DRW and have tried to build communities – whether as a member of Chief, serving on the Boards of Aspire and Big Shoulders Fund or mentoring with the Mom Project – where I can help show other women what’s possible.

In a male dominated industry, what sets DRW apart when it comes to opportunities for women to succeed?

More than any place I’ve worked, DRW is a meritocracy. You won’t succeed here based on your gender, you’ll succeed based on your results and initiative. That said, I think DRW recognizes that there is work to do in bringing more women into our industry, which we’re advancing through efforts such as our apprenticeships and support (via our Foundation) of STEM programs.

What is the best advice you’ve received?

You don’t have to choose between being humble, being kind and being confident – this is something I’ve heard on repeat from my parents all of my life.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

There are so many powerful women to celebrate – personally, I am surrounded by a community of strong, intelligent women that are doing awesome things. For International Women’s Day, I hope we make it a point to honor women who have paved the way, to advocate for an inclusive workforce and to demand change in parts of the world where women face unfathomable circumstances.