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Women Have an Obligation to Help Other Women Succeed: KeyBank's Mooney

C-suites will remain overwhelmingly male unless women in senior roles make it a priority to "lift up" their younger female colleagues, says Beth Mooney, the Most Powerful Woman in Banking. "The importance of mentoring, coaching and sponsorship cannot be overstated," she said.

'Man, It's Been a Great Ride': HSBC's Dorner

HSBC's Irene Dorner reflects on her 30-year banking career and offers this parting thought to her industry colleagues: "Do the right thing in all circumstances." She also calls for more emphasis on diversity in the banking industry and offers regulators some advice on achieving positive outcomes in her speech at the Most Powerful Women in Banking and Finance awards gala, where she accepted a Lifetime Achievement award.

Know Your Strengths and Invest in Them: Citi's Fraser

Jane Fraser, the British-born head of Citigroup's consumer and commercial bank, shares a lesson she's learned from her 13-year-old son that has helped her adapt to her new role. She also talks about making a scary transition to a job overseeing U.S. mortgages and training yourself to overcome fear and take on "stretch assignments" at work. "You just have to be 'all in' mind, heart, guts, hours," says Fraser, the No. 1 Woman to Watch, in her speech at the Most Powerful Women in Banking and Finance awards gala.

Changing Banking, Changing Lives

Three of the most powerful women in banking go beyond the balance sheet.

M&T's Michele Trolli on the Importance of Diversity

Well, only if you want to optimize solutions, says Michele Trolli, the chief information officer at M&T Bank Corp. And what bank doesn't want to do that?

Your Staff Should Look Like Your Customer Base: Capital One's Grace Huebscher

Given the customer base in the banking industry, success depends on embracing diversity, says Grace Huebscher, who heads multifamily finance for Capital One.

Citizens' Jill Castilla on How Vulnerability Can Be a Strength

The banking industry needs women to polish its tarnished image, insists Jill Castilla, the CEO at Citizens Bank of Edmond (Okla.).

Respect the Power of the Purse, Says Citigroup's Elinor Hoover

In today's complex regulatory environment, a diversity of perspective is more important than ever, says Citi's Elinor Hoover. And the world over, women are wielding the power of the wallet or the purse, so to speak in a way that the banking industry can't ignore.

FirstMerit's Sandy Pierce Says Gender Doesn't Define Her

Some people might think gender matters, concedes FirstMerit's Sandy Pierce. But for her, it doesn't.

NorthStar's Julie Goodridge Is No Longer the Only Woman in Her Office

As the only female among the 125 brokers in her office, Julie Goodridge felt that gender mattered in a big way. The CEO of NorthStar Asset Management shares the experience that prompted her to leave the corporate world to start her own company focused on socially responsible investing.

KeyCorp's Digital Banking Upgrades

Beth Mooney, CEO of KeyCorp, explains how the bank has apportioned its investments in online and mobile banking.

Beth Mooney's Advice to Women in Banking

Understand your core competencies and wear your ambition lightly, recommends Beth Mooney, CEO of KeyCorp, to women who aspire to careers in banking.

The Rapidly Shrinking Pool of Female Bank CEOs

Today only three women helm major U.S. banks. But according to Beth Mooney, CEO of KeyCorp, it's only a matter of time before some female executives climb those last few rungs of the corporate ladder.

What Being a Good Role Model Means to Beth Mooney

KeyCorp's CEO shares her views on setting the right example for others in the banking industry.

Women Need to Hang In There: Ally Bank's Barbara Yastine

Count Ally Bank CEO Barbara Yastine among those who think gender is still an issue in banking. Here's what she thinks women can do about it.

Gender Always Matters: Bank of America's Cathy Bessant

Men and women approach life differently, says Cathy Bessant, Bank of America's global technology and operations executive. Women tend to care more about their legacy, and not many would take satisfaction in having a tombstone that says, "great banker."

Women Can Change the Conversation: Zions' LeeAnne Linderman

Absolutely, gender matters in every industry, says Zions' LeeAnne Linderman. And she noticed a difference at Zions as more women joined the senior ranks.

Let Talent Decide 'Jump Balls,' Not Gender: KeyCorp’s Beth Mooney

Does gender matter in banking? It does and it doesn't, explains KeyCorp CEO Beth Mooney, who also addresses whether she ever felt gender was an issue for her personally during her banking career.

Mooney on Guidance for the 'Daughters' of Banking

KeyCorp Chairman and CEO Beth Mooney's advice for career success.

Mooney: We Have an Extra Obligation to Do It Well

KeyCorp's Beth Mooney on what her CEO role symbolizes.

The 25 Most Powerful Women in Finance

Across asset management, investment banking, capital markets and cards, these executives are helping to create a path to parity for women in a traditionally male-dominated field.

1. Ann Marie Petach
CFO, Blackrock

As chief financial officer at BlackRock, Ann Marie Petach works in a soaring skyscraper in midtown Manhattan. It's a long way away from the greasy, gritty Ford Motor plant in Michigan where she started her career.

When Petach took an entry-level job as a financial analyst in Ford's electrical and electronics division, she thought it would simply be a good way to learn corporate finance, and that her stay with the automaker would last no longer than three years. But it turned into a 23-year journey that spanned three continents and led to Petach becoming Ford's treasurer.

It also led to her job at BlackRock, which helped Ford with its debt issuance and pension fund management. Petach got to know BlackRock CEO Laurence Fink, and once asked for his advice on a job opportunity that came her way. He told her not to take it, and soon hired her himself, bringing her on board in 2007 as head of business finance, and making her CFO a year later.

Petach defies the stereotype of the CFO as corporate bean counter. She is a strategic adviser both internally and to key clients. In addition to chairing BlackRock's capital committee and co-chairing its corporate risk committee, she sits on the firm's global executive, global operating and government relations steering committees.

It was Petach who pushed BlackRock to increase its credit line from a negligible amount to something closer to $2.5 billion, which eventually helped position the firm to be able to acquire Barclays Global Investors in 2009. The $15.2 billion deal-Petach was instrumental in the due diligence process-vaulted BlackRock's assets under management, now at $3.56 trillion, past that of State Street and Fidelity Investments. She also spearheaded major secondary offerings that pushed shares formerly held by big stakeholders like Bank of America into the public market. In less than two years, BlackRock's ownership has gone from 80 percent privately held to 80 percent public. Along the way, as the public float crossed the 50 percent mark, the firm qualified for inclusion in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, which it joined in April 2011.

There were few women in upper management at Ford when Petach began her career in the auto industry in the 1980s. But at Black-Rock, she notes, two of the eight founders were women.

"I do believe success breeds success," Petach says. "I was coming into a place where I walked in the door and knew there were senior women with a seat at the table. I wasn't filling a statistic or breaking the barrier. The barrier didn't exist."

One of the "uncelebrated positives" of the Barclays Global Investors deal, Petach says, is all of the networking and development groups that came with the acquisition. Petach is active in the firm's Women's Leadership Forum and OUT Network.

A married mother of two school-age children, Petach advises mentees to be flexible in their approach to balancing work and home obligations, and promises this can be done without hurting future advancement. "It's impossible to have a plan or strategy. You have to recognize that every single day, every year, every period of time, your priorities are going to be different based on your needs for that moment of time."

There was no shortage of talent in the room at American Banker's Oct. 9 awards ceremony in New York honoring the Most Powerful Women in Banking and Finance. So it seemed appropriate for some of the industry's biggest success stories to offer advice to up-and-coming women in their fields. Here are 14 honorees reflecting on lessons learned in their own careers.

Successful. Influential. Innovative. These women are driving results at their institutions, and paving the way for the female talent behind them.

Whether newcomers to the power scene or bank industry veterans taking on a new challenge, these women bear keeping an eye on.

From capital markets to card networks, businesses in the finance sector are benefiting from these women's efforts.