Chief Credit Officer, Regions Financial

Regions Financial was more proactive than most energy lenders in getting ahead of credit troubles caused by falling oil prices, and the Birmingham, Ala., company has Chief Credit Officer Barb Godin to thank for that.

As prices plunged, Godin worried that investors would draw parallels between this downturn and the real estate bust of 2008. It wasn't the case, but Godin decided anyway that Regions needed to be fully transparent about its energy exposure.

In late 2014, Regions' earnings reports began disclosing such details as credit metrics, number of customers and how much it had in allowance for the energy segment. "The last thing we want is people guessing on our book value," she said. "We wanted to lay out the facts so that reasoned people could come to a reasonable conclusion."

Not everyone at Regions was on board with providing such detailed information, but Godin was able to bring skeptics over to her side by being analytical in her arguments. Godin once heard men describe women as being dramatic and she wanted to avoid that stereotype, so she has always presented her point of view in a factual way.

Godin advises women to avoid the "sticky-floor syndrome" by letting others know that they are interested in opportunities. This was something Godin suffered from early on as she watched less-qualified men get promoted to positions for which she felt she was well suited. "It took me five years until I walked into my boss's office and said, 'Next time this comes along, I should have it,' " she added. "And the next time it became available, I got it."

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