Most Powerful Women in Finance: No. 11, HSBC's Katia Bouazza

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Co-Head of Global Banking, Latin America, HSBC

If a career in international banking has taught Katia Bouazza anything, it’s the value of commitment.

“I believe it’s imperative to bring all of myself to work every day,” said Bouazza, co-head of global banking for Latin America at HSBC. “Many people are cautious about fully committing to their job, and I was among them early in my career.”

However, she added, “As I achieved a long successful career at HSBC I’ve grown in confidence and become more willing to be fully invested in my professional life. The more I brought myself to work, the more my successes have accelerated.”

To be clear, Bouazza said, she’s not talking about living a life where work is pursued to the exclusion of family or other interests.

“It’s about consistency and evincing the same passions, values, beliefs and behaviors at the office and at home,” she said.

After taking up her position in 2016, Bouazza has taken major steps to restructure the executive teams at HSBC’s offices in Latin America, breaking up old boys’ networks and identifying high-achieving bankers — many of them women — who had been previously overlooked for promotion to senior positions.

She sees this not as a move to force gender equality on the bank, but rather as injecting some integrity into the advancement process, which had been marked by gender and status-quo bias.

“As a mother of two beautiful daughters who I want to one day be successful, I’m determined they learn the importance of integrity and consistency through my example,” she said. “They are my moral compass and if my conduct as a banker deviates from the model I intend to set for them then I’ve failed.”

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