Those at the top of the rankings are familiar faces, with three-peats by KeyCorp's Beth Mooney and JPMorgan's Mary Callhan Erdoes. Even so you may be surprised to hear Mooney recount how her own management team once accused her of not doing enough to foster diversity. Erdoes pays tribute to a mentor of hers, the late Jimmy Lee, who had been JPMorgan's vice chairman.
Citigroup's Latin America CEO, Jane Fraser, is No. 1 on the Women to Watch list for the second time, having been tapped for yet another challenging new role. Female executives are in short supply at Citi's units in the 24-country region Fraser manages, but she is excited about the opportunity to help change that.
The Boardroom Diversity Challenge
The Survey Says: In a survey of the women in our rankings, 86% said they serve on one or more boards. The vast majority (92%) are on the board of a nonprofit, but corporate boards are in the mix too, with 26% serving as directors at public companies and 24% at private ones. Check out the full results of the survey and what the women had to say about the effort to bring more gender balance to the boardroom here.
The New Top-Down Approach: There's a growing consensus that getting more women in the C-suite requires getting more women in the boardroom. "Boards and CEOs aren't doing enough to retain talented women, and I feel strongly that by getting onto these boards I can facilitate real change," says Manisha Girotra of the investment banking firm Moelis & Co. "Bottom up it can happen, but not fast enough because women don't speak up enough. We need a top-down approach." Find out how women in the banking sector – including LeeAnne Linderman of Zions Bancorp. (No. 4 on the Watch list) – are contributing to the boardroom push.
A Corporate Bias: Wells Fargo is the leader among its peers in boardroom diversity. How did it achieve that? Its tactics included eliminating the common corporate bias of only appointing C-suite execs to the board, along with other very interesting and deliberate changes. Betsy Duke, the former Fed governor who joined Wells' board last year, is among those concerned with the slow pace of change at the board level across industries. "It does stress me," she says.
Undaunted: While they're celebrating, the women in our rankings also acknowledge that there is a long way to go to achieving parity. What can the banking industry do to get more gender balance in senior executive roles? TD's Nandita Bakhshi, Citi's Julie Monaco and EnerBank's Louise Kelly share their ideas in this video.
The Keys to Progress: Women make up 54% of the workforce in the banking industry but just 12% of executives, so it's clear that a lot more progress needs to happen, says Patrick Burke, the president and CEO of HSBC for North America. He argues that the two biggest components of change will be: company culture and individual responsibility. He cites HSBC execs Patty O'Connor and Cate Luzio (a new addition to our Watch list this year) as examples of how strong execution can foster a rise through the ranks.
Top Teams 2015
Bank of America: Through weeklong mentoring trips to locales like Brazil, Haiti and Somalia, senior female executives at B of A are teaching other women the finer points of running a small business. B of A also has enhanced its support for working parents.
U.S. Bancorp: Whether it's raising money to build schools in Africa or creating programs internally to help advance the careers of women, the dozen women's networks at U.S. Bancorp strive to make a real difference in women's lives.
BMO Harris: This Chicago-based regional bank is trying to keep ahead of demographic and technological shifts that are transforming retail banking, and its female leaders are spearheading many of the initiatives it has underway.
Zions: A formal mentoring program has helped to advance the careers of hundreds of Zions' employees. Now top female leaders are sharing what they've learned with other firms in hopes of keeping women from dropping out of the workforce.
Citizens Bank of Edmond: With a down-home — yet high-tech — approach to banking (not to mention a management team that's predominantly women), Citizens Bank of Edmond (Okla.) is proving that there still are advantages to being small. It's led by Jill Castilla, who is on our list of Women to Watch.
Those are just some of the highlights. See more stories here.