Slideshow A Night of Celebration and Empowerment

  • October 19 2016, 7:30am EDT
31 Images Total

Beth Mooney, Marianne Lake and Mary Callahan Erdoes are all smiles at the awards dinner for the Most Powerful Women in Banking and Finance.

Mooney, the chairman and chief executive of KeyCorp, just moved into the Hall of Fame, after being named No. 1 on the banking list for three consecutive years. Her bank also received a team award this year.

Lake, the chief financial officer at JPMorgan Chase, is high on the banking list once again, and Erdoes, the CEO of JPMorgan's asset management business, is No. 1 on the finance list. JPMorgan won a team award this year as well.

More than 800 people turned out for the annual celebration of women in the industry. Scroll through the slideshow to see who else was in the crowd.

Diane D'Erasmo chats with Patrick Burke, the president and CEO of HSBC USA.

D'Erasmo accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award at the event, and Burke gave the closing remarks, noting that #mpwib was one of the top 50 trending hashtags on Twitter that evening.

D'Erasmo served as a vice chair in commercial banking at HSBC before recently ending her banking career to look for a new challenge. She has been part of the Most Powerful Women rankings for years.

In her speech, D'Erasmo talked about how she managed to balance work with raising children. Check out a video clip of her speech here.

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On the red carpet, from left, are Joyce Taylor, Jackie Tatum, Rosilyn Houston and Karen Drinkard.

Houston, the chief talent and culture executive at BBVA Compass, makes her debut on the watch list this year.

Houston talked about some of her challenging life experiences in this feature on courage, which was part of the cover story for the "Most Powerful Women" issue of American Banker Magazine.

The guests at the Zions Bank table included Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis.

Standing, from left, are: Madeline Di Nonno, LeeAnne Linderman, Susan Johnson, Melinda Haynes, Kay Hall, Merri Johnson and Sara Hofmann. Seated, from left, are: Dianne James, Davis and Heidi Prokop.

Davis gave the keynote at the event, courtesy of Zions Bank, and Johnson, who is on the bank's board of directors, introduced her.

Di Nonno is CEO of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. The other guests are with the bank or its parent company, Zions Bancorp.

Here's Davis giving her keynote, which focused on unconscious bias.

Davis, star of such films as "Thelma & Louise" and "A League of Their Own," said that the way women in banking are portrayed on film affects their career trajectory. If women are not represented on screen in positions of power — as executives rather than secretaries, for example — it reinforces gender stereotypes about what power and influence look like.

Her concern about this issue inspired her to create the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and its research findings have shown that even crowd scenes in television and movies typically have far more men than women.

Now the institute is launching a new research project — in partnership with American Banker and sponsored by Zions Bank — to analyze the portrayal of women in financial services.

Read more about what Davis said here and see a video clip of her speech here.

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Bank of America's Andrea Smith and Cathy Bessant enjoying the evening.

Smith, who is on the watch list, oversaw the stress-testing process at B of A for the first time this year, after transitioning to the newly created role of chief administrative officer. She is one of the women on the cover of the October issue of American Banker Magazine.

Bessant, B of A's chief operations and technology officer, moved up to No. 3 on the banking list this year. She had been on the cover of the "Most Powerful Women" issue in 2014.

From left, Bank of New York Mellon's Samir Pandiri, Jyoti Chopra and Karen Peetz.

On the same day as being named the No. 1 Most Powerful Woman in Banking, Peetz announced that she plans to retire at yearend. In her speech at the event, the BNY Mellon president talked about that bittersweet decision and paid a touching tribute to her mother.

Peetz also said women in the industry continue to endure far more scrutiny than men. "People still wonder if we will break," she said, stressing that women need to have grit in order to succeed. (Click here to watch a video clip of Peetz talking about the importance of grit.)

Peetz is the highest-ranking female executive in BNY Mellon's storied history. Pandiri is CEO of asset servicing and Chopra is global head of diversity and inclusion.

These four women are new to the watch list this year.

From left, Karen Glenn, of First United Bank and Trust in Kentucky; Angela Birmingham, of Charles Schwab Bank; Ellen Patterson, of TD Bank; and Teresa Tanner, of Fifth Third Bank.

Glenn also was part of our cover story on courage.

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It's becoming a tradition for many of the honorees to bring their daughters to the event.

Here, JPMorgan Chase's Liz Myers is on the red carpet with her daughter Charlotte and husband Greg.

Nandita Bakhshi urged women to get out of their comfort zones in her speech.

"Always seek a position that is one-third comfortable, one-third a stretch and one-third, pure white-knuckle terror," she said, as you can see in this video clip. "The kite, after all, only rises against the wind."

Bakhshi, the president and CEO at Bank of the West, is our No. 1 Woman to Watch this year and the subject of this feature story.

(You might recall that she also was on the cover of the 2015 "Most Powerful Women" issue.)

Dorothy Savarese (second from left) gave the champagne toast at the event.

Savarese, who is on the banking list, is the president and CEO of Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank. She also just became the new chair of the industry trade group American Bankers Association.

Joan Saenz (third from left) is a senior vice president with the ABA. The rest of the group is with Cape Cod Five.

From left are: Laura Newstead, chief human resources officer; Savarese; Saenz; Angelique Viamari, governance manager; Emilie Bajorek, administrative officer; and Stephanie Dennehy, digital marketing officer.

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Maureen "Mo" Wilkinson of HarborOne Bank accepts the Community Impact Award for her work in promoting financial literacy.

At right is Fiserv's Teri Carstensen, who presented the award.

Deutsche Bank's Patricia Giangrande, Susan Skerritt and Isabel Schmidt.

Skerritt moved up to No. 6 on the watch list this year.

KeyCorp's Beth Mooney has some fun on the red carpet, in a pose that has become a tradition for her team.

Mooney is in the center, with Key's two honorees to each side of her, Amy Carlson (in white jacket) on the left and Amy Brady (in blue jacket) on the right.

Others in the photo also are part of Key's team award win.

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TIAA's Kathie Andrade brought her daughter Lauren to the gala.

From left are Lauren Andrade; Margaret McQuade, a product manager at TIAA; and the honoree.

MUFG's Ranjana Clark brought her daughter Meera, who is an analyst at Morgan Stanley.

Deloitte CEO Cathy Engelbert, at left, presented the team awards.

Accepting the awards on behalf of their companies are (from left): Dianne James, chief human resources officer, Zions; Harsha Kapur, director, community bank risk, control and compliance, Key; Bei Ling, global head of compensation and benefits, JPMorgan Chase; Sandra Schultz, chief financial officer, Centric Bank; and Alex Dousmanis-Curtis, group head, U.S. retail and business banking, BMO.

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PNC's honorees, from left, Karen Larrimer, Diana Reid and Charlotte McLaughlin.

Yvette Hollingsworth Clark of Wells Fargo and Liz Dukes Wolverton of Synovus pose on the red carpet with their husbands.

Biff Clark is on the far left, and Bob Wolverton is fourth from left.

Irene Fang, also of Wells Fargo, is at far right.

Just behind HSBC's Stefan Hardy and Diane Reyes is the tweet wall.

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This group from Royal Bank of Canada includes from left: Greg Belbeck, Donna Sclafani, Bobby Grubert, Janice Fukakusa, Nadine Ahn and Valerie VanDerzee.

Four honorees from the watch list pose for a photo before going on stage to accept their awards.

From left are: Liz Dukes Wolverton, Synovus; Jill Castilla, Citizens Bank of Edmond (Okla.); Sandy Pierce, Huntington; and Begonya Klumb, UMB.

Margaret Keane, president and CEO of Synchrony Financial, with Jerry Hajdarevic.

Keane, who moved up to No. 5 on the finance list this year, completed the spin-off of the private-label credit card company from its parent GE in November 2015.

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In a twist on the mother-daughter theme, JPMorgan Chase's Sandie O'Connor brought her mom.

Lisa Grigg, head of compliance for US Bank, with a group from Protiviti.

From left are: Kelly McNoble, Blair Christensen, Rajani Meka, Grigg and Kaitlin Curry.

These two community bankers were among the many women in the room with CEO titles.

Melanie Dressel, at left, is the president and CEO of Columbia Banking System in Tacoma, Wash., and Jill Castilla is the president and CEO of Citizens Bank of Edmond (Okla.).

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Northern Trust's Jana Schreuder with a group from Fiserv.

From left are: Teri Carstensen, Tricia Viola, Schreuder, Lynn McCreary and Cheryl Nash.

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The crowd enjoyed the elegant atmosphere at Cipriani on 42nd street in Manhattan, a stately 1920s-era building that once housed the headquarters of Bowery Savings Bank.

Get more event coverage:

'People Still Wonder If We Will Break'

Geena Davis: Women Face 'Unconscious Bias' in Banking, Media

And check out our videos:

How to Have It All: HSBC's D'Erasmo

Women Must Have Grit: BNY Mellon's Peetz

Seek Out the Job That Scares You: Bank of the West's Bakhshi