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Quick Fire Questions with Sheena Shah

Quick Fire Questions with Sheena Shah

Katie.Dix / 23 May 2019

E2W are delighted to be working with Sheena Shah, founder of ElevatHer app. ElevatHer is a networking app for women in Financial Services to keep up to date with topical events, regular blog posts and to connect with females in the industry. You can keep up to date with E2W's upcoming events and blog posts on the app too!

Sheena has 9 years of relevant finance experience. Prior to working for asset manager MVN, Sheena spent two years with Morgan Stanley in the Sydney office. From 2009 to 2012 Sheena was with Goldman Sachs in the London office. She completed her work placement in 2008 with Goldman Sachs and was offered an unconditional offer after university. Sheena graduated from Aston Business School, Birmingham 2009 with a degree in Business Management and International Relations.

Our 'quick fire questions with...' has some serious questions about working in financial services and more fun ones so that we can demonstrate the many dimensions of a senior woman in finance. 

1. During your career, has there been a time when you thought “Yes, I’ve made it!”?

Every time I had a promotion I thought I had made it. Very quickly after, realisation hit me that:

  • I now need to consistently perform at this level as a minimum.
  • Pray nobody realises that I am not good enough – later found out this is called Imposter Syndrome where you doubt your accomplishments.
  • Had my eyes fixed on the next promotion.

2. What has been the biggest challenge during your career and why? It could be one incident in particular or something more common in the industry, or even something to do with you and your development.

The last 4 years I have worked on a trading floor where I was the only women out of 30 men. My biggest challenge became finding female friends and mentors who I could share my experiences and brain storm ideas with.

3. What are your thoughts on the next generation of women in finance?

I hope my small acts of accountability mean our future gen coming into the industry no longer need to start at the same bottom we did where getting your CV through the door was a battle. I fell into banking and thankfully enjoy it but the young women I speak to today know what they want. They have started their slate with a lot more knowledge about the industry than I did- it is impressive to see. If they can keep up that drive and hunger, I can see us hit gender equality a lot sooner than 217 years.

4. Coffee – from the office coffee machine or a coffee shop?

I read a great article about not feeling guilty spending that £3 a day from a coffee shop. Even though that is £750 a year that could have been reinvested (not that I’m counting!). For me there is more to it. Stepping outside to get a coffee gives me a reason to have a break and get some fresh air so I can be more productive. It also helps build relationships off the desk with different people making it easier to fit networking into my schedule.

5. Work on the commute or catch up on TV?

Work on the commute for sure because it means I get more time to spend with my family and friends after hours

6. Mentor or be a mentee?

Can I pick both? Being a mentee, I have been given great advice on manoeuvring through tough decisions and it doesn’t matter what level I am at, I keep learning from my mentors. Knowing how much it has helped me, I want to make sure I can do the same for someone else.

7. Favourite Yoga pose?

Starting your own company is a lot like having a new born. As Prince William puts it, joining the sleep deprivation society, so my new yoga pose is the Balasana where I can switch off from the world. 

8. Best career advice you’ve received?

My first day as a work placement student in an auditorium full of keen students, a partner at Goldman Sachs walked in and his first sentence was. ‘It’s not what you know, or who you know…. Its WHO knows YOU?’ That one sentence was imprinted into my cerebrum aged 20. The higher up the career ladder I go, the more it resonates with me.

9. Biggest achievement?

Having someone come up to me at an industry event and telling me how much ElevatHer has helped them network with more women. Icing on the cake was that they had also found a great mentor through it.

10. What book are you currently reading?

Shoe Dog, hands down one of the best books I’ve read! More so because I love the space Nike are in currently with promoting women in sports. Watching the Dream Crazier ad made me feel so proud being a woman! After reading the book you realise Nikes motto over the years has never changed from the first day Phil Knight had the idea of doing what he quotes as ‘something crazy’ distributing shoes.  

You can download the app here.


If you would like to contribute to our 'quick fire questions with...' please get in touch with Katie

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