23 August, 2021
#2 Portrait of a woman in finance: Corine Isorez
“Do not hesitate when you see a job, and you think that you don’t belong there. Just jump right into to it.”
My journey in finance has always been quite unexpected.
As a young political sciences student, I would have never thought that 15 years later, I would be working in the finance sector. I think it was destiny. I was looking for an environment that provided me with the possibility of training, growth and challenges. The finance sector provided me with all that and then some.
An early experience that comes to mind is when I gave birth to my first son. I had an interview with a bank while I was pregnant, and they were very flexible with me. They took me on board and told me I can start whenever I am ready. I am lucky enough to work in an environment that gives me the adaptability that I need. I’ve had many calls from my car while waiting to pick up my kids from school! We’re allowed to take that time off when needed. Many women have the mentality that they cannot have an equitable work-life balance, but that’s all in the mindset that we have. It’s always been comprehensive, even for men.
It’s sometimes difficult to forget that we are in a “man’s world.” I can vividly remember my experiences as a team manager for the first time. I was working in an environment where I was only twenty-something in a room full of those in their fifties. There was a moment in time where I walked into a meeting, and I was immediately asked if I was taking the notes. I was taken aback! I faced these types of remarks on a regular basis. From “she’s too young,” to “she’ll never work here for more than three months,” and even “who are you to tell me what to do?” Yet, they’re the same people who ended up becoming my biggest fans years later. I had no issues speaking out. Even if I had to step aside after a meeting and say what I needed to say. I have always had the opportunity to say what was necessary.
Now, it is easier or women to speak their minds. We have the opportunity now to progress in our careers the way we want to. It’s all about how you position yourself. When I was with Fortis, I had the opportunity to work in sales, but I refused. I had a negative outlook of the sales industry and was convinced it was not for me. I saw it as aggressive, competitive and quite vigorous. After a couple of years, I realised that it wasn’t like how I thought it was. It was the exact opposite. I eventually applied for the sales job and had an amazing tenure there. That’s when I realised that I must be more open minded! This is a message that I would send to my younger self. I would tell her to dare to do more. Do not hesitate when you see a job, and you think that you don’t belong there. Just jump right into to it even if you don’t tick all the boxes. There were instances where I got a job that I thought I wouldn’t be great at, and my boss would tell me that my effort was amazing. It’s good to put yourself out there and never underestimate yourself!
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