Know Your Value: Q&A with Tracey Warson
By Tracey Warson, Head of Citi Private Bank, North America & co-Chair, Citi Women November 24, 2015 11:00 AM
As part of our work to engage progress makers, this year Citi is partnering with Know Your Value, a program with NBCUniversal News Group and Mika Brzezinski, to explore how female aspiring leaders can get their worth at work and create the lives they want. Tracey Warson, Head of Citi Private Bank, North America and co-Chair, Citi Women, participated in the “Closing the Deal” panel at the Know Your Value event in Boston. Below she answers a few questions.
1) What most excites you about your role as Head of Citi Private Bank, North America?
I’m most excited about the enormity of the opportunity. Having traveled across 25 offices in North America and visited several of the global team offices, I continue to be inspired and energized by the remarkable level of talent we have at Citi. One of the more challenging elements of my role is responding to the complex regulatory environment. But we’ve got the right business model and talent to build on our momentum and create a great business for the firm.
2) At the Know Your Value event in Boston you addressed key tips to “close the deal” and being your own best advocate. Can you highlight your top two tips?
Preparation is your best tool and weapon. Always be prepared and confident in what you’re asking for, whether it's a raise, a promotion, or a new stretch assignment. You won’t always have all the details you want before going in, but do your homework and get as much information as you can ahead of time, and go in with confidence and a very clear intention about the outcome you want.
I also encourage emerging talent to think big and stand out. Write down your goals every year-- professional and personal, and be as specific as possible. Stay focused, optimistic, and always try to go above and beyond what has been asked of you. Finally, don’t be afraid to acknowledge your contributions and put them out there!
3) Tell us about a “Know Your Value” moment in your career?
I’ve been fortunate to have had two big “Know Your Value” moments in the last few years. I joined Citi Private Bank in 2010 as head of the Western Region, and in 2014 I was named head of all of North America. I'm the first woman to hold this role. I knew I was up against very strong competition from a number of highly qualified colleagues from around the world. I prepared quite a lot for the interview process and had to clearly articulate my relevant experience, how I had already outperformed in the organization, and deliver the message with confidence that I was unequivocally qualified and committed to getting this role.
I had another one of those moments shortly thereafter, when I was asked by our CEO Mike Corbat to co-lead Citi Women, a company-wide effort designed to attract, develop, advance and retain female talent at all levels across the firm. Candidly, I felt like this was an amazing validation of the work I am so passionate about and have done in my career. In my career I’ve been fortunate enough to help start several diversity committees both at previous firms, and at Citi in the Private Bank, which is now viewed as a model committee.
Running Citi Private Bank North America and exceeding our goals is the most important thing from a business standpoint and it also demonstrates that women can run big P&L businesses. Leading an effort like Citi Women however, is really what feeds my soul.
4) If you could create a TED talk (“Ideas worth spreading”), what would be the name of your talk?
As you can tell, I'm passionate about the equal representation of women on company boards and in senior roles. This is a key focus issue for us at Citi. The 30% Club, founded by Helena Morrissey and launched in the UK in 2010, targets 30% female board representation and in senior roles. One of the most critical components is men and women working together to create critical change -- that’s the secret sauce that shouldn’t be so secret!
Perhaps a great TED talk would be one that looked at the research, including the countries and companies that are leading the way to challenge and tear down the barriers women face to reach senior roles and board positions. I’d focus on how companies can unite men and women in a coordinated, collaborative approach to address these issues and expedite transformational change.