“I’ve succeeded thanks to the unwavering support of those around me”

Natalya Voevodina is IT and Operations Director (OPER) at Rosbank, a Societe Generale subsidiary in Russia. “Before my career in various banks, I studied banking and finance at State Financial Academy in Moscow”, she explains. “At the time, in the banking and international finance sector it was mainly young men who applied. I thought I had no chance!”

Working twice as hard

Before joining Rosbank in Moscow, Natalya worked for another company where there was no gender parity. “The higher up the corporate ladder I climbed, the fewer women there were around me”, she bemoans. “Sometimes I’d find myself all alone amongst eleven men in a management committee meeting. I realised I needed to be more energetic in explaining my opinions, defending my ideas, so I started better preparing myself to be more confident and more impactful when speaking”.

A welcoming ambiance

In Russia, some women manage to work their way up to senior positions in companies and government authorities, but most decision-makers are still men.

When she arrived at Rosbank, Natalya was surprised to find more gender parity on management committees. Senior positions aren’t just reserved for men. “I don’t know if it’s because there’s more gender equality at Rosbank, but I find the ambiance welcoming, more serene. Everyone does their work in a conscientious and professional way and relations are friendlier, members of staff find it easier to talk to one another and they support each other. It’s a stimulating atmosphere!

Returning to work without feeling guilty

According to Natalya, her professional success is in large part due to her family. “My husband, who also works in a senior position, has always listened to me, advised me”, she says. “His support is invaluable, and I like to say that he’s kind of my personal trainer!” A mother to 2 children, Natalya can also count on her parents. “My mother is my role model; she’s helped me a lot. After the birth of my children, she quickly encouraged me to return to work without feeling guilty! My recipe for success: have a good support network!”