There is no shortage of talent among women in the asset management industry.
All of the women selected in this year's Money Management Executive's Top Women in Asset Management Awards are bona fide leaders and innovators, actively seeking solutions to the market, regulatory and operational challenges facing firms.
(Throughout the week, we will be running individual profiles of the winners.)
It's the exercise that Diana Tidd, managing director and head of equity index products at MSCI, tasks her team with regularly: Question what the firm is doing today and envision what it will be doing five years from now.
Or the test of courage to escape your comfort zone and help launch something new, as Bonnie Baha has done as director of global developed credit for DoubleLine Capital. "I voluntarily walked away from a very high paying job," Baha recalls. "Most rational human beings would say, 'What's wrong with you?'"
Professional commitment is a shared trait among this year's winners. Lisa Jones, CEO and president of Pioneer Investment Management USA, recognizes the market shift toward passive, but still works to support active management.
"It is important to not lose sight of the value of active management, especially during periods of market volatility," Jones says.
A number of awardees are also bringing much-needed alternative perspectives, helping shape new products and usher in new management considerations.
Tamara Wyre, Capital One director and senior portfolio manager, spearheaded a new gender specific investment product that promotes inclusion - an effort that mirrors her community volunteerism.
Marlene DeLuca, chief marketing officer for Americas fund management at J.P. Morgan Investment Management, is studying how remote technology can ease some of the demanding hours that come with a career in finance for women.
A deep involvement in mentorship and keeping top talent focused is how Carin L. Pai, executive vice president and director of equity management at Fiduciary Trust, finds her way to pay forward the guidance she received in her career.
Goldman Sachs Asset Management's Kathryn A. Koch and Acadian Asset Management's Asha Mehta have found purpose in promoting responsible investing, noting that achieving social value and investor returns can be complimentary goals.
So too, Koch says, are having a career and a family life.
"I wasted a lot of energy worrying about whether it was possible to have a challenging and rewarding career alongside a family," Koch says. "It's very possible."
Hartford Funds' Denise Lauber says her career has in fact drawn strength from her family. "I was fortunate to always have somebody," she says. "So, now my role now is completely different than it was over the last 25 years. But I survived."
The personal reason might be the best motivation to succeed, says William Blair's head of investment management, Michelle Seitz. In her case, it is knowing she has helped her clients.
"The first big client that I won is still a client today," she says. "He was larger than life and he was the first big win."