Helping other professional women learn how to network and connect is a personal mission of Marie E. Dzanis, the senior vice president, head of funds and intermediary distribution at Northern Trust Asset Management.

"I really believe that because women in my generation grew up differently, some of them don't know how to effectively compete with each other," Dzanis says. "Others don't know how to connect intimately and sometimes life circumstances dictate that they have caregiving responsibilities. I think we need to support each other and promote opportunities for women leadership."

Dzanis has done her best to live by example, with 25 years in the industry and several notable educational achievements, including certifications from the executive education programs offered at Stanford University and the Chicago Booth School of Business, and her CIMA from the University of California, Berkeley.

She serves on the Women's Board of the University of Chicago Cancer Foundation and heads the Emergency Champagne Women's Leadership Group, a networking group for female executives she founded in 2004.

Her mission for women doesn't stop at home. Dzanis and her husband take annual trips to Nepal to work with children's groups and help launch a school for underprivileged girls in the South Asian country.

"It is inspiring for young girls that they can indeed be successful and they can be true to what they want to do," she explains.

At Northern Trust, Dzanis says she is always looking for that unique perspective to help realize all sides of the equation. "Why is that important for women?" she asks. "If I have a stylistic preference and I manage a team of mostly men, or different types of diverse thoughts, I need to make sure that I know that I can understand those thoughts that generate success."

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