Reflecting on nearly 30 years at Putnam Investments, Cathy Saunders is proud at how women have found leadership roles in the industry.

"Women have permeated every aspect of asset management," she says. "Investment management, distribution, service, the list goes on. The career opportunities are broader today than ever before."

Trailblazers like Saunders helped make that possible. Her career success includes attaining renown as one of the company's top wholesalers in its history.

Her skill landed her several Top Gun Awards from Putnam and a promotion to the regional director of 20 wholesalers before being named the head of its North American institutional business in 2007.

Her responsibilities expanded after she was appointed head of RIA business in 2009 and by 2015 her responsibilities included private banks and trust businesses.

Recognizing her institutional expertise in virtually every aspect of the business, Putnam created her current position as head of its client engagement center.

In the role, Saunders oversees 100 people that execute critical early career functions, induction points and sales training.

In addition to her multiple responsibilities, Saunders is spearheading programming efforts to connect with female investors and millennials.

"Women control more wealth today than ever before," she says. "You can't serve a diverse client base without a diverse workforce. The industry needs even more women involved to stay current and relevant with this trend that continues to accelerate."

Her advice to young women entering the industry is simple: find what works.

"The primary goal should be to aggressively seek their own personal authentic alignment," she says. "People are at their very best when they are doing those things that feed this alignment and the source of their best work."

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