Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010

Heidi Miller

What is the best and worst decision you've ever made?
I would say it was a mistake staying at Chemical Bank as long as I did. I let the limitations of the bank define how much I could get done. I knew I needed a change but somehow let my own personal fears keep me there longer than I should. Clearly the best professional decision I ever made was going to work for Jamie Dimon — both the first and the second time.

What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
I'm not sure that the barriers to female leadership are vastly different from the barriers to male leadership. The biggest barriers are the personal trade-offs you are willing to make and those apply just as much to men as they do to women. You can't get to positions of leadership without personal sacrifice. Maybe this is more intense for women because of family but in this day and age men are equally impacted by tough decision about time at work versus time with their family.

What woman inspires you and why?
Hillary Clinton. She works incredibly hard for what she believes in and has a killer combination of energy and intellect. She does not let obstacles stand in her way. She has redefined herself and overcome challenges in ways that would break most others. I admire her extraordinary fortitude and perseverance.

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
With more leadership opportunities available to women, the next generation of women is arguably going to have more women in leadership positions than ever before. More big opportunities often equal more big trade-offs. More women starting out in their careers are going to have to make personal and professional decisions that are not always easy particularly since the trade-offs become more difficult as you grow in your career.