In its 16th year, American Banker will be hosting their annual “Most Powerful Women in Banking” awards dinner. Protiviti is proud to be the exclusive Diamond Level sponsor for this prestigious event. In anticipation, we are excited to spotlight inspiring women who work within the financial services industry (FSI) here at Protiviti. While these women do all have their industry expertise in common, their stories are all unique and each offers wonderful perspective. We hope you enjoy our #ProtivitiWomenInFSI series!

“I think, for me, it’s about the ‘C’ words – connecting, collaborating, creating community and camaraderie,” says Cassie, when asked about leadership, specifically as a woman in a male-dominant industry. “It can feel somewhat lonely in financial services.  Sometimes you still may be the only woman at the table. What’s helpful is the network of strong women leaders that are present in the industry who understand these experiences and are able to relate. When women come together, it’s wonderful to be able to feel and pull energy from one another and see how strong and successful you can be as a whole.”

Cassie, a Manager in Technology Consulting out of New York, wears many hats. Texas-raised, she moved to the Big Apple to grow her career in the financial services industry and has been blazing a trail ever since. Joining Protiviti two years ago from the Big 4, Cassie is no stranger to hard work — but if you ask her ‘Why Protiviti?’, she’ll tell you it is because of the ample opportunities and amazing mentors. “I have a passion for diversity and inclusion and working with people in general. I knew I wanted to continue in the professional services space to have the relationship-building aspect, diversity of thought, and work with people of varying backgrounds. I was also inspired by the vision of people that I met at Protiviti.” Particularly mentioned as mentors who have inspired Cassie are Managing Directors Tyrone Canaday, Global Innovation Lead at Protiviti, and Carol Raimo, Office Managing Director Lead for the New York City office.

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Cassie (left) on a wine tasting tour in Napa

The Challenges

Although women are making headway, the financial services industry is still heavily male-dominated at the present time. How does that affect the interaction with clientele in this industry? Cassie notes that personally she has learned to flex her style to her audience. “It’s a bit of a struggle for me personally, but what I’ve learned is to always continue to develop yourself and your own style. Then, know how to adjust your presentation so that it’s better received.” Cassie also addresses commentary that having a ‘strong personality’ as a female can unfortunately be viewed differently by gender and can be misconstrued. While we don’t need to accept that as being OK, being aware is helpful. “I participated in the LEAD Series that Protiviti offers, which was really a great leadership training that helped me in regards to these challenges because it taught me a lot about self-awareness. We did a personality test, so you learn about your working style preference, and I also did a communication coaching session. Continuing to develop yourself and your own style has been beneficial to me in regards to some of the challenges.”

Career Advice

“Continue to show up. There will be tough days, conversation and feedback, but stay the course, continue to participate and keep trekking forward. I would also say, make sure your voice is heard. When you are in a room and you are the only woman, be sure you speak up, ask questions and make a difference in those conversations.”

Cassie Vale
Cassie fosters dogs on the side. Curious to see more? Follow her instagram handle @nycfostertails

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Best Memory

“The most moving memory I have is an event that highlighted 10 women in the New York office. We were invited to our office lead’s house in the city and it was incredible — the house alone was fantastic to see. She brought in a Protiviti alumnus who now owns his own suit business and we all had a custom blazer created. In itself, a custom blazer is really nice, but for something that you traditionally think of as a male experience, it was really great to be able to have that tailored experience. In addition to the 10 women, each of the NYC female Managing Directors participated in this event. In my 10 years of professional experience, I’ve never seen that engagement at another event. It was super highly attended, very inspirational and very fun!”

Rapid Fire

If you could have any job in the world, what job would you have?:  “My parents are entrepreneurs, so I have an entrepreneurial spirit. Throughout my life I’ve had several ideas — a shoe line, a bakery, a bar, a retail store, anything and everything. I also would say something with people, most likely in the diversity and inclusion space. Something along those lines would make me happy!”

If nutrition was not a factor and you’re stuck on an island where you can only have one food for the rest of your life, what are you having?: “Mangos. It’s not that common around here, but I think that’s my favorite food in general. However, I also don’t think I could give up cheese. ‘Cheese’ actually was my first word as a child!”

Book and/or Podcast Suggestion?: “My favorite book of all time is ‘Outlander’ by Diana Gabaldon. As for podcasts, I’m just getting in to them but I would suggest anything true crime related!”

On behalf of Protiviti, we’re proud of all that Cassie has accomplished and we know she has many successes to come. Thank you for being a strong female leader in management and for inspiring us each day!

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