Skip to content

Caroline’s story: “We need to step out of our comfort zone”

our female CEOs

16 Sep 2019

Home > News > About Standard Chartered > Careers > Caroline’s story: “We need to step out of our comfort zone”
Caroline Eber-Ittel, our CEO and Country Head, Global Banking, France, explains how management is about following your instincts

I knew what I wanted to do

At the start of my career, I had no real plan in place, I was just young and optimistic! That said, I have always known what I wanted to do – even as a child. I studied risk management and mathematics at university, getting my master’s in actuarial and risk management. At the time, that was trendy, mostly due to certain films about Wall Street! I knew I always wanted to work in an international environment that wasn’t too hierarchical.

Positive energy

I manage with energy and a positive mindset. I tend to say what’s on my mind and stand up for what I believe to be right. I’m a team player, open to others, and I pride myself on having an inclusive management style. My personal values resonate with those of Standard Chartered, which makes us a good fit.

My advice to my colleagues is simply: do what you think is right, follow your instincts and be daring. You might make mistakes, but that is part of learning. Take advantage of your support network, too. I have always had strong support at home, as well as in my professional life.

I’ve been lucky enough to have an ‘ange gardien’ – a guardian angel – in all organisations I’ve worked at, who cares about my future and provides support when needed. I hope I can be that to those in my team.

Embracing challenges to evolve

Challenges are part of life, and something we have to overcome on a daily basis. It’s not easy to make decisions in a constrained situation, but it’s inevitable in your career and something you need to do to evolve. When I’m faced with a big challenge about a colleague or a business decision, I’ve learned to slow down and avoid giving a decision too quickly. I take time to step back, sleep on it, share with others and then revert.

Learning to let go

I think as females, we have a tendency to want to have full control and be in control. We’re not superwomen, though, just as there are no supermen, so collectively I think we need to learn to lose control and accept that it can happen. I also think women in the workplace tend to hold back at times, too. We need to step out of our comfort zone and not be too shy to ask for what we want.

More stories in the ‘Our Female CEOs’ series