The award recognizes high-achieving women across the industry and brings visibility to those who are on a path to becoming the C-suite leaders of tomorrow. Fifteen women, 40 years of age and younger, were selected, each with accomplishments and influence that set them apart.
For April Frazer, this recognition—and the career success that it represents—are the result of three key principles:
April’s drive and passion for knowledge and success lead her to constantly look for new opportunities as soon as she reaches a point where she does not feel sufficiently challenged. Each new opportunity creates a stepping stone in her career path.
April acknowledges that, early in her career, she thought that would mean leaving Wells Fargo in search of the next step in her professional journey. She soon learned, though, that you do not need to “company hop” to find a new challenge or to advance your career. She has held five positions in her 16 years with Wells Fargo, each building on the previous one to get to where she is today.
Being responsive and open-minded is key when evaluating and looking at the next challenge in one’s career. The next opportunity may not present itself directly but needs to be developed. Her current position as the Head of Banks is a newly-created role, making April the first leader responsible for the strategy and growth of the company’s global bank portfolio, consisting of over 1200 relationships with 2500 entities.
Recognizing the Importance of Others in her Success
April acknowledges the contributions others play in her success. First, she stresses the importance of maintaining relationships throughout her career. It can be easy to lose contact with colleagues over the course of promotions and other changes, but as she notes,
you never know who you will reconnect with again throughout your career and how instrumental they can be.
Mentors have been immensely helpful in April’s success, particularly those who believed in her before she did, and were willing to step back in order to give her an opportunity to demonstrate her knowledge and abilities. Female mentors have been particularly instrumental because they recognize the unique challenges that women can face. Lisa McGeough, co-head of Corporate & Investment Banking, has been a mentor throughout April’s career. Lisa emphasized that meeting every single requirement on a job description should not be a factor when looking at new and challenging opportunities, a notion that male employees rarely consider.
Surrounding herself with supporters has also been critical, especially after she advanced considerably in her career. The more seniority one achieves, the more political the environment becomes. A strong inner circle of people who recognize April’s strengths and capabilities have helped in navigating the politics in an organization.
Believing in herself
Hand in hand with having a strong group of supporters is self-confidence. At senior levels, April finds, there is no shortage of people who will challenge you. However, she also knows that having a plan to overcome challenging situations is key to success.
Self-promotion is also important, and for some, that can be a difficult skill to master. As a mentor, April encourages her mentees to advocate for themselves. However, she admits that she has not always been the strongest advocate for her own self-promotion. Lisa McGeough and April worked in partnership to highlight the strengths that April’s knowledge and skillset brought to Wells Fargo and our clients, and to develop the courage to advocate for herself. Through the practice of self-promotion, April has been able to break the barriers for her career progression and navigate her own career development.
Congratulations to April and the other women on this very special award!