Challenges, sacrifices and dreams of Anna Tavano, Head of Global Banking for HSBC Italy: guest of the TgCom24 section “Storie di Donne” (Stories of women), the manager reveals how she managed to achieve professional success in a predominantly male field, yet succeeding in combining marriage and motherhood.
Storie di Donne: personal and professional life of Anna Tavano, Head of Global Banking for HSBC Italy
“An outstanding career with a clear goal, to always be yourself”: with these words, TgCom24 opens the interview with Anna Tavano, Head of Global Banking for HSBC Italy. Among the fifty most influential personalities in the financial world according to Financecommunity, she managed to make her way in a “professional field that is predominantly male”, pursuing her dreams with courage and dedication. After graduating in Economics in Rome, she wanted work in the financial sector but – she said – “I had a problem: I knew French well because I had studied it at school, but I hardly knew English at all”. So she moved to London, where she attended an English language course: “One day I met some of my old friends from university, who worked there; one of them suggested me to send my resume to an investment bank that was looking for young people to join the staff. I didn’t even know how to write a resume in English, I asked some friends to help me out and I sent it. I was called for an interview and, to my surprise, they hired me”. It was the beginning of a remarkable professional growth, which led her to face (and win) many challenges: “There was so much prejudice, that a client went so far and pointed out that I was not only young but also a female coming from southern Italy! Do you want to know how it ended? Over time, that person became one of my best clients. Great results for a very young woman from southern Italy”. Many were also the sacrifices, as Anna Tavano recalls: “I have worked very hard for years, with schedules that did not allow me to have any social life nor time for myself. However, I was lucky because the system is meritocratic in London, and, from this point of view, neither age nor sex matters: my results have been recognized, and in eight years I have built up the career that in Italy I would probably have built in twenty years”.
Combining marriage, motherhood and career: Anna Tavano’s perspective
In her interview for TgCom24, Anna Tavano also talked about her loved ones: her husband and her daughter “are my absolute priority, they have helped me to grow professionally as well as emotionally”. However, she never thought about giving up her job, because it is “a passion, I feel like it burns inside me”. So, a few months after her maternity leave, she decided to accept an important assignment in the field of the Italian Public Administration, in order to give something in return to her country. It was a challenging and difficult experience. At the beginning, her purpose was to dedicate a maximum of three years of her professional life to this assignment and “in fact, at the beginning of the fourth year, the bank I had always worked for called me back. It was a bit like coming back home, until HSBC made me a job offer. I really liked the project, as well as the underlying culture and values, so I accepted this new challenge with great enthusiasm”. To find a balance between family and work life was “quite an achievement”, but it also served to learn “to take my time, to take care of myself without feeling guilty”. Finally, Anna Tavano pointed out the importance of networking and supporting each other among female colleagues: “You always have to be yourself and never give up on your dreams”. Achievements are always based on some sacrifices, as evidenced by her professional career, but “you never have to abandon the idea of achieving your goals: one day you could regret this”.