Quick Take: BlackRock CFO Ann Marie Petach

Petach shares her thoughts on the CFO role and the pipeline of female talent in finance.
Kate O'SullivanJuly 25, 2012

Name: Ann Marie Petach
Title: CFO
Company: BlackRock

Looking back, what was the most important career decision you made?
Continuously being willing to take new and different assignments — it helps you to learn and keeps the job fun and interesting. I have been fortunate to work in the U.S., Brazil, and Portugal, and in two very different industries, automotive and asset management — in both cases at firms that stand out for their excellence with the industry.

Who or what has been your best source of advice?
A combination of people who know and understand my field and profession and people who know me — so colleagues, professional peers, my husband — people whom I admire and trust and who have sufficient insights to offer real perspectives.

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How do you feel about the pipeline of women who are CFO candidates, both at your company and within your broader network? Do you think it’s harder for women to become CFOs than it is for men?
I think the pipeline of talented women is extremely strong. Our leadership-development programs, such as our Women’s Leadership Forum, and robust talent practices together ensure that we are giving our senior women the right experiences, rotations, insights, and feedback to actually continuously grow into more and more senior leadership positions.

At the same time, we have focused on our recruiting to assure diversity in entry talent pools and work on developing and retaining women in those critical early years in their career. Our Women’s Initiative Network, or WIN, is a terrific partner in that regard, helping to raise our profile among women students, to connect women (and men) across the firm, and to educate its members on strategies for career development.