Women in Finance Awards Q&A: Kathryn Zhao, Cantor Fitzgerald


Kathryn Zhao, Kathryn Zhao

Kathryn Zhao, Global Head of Electronic Trading at Cantor Fitzgerald, won for Innovation in Quantitative Trading at Markets Media’s 2019 Women in Finance Awards.

How do you strike a work-life balance?
To me, it is all about efficient time management. I have a five-year old. I would like to spend as much time as possible with him every day, but of course this is impossible given my role and workload. Therefore, what I do is I plan ahead all of our activities and prioritize each item on the list — say “Yes” to the ones I must attend and “No” to the rest. In addition, I remember to delegate.

How important is it to recognize women in the financial industry?
It is critically important, without a doubt. A team with diverse experiences, perspectives and skill sets is more likely to have an enhanced ability to make better-informed decisions. It is also one of the key factors to make a winning team. Studies have shown that companies with a gender-diverse board perform significantly better than their competitors.

What is your advice for women considering or just starting financial careers?
Just to name my top three:
1. Always be the most prepared person in the room. This will allow you to be more confident and your message will be more assertive.
2. Build your own brand. For example, you could be referred to as the person who always delivers on time and with absolute high quality.
3. Do not be afraid of stepping outside your comfort zone. When you do, remarkable things will happen.

What are your future goals?
We hope to help shape the industry standard for algorithmic trading as we build our next generation, cross-asset algorithmic trading platform that covers equities, foreign exchange and fixed income.

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