Women in Finance Awards Q&A: Susan Estes, OpenDoor Securities


Susan Estes, Founder, President and CEO at OpenDoor Securities, won Excellence in Treasury Trading at Markets Media’s 2019 Women in Finance Awards.

What is the ‘secret of your success’?

Susan Estes, OpenDoor

Drive and initiative. It is innate and I honestly don’t know where it comes from. If I did, I might look for another way of satisfying it other than running a company. Starting and running a business is not easy. I have an incredible team that believes in what we are doing and works tirelessly towards our success.

How important is it to recognize women in the financial industry?

The lack of gender diversity in the finance and technology workforce is not a secret. It’s obvious to even the most casual observer. Recognizing women for their achievements in this industry is another positive which complements the ongoing, aggressive effort to engage more women in educational and career pathways within the finance field.

What is your advice for women considering or just starting financial careers?

Any woman who possesses confidence in her abilities, works hard and stands ready to defend her ideas, has the temperament for this field. I believe the differentiator that separates women who achieve great success from their peers, is the degree of passion. Women that I know who have excelled in this predominantly male environment come from very diverse backgrounds but are bound together by one common element: They each love what they do.

My advice to young women who have chosen finance as their desired career is simply be yourself. Find what you love and pursue it. Don’t hesitate, don’t hold back and as you reach for the next level, maintain a high bar. Work twice as hard as the person next to you and never ever compromise what’s right for what’s easy.

What are your future goals?

Given where OpenDoor is in its development cycle, we operate in a much shorter timeframe than incumbents. Our context and resources are constantly evolving. Our management team focuses our goal setting on a rolling twelve-month operational plan with detailed metrics, so we know what to focus on. We have a collection of hypotheses, some of which will be wrong. Our team must be agile and prepared to adjust our short-term goals, as long as we are delivering enough progress against our company goals. I believe this provides the right balance of certainty for our team and flexibility to react to new opportunities.

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