One of the instrumental factors in life is finance and along with various challenges, women in today’s modern world are overcoming finance-related issues also. The world is watching significant changes while most women are sharing a lifelong and confident relationship with money. With brilliant skills and talent to fulfill the requirements of higher-level positions, women are constantly evolving and arming themselves with their financial freedom. While they continue to reach new milestones and make financial progress, women’s leadership in finance is also on the rise. Samantha Tran-Jiao (Lotus Domaine) is one of those persistent women leaders who always comes up with creative solutions and drives a dialogue related to finance.
Closing the Gender Gap
Being an inspiring and open-minded leader, Samantha is optimistic about women leaders in finance. Currently, only 24% of leadership roles within the finance sector are assumed by women. Samantha believes that this gender gap will be closed in the upcoming 10 years. In addition to that, social media and technology have provided accessibility to organizations for encouraging young women to pursue careers in finance. They have also been compelled to train, develop, mentor, and promote more women into senior management and C-suite roles. Samantha proudly boasts of women’s contribution at the management level and says, “In my previous role at Vingroup, over 50% of the senior management and C-suite roles were occupied by women.”
No Shortcut for Success
Samantha is an eminent finance leader who comes from a well-educated background. Earlier, in her childhood, she wanted to become a lawyer. Growing up, she developed an interest in law and thus pursued her Bachelor of Arts degree from Houston Baptist University in Government (Political Science). Everyone has a dream career, Samantha dreamt of obtaining a Doctor of Jurisprudence and becoming a lawyer. Her life turned out to be different, and she developed a passion for finance while working in an internship.
Samantha continued to work for more than 18 years in the same field and later pursued a graduate degree in International Business. While sharing her secret of success she says, “There is no shortcut to success.” Samantha’s interesting career journey started at bottom of the corporate ladder where she did an internship and served many roles that led up to being Chief Financial Officer at Lotus Domaine. Though she did not opt for law education, her choice of choosing finance definitely made her one of the most successful women leaders.
Mid-Sized Private Equity Firm
Established in 2014, Lotus Domaine is a mid-sized private equity firm. The organization is an opportunistic buyout or growth fund focused on lower-middle to medium-sized enterprise software companies like SaaS, Cloud, and Cyber. Based in Newport Beach, California, the organization provides access to create unrivaled careers in the finance sector.
Lotus Domaine targets companies that need capital to make corrections and grow, as well as guidance from an experienced team of leaders from various disciplines like technology, marketing, finance, sales, operations, etc. After two successful prior funds, the organization expanded its partner team as well as fund size to address more opportunities. The Lotus Domaine enabled other portfolio companies to reach their full potential through in-depth domain experience, a vast network of talent, and prospective customers along with collaborative working styles.
As a Buyout fund, Lotus is an active and hands-on manager. The company focuses on the implementation of best practices, resulting in an accelerated time to value for both PCs and investors. The company has an extensive network within the Enterprise Software market. This allows the company to have both on/off-market opportunities and positions to purchase other companies at attractive valuations. It has a dedicated business development team that focuses on opportunities for acquisition, PC sales pipeline expansion, and PC Exit positioning with Strategic/Financial investors.
Building Employee-Oriented Organization
Being at the helm, Samantha oversees the Finance, Accounting, Audit, and Tax for Lotus Domaine. It includes Funds and portfolio companies, family offices, and advisory companies. Talking about her achievements, Samantha says, “I have diversified skillsets that can be used interchangeably.” She also shares the advice of the chairman of Hande Development Group, “In order to be someone’s boss, you must be able to do their job.”
According to Samantha, “A defined structure within Finance & Accounting organizations restricts the ability of employees to grow.” However, at Lotus Domaine, Samantha learned to take charge of her responsibilities without a doubt. She believes in investing in employees with the same high level of care and attention as like investments.
Women face the toughest challenges in the male-dominated finance sector such as gender discrimination. The finance sector is mainly dominated by males and women can often feel underestimated while working. Hence, women tend to work harder and are often overworked by choice to ensure that their contributions and accomplishments speak for themselves. While talking about women’s leadership roles, Samantha says, “As more women are breaking the barrier and assuming leadership roles, we are paving the way for the generations behind us.”
Samantha suggests some measures in order to support feminine power, “Women should empower other women first. We should open our own doors for other women to succeed. We should coach, mentor, encourage, and provide the opportunity for others to pursue their goals.”
Focusing on Women’s Values and Attitudes
Samantha agrees with the fact that women must value work-life balance. She says, “Work-life balance is something that I must work on every day. As we grow, so do our responsibilities and the demands that are required to upkeep our job and life. Hence, the act of balancing & rebalancing.” She elaborates that sometimes it is difficult to find the balance between personal and professional life. However, both can be balanced comprehensively.
Women’s leadership plays a vital role in any organization’s success. A decorated leader like Samantha wants to share a few pieces of advice for aspiring women leaders.
- One should never stop learning and growing.
- While climbing up the corporate ladder, it is important to take every opportunity of learning, develop, and refine the skillset.
She sums up her suggestions with one of the quotes from Coco Chanel, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”
Also Read: The 10 Revolutionary Women in Finance, 2023