Networking, volunteering, and getting involved in women development initiatives is so important in identifying and addressing the diverse issues that diverse people face.
Stephanie Huard is the Head of EMEA Credit Solutions Sales at S&P Global Market Intelligence, one of the world’s foremost providers of financial data and analytics. With over 20 years of sales and leadership experience, she manages the European Sales team within the Credit & Risk Solution division, which helps the financial community manage and understand essential information regarding credit risk, compliance exposure, and regulations.
“S&P Global has evolved a lot during my tenure, and I’ve been able to explore many different roles as well as areas of the business during the 19 years I've been with company,” says Stephanie.
Transitioning to leadership, especially at a large international organisation, is the fruit of many years of what Stephanie calls “individual contribution” as a successful sales executive. She believes building “credibility and accountability” enabled her to pursue growth opportunities at S&P Global. She’s also quick to acknowledge the support she has been given along the way.
Stephanie is passionate about giving back and leading by example. Coaching and mentoring are core to her role and the team's success reaching goals and sales targets. It's also how she meets each member of her team wherever they may be in their career and helps them feel “as happy and content” as she has been throughout her time with S&P Global.
“This is a fantastic company in terms of diversity. Being a woman has never been a hurdle in my career development. I’ve been exceptionally empowered by the organisation. In my opinion, S&P Global fosters a culture that removes obstacles for people, whatever their background or gender, however they chose to identify.”
At S&P Global, women are equally represented across all levels of decision-making, including the board. The group also has People Resource Groups (PRGs) that empower people to achieve their greatest potential. Stephanie has just been appointed President of the Southern EMEA chapter of Women Initiative for Networking & Success—or affectionately called WINS. She led the Paris chapter for the past seven years and is eager to accompany WINS from the regional leadership role in its mission to accelerate personal and professional growth by empowering women to be the best version of themselves.
Creating space within a corporate context for networking and sharing is key to her personal success, says Stephanie. She also believes it’s also critical to the success of the organisation.
“Networking, volunteering, and getting involved in those initiatives is so important in identifying and addressing the diverse issues that diverse people face. I’m very lucky to work for S&P Global that not only embraces difference but models it at all levels of our corporate structure. Through WINS, we create connections that span the entire business, providing us an infrastructure to share learnings, seek synergies, and support each.”
Stephanie is passionate about providing this kind of support to colleagues and team members, and about playing an active role in surfacing the challenges that women in particular might face in the workplace. Among these challenges is striking the balance between home and work. It is this passion that brought her to INSEAD and to the Women Leaders Programme in May 2022.
“I wanted to get deeper insight and new perspectives on the obstacles that women face as they accede into leadership positions, and this programme provides the intimacy, the psychological support and the personalised coaching that encourages people to open up and speak authentically about their experiences.”
Going into the learning experience, Stephanie expected to build a globalised awareness of the challenges women combat. However, as the programme progressed, she also gained deeper insight into herself as a female leader. ”
“There are modes of thinking and processing that women are more prone to than men. We have a greater tendency to create obstacles for ourselves. The programme really shone a light on these kind of habits that I have as a leader and as a women, partly because the learning is so very personalised and enhanced by coaching – both with professional coaches and through interaction with other female leaders from all kinds of backgrounds.
In fact, the peer dynamic was so powerful that Stephanie has remained in very close contact with her fellow participants beyond the programme. Not one but two WhatsApp groups keep these leaders connected, she says. One is a 40-strong, global network of professional support and sharing. The other is a group built firmly on bonds of friendship and intimacy.
“The programme has helped me extend my professional network, hands down. But more importantly, it’s given me new and significant, supportive friendships,” says Stephanie. “I’ve learned how strong women can help each other, and how strong that help can be.”