A perfect fit
That new challenge came in the form of a shift into the banking industry – a challenging move that offered her exciting roles. Unfortunately, both banks that Melania worked for in this time had to restructure, leaving her with few possibilities for growth. And so she started looking for new opportunities. When she saw the ad for the Head of Middle Office position at STX Group, she was instantly interested. She immediately knew that the role was a perfect fit for her. “The company was at a turning point, and was looking to move in a new direction that required a different set of skills and talent. I knew I was the person they needed. That might sound arrogant, but sometimes things just make sense. This new opportunity did, and so I jumped at it. Fortunately, the feeling was mutual. Within three days, I had signed the contract.”
Some might find it challenging to start a new job in the midst of a global pandemic, but not Melania. “COVID-19 didn’t really impact my experience. In fact, it feels like I’ve been at the company for years already. The fact that everybody is so open to new ideas and discussions has a lot to do with that. If I have an idea that I want to bring to the table, I can pick up the phone and call the Head of Trading or the CEO – they’ll happily listen to it and tell me if they think it’s valuable or not. The fact that the company structure is quite flat and non-hierarchical, and that anyone can pitch an idea or offer up suggestions, is quite unique. It’s also a bonus that every day is different and that I get to work with such an amazing team, of course. As my team is quite diverse and has a very fresh mindset and perspective on everything, I learn from them on a daily basis.”
Always stand up for yourself
Melania smiles when the topic of the lack of women in her industry is raised. “I know it’s a thing, but I personally don’t think in boxes and I hate stereotypes. My mother taught me that you need to always stand up for yourself, regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman. I do believe, though, that we need more women in this field. And we are getting there – half of my team is female. That said, being in a room full of men doesn’t intimidate me; in fact, I sometimes feel more intimidated by women,” says Melania, smiling.