Placida Di Crescenzo
Interview

‘Diversity is about so much more than just gender’

Italian-born Placida Di Crescenzo relocated to the Netherlands and joined STX in September 2020 not an easy time to move to a new country and start a new job. By that point, Placida had been working in London for more than a decade. “I was ready for a new challenge and looking for an opportunity to broaden my skill set and expand my knowledge.” 

Placida is currently one of the few women working in STX’s front office. Does that make her feel special? “Not at all”, she says, laughing. “I’ve never once had a client who seemed surprised to find that they were speaking to a female sales trader. It’s not like that at all. I am just another member of the team.” Even though that’s the case, she hasn’t actually met the majority of her team yet. Starting at a new company in the midst of COVID-19 hasn’t been easy, but despite this, Placida is really enjoying her job as a sales trader at STX so far. “I find the atmosphere here ambitious and professional, yet warm and welcoming at the same time.”

 

Diversity isn’t only about gender

Placida feels very strongly about the need for diversity within organisations. “I believe diversity is very important – not just for our company and the industry, but for society as a whole. Everyone has their own unique, personal approach to work. By bringing together different people with different approaches, you greatly improve your chances of success. However, diversity is about so much more than just gender; it’s also about background, skills and beliefs.”

Placida’s parents taught her and her two sisters to be strong, ambitious women. “We were never treated differently because we were girls; we were raised to be curious, open-minded, hard-working individuals.” It paid off: Placida and her sisters all pursued successful careers. In Placida’s case, her journey took her to London, where she worked as an energy broker – with a 1.5-year stint in Frankfurt in between. “I learnt a great deal about the industry and grew a lot, both personally and professionally. Mostly, I learnt to be firm and determined in everything I do, to work hard and to put effort into ensuring that who I am tomorrow is better than who I was today.”

 

Grabbing the opportunity with both hands

Placida welcomed the opportunity to move to Amsterdam. “As much as I was enjoying my life in London, I was also eager for a change and a new challenge. I felt the urge to explore new markets and work with different clients. When I came across STX, I knew it was like a perfect fit. I was confident that the company would feed my curiosity, cater to my level of ambition and give me the room to develop new skills. As a result, it was an opportunity I grabbed with both hands.”

As mentioned, for Placida (and almost everyone else), the past six months have been atypical in every sense of the word. “In all honesty, I personally didn’t expect COVID to last as long as it has. Although I don’t mind working remotely, I do think that as a result it has taken me a little longer to feel settled at the company and in the country. It’s been difficult to not be able to travel to see my family and friends in Italy and London. Nevertheless, I feel at home at STX. The interaction with my colleagues and clients is one of the key reasons why I love my job as much as I do. Plus, I enjoy having the opportunity to learn and grow on a daily basis, so I feel like I’m constantly improving myself.”

 

So much to learn
So far, she hasn’t regretted her decision for a second. “I’ve only been here for six months and I feel there is still so much to learn. There are lots of very talented, experienced people in this company from whom I can learn a great deal. From my side, I hope to be able to add value to STX through my professional experience and personal strengths. As long as you aren’t shy, have an open and curious mind, and are eager to learn, I believe you can craft the career path you want in this company.”

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