Oscar Vega, Financial Controller at OtterBox for the Asia Pacific Region in HK, shares with WiFA his views on mentoring women in finance, advice to his male counterparts so they can become an ally, and other thoughts.

Tell us about yourself.

As the Financial Controller at OtterBox, a privately owned consumer electronics accessory company based in Colorado, I find there is a strong “Servant Leader” culture at the heart of the company and it strongly believes in growing to give.  Before joining OtterBox, I worked in multiple countries and different industries in Accounting, Finance, and Compliance. 

What is one characteristic you would say that all women in finance share?

I grew up in a big family where most of my siblings were women. At an early age, my mother and sisters champion diversity and inclusion. One of my earliest memories of women in finance came from my mother. She was a single parent and wore multiple hats throughout my upbringing. Her business acumen provided our family with an opportunity to pursue a career in finance. Witnessing that firsthand has given me a great foundation to help women pursue their education and career.

Mentors play an important role in the development of the careers of women. Have you or are you mentoring a woman in finance? Please tell us about your experience.

 When I first agreed to be a mentor for the WiFA, I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, I was impressed right from the beginning of the program.  I learned that WiFA meticulously reviews the mentor and mentee’s profiles to create a match that would be beneficial to both parties. To my surprise, I was assigned to a well-educated woman who could have been my mentor. However, as we spend time talking about our careers, aspirations, and concerns, the mentor-mentee titles became a blur. We were at the same level, sharing knowledge, getting a second opinion on topics that were important at the time, and just having someone to talk to. I truly enjoyed the experience I had with this program. It reaffirmed my beliefs that we need to champion inclusion and diversity. Women bring a different perspective that creates a balance in today’s work environment.

What advice or guidance would you provide men so they can become an ally? What can they do better to support their female colleagues professionally?

My advice would be for men to invest in women’s professional development and see them as who they can become. Women already possess tremendous skills that can complement any work environment.