Diana Song, Head of Regional Banks and Brokers (Sales) and Co-Chair of Bloomberg Abilities Community in Hong Kong. In her interview, she discusses how she stays motivated, the importance of mentors, the advice she would give to her younger self.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself
I am a second-generation Korean-Spanish; born and raised in The Canary Islands into a Korean immigrant family. I am also a wife and a working mother with a 1-year-old son, just settling down in our new home called Hong Kong.
Growing up in a foreign country as an immigrant, I have always conscious about what made me different. While it took me some time to embrace all aspects of myself, these difference also made me better understand what it means to be embracing diversity and inclusion.
Currently I manage the Regional Banks and Brokers business. I also co-lead Bloomberg Abilities Community in Hong Kong which is a community focusing on creating a more inclusive workplace for employees with visible and, or invisible disabilities.
2. What drew you to a career in finance (Bloomberg)? What has motivated you to stay?
I was working at an investment bank when I came across an article on Michael Bloomberg and how nearly all of Bloomberg’s profits go to philanthropic efforts to improve the global and local communities. I remember feeling wanting to find out more and eventually decided to join the firm.
Since I joined Bloomberg in 2014, I have worked in different departments such as Global Data, Analytics and Sales, each affording me new skill sets and insights that I applied into my next role. Each time, I would get excited to learn new aspects of the financial market and technology, and challenged myself to further develop my existing skills.
Bloomberg culture is unique in the sense that we encourage and foster collaboration and team work. You can see this as we share our most successful collaboration stories every Monday where I feel refreshed and inspired. The people makes the culture and the culture makes Bloomberg such a great place to work.
3. Mentors play an important role in the developments of many careers. Did you have a mentor? If so, what did you look for in that person?
I would have never imagined when I first joined Bloomberg that I would become a team leader. I have been very fortunate to have many great mentors who have looked out for me and given me constructive feedback when I needed to hear it. From them, I learned how to lead by example and doing the job without asking for permission or title.
I did not necessarily look for a specific ask or quality in my mentors. I would ask for advice from different people to gain perspectives and that naturally led me to mentoring experiences for me. So far, the best advice I ever received comes from one of my previous managers: Always be prepared by thinking long term, planning medium term and acting short term.
4. Think back when you were starting out your career. What advice would you give your younger self?
Be open to the possibility of change as it is the only thing constant and do not hesitate to voice your opinion (you have a seat in the room for a reason!).
5. This year has brought tremendous upheaval and disruption to all aspects of our lives. How are you and your company continuing to promote diversity and gender equality despite these massive changes?
Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic hit APAC right after 2020 Lunar New Year, it didn’t take us long to realize that this was not just a health issue but also a crisis that would drastically change our everyday life as we know. Though 2021 continues to be a challenging year for most of us, every single business at Bloomberg has a diversity and inclusion business plan to action on. It is very important for us as an organization to keep pace with the plans that we have set to achieve.
To name a few of the successes we have achieved last year, we have launched new leadership and mentorship programs targeting women and under-represented ethnicity to support their career progression. We also launched mandatory inclusion training for everybody to understand the role that they play in driving inclusion across our organization. At Bloomberg, we treat diversity and inclusion like any other business priority because we believe that they make us stronger and are our success to drive business forward.