AJ Bolduc, Executive Director, Asia Pacific Shares Trading, Goldman Sachs, who shares with WiFA her experience with mentors and volunteering, and how she promotes diversity and gender equality.

Mentors play an important role in the developments of many careers. If you have/had a mentor, what is the one take away message or inspiration that he/she passed on to you? 

Two things: seek feedback and set goals. 

Unless there is a big problem, stakeholders may not provide feedback given it’s uncomfortable for both parties. If you proactively seek feedback, you give the stakeholder an opportunity to provide constructive feedback with minimal awkwardness for you and the feedback provider. Feedback is critical to adapt and for personal growth. 

In terms of setting goals, I often get asked by mentees if they are on track as they don’t know what is expected. Neither employees nor managers are mind readers, so setting up goals that align with the business and broader firm goals, with timelines and measures of success are a great accountability tool for both parties. 

The pandemic continues to bring new challenges into our homes and workplace. How are you adapting to these changes in terms of volunteering within your community or workplace?

I have been committing time to internal support networks, and consciously making time for ad hoc catchups for official and unofficial mentees, albeit virtually.

How do you promote diversity and gender equality in your own life and workplace?

An initiative that I have been involved in was the launch of the Women Trader Academy in APAC. The Academy provides women students in their sophomore year of studies the opportunity to learn more about trading, upskill, and prepare for future trading roles. This is a long term commitment and investment that the firm is making to foster talent early on.