SHINE interview with Carolanne Minashi, Global Head of Diversity UBS

After 29 years at Citi Carolanne specialised in talent management, employee relations and leadership development. She volunteers for the Pilotlight Charity, supports the 30% Club and is married with four children. Diversity is her particular passion. Having spent all her career at Citi, in February 2016 she joined UBS as their Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion and hasn’t looked back. Her experience in these two Global Banks has given her a particular perspective on what works and what doesn’t in large organisations trying to focus on improving their gender balance.

Her approach is rooted in the business case that more inclusive cultures are fundamentally more innovative, better places to work and will provide a better service to clients. Carolanne offers her top 10 very practical solutions to help women drive ahead and get the changes and results they want.




Drive and Execution

These are crucial for making progress. Being able to deliver is what senior women are experts at.

Ambition and Career Articulation

Many women tend to think that if they were good enough or ready for that bigger role, somebody would be tapping them on the shoulder and putting them forward. is rarely happens so be vocal and visible about your skills and readiness.

Be a Great People Manager

The two differentiators are:

  • Be a people builder and create an environment where people want to work for you
  • Be good at tough conversations, issues and situations, it can be a real differentiator as so few people are

Navigate the Jump

From specialist to generalist. People tend to get promoted for being technical experts and for women that can be like our armour –we become experts on our particular topic. But eventually you are going to get promoted to a level where you are not an expert on everything that you are responsible for and that can be a derailer as it requires a shift in leadership style.

Feedback x 3

Women need more feedback. A recent study I read showed that 80% of women don’t get constructive/challenging feedback in performance review meetings versus 23% of men. And 30% of women don’t get feedback a er an interview. Getting more feedback is really critical in helping people to move ahead. Ask your key stakeholders for feedback – specifically what you could be doing that would create even more impact.

Sponsoring and Mentoring

Great things happen when you participate in either of these two.


It surprising how little networking women do. Perhaps we are too busy doing the job and fail to realise that networking is a key part of our career success. Men seem to need little encouragement in this area and are always proactively looking for networking opportunities. So make expanding your network and keeping it alive a priority.


There is something very compelling when people can be authentically themselves – let the mask slip every now and again. None of us are perfect and leaders who can show a bit of vulnerability actually build followership rather than reduce it. Colour outside the lines (a bit!)
Women can miss out on job and promotion opportunities because they take role requirements too literally – unless we are 90% qualified for a role we think it would be a waste of time to apply. I would challenge everyone to think a bit more creatively, there is rarely a completely perfect t candidate for a role and by withdrawing from the race at the start line you will never know what could have been.


When I hit the pillow at night I want to be sure that I did the day with integrity. You need tenacity to succeed, I have a mental check-list every day when I ask myself the question ‘Did I win today or did I lose’, so often I feel like I lost a bit but you have to keep going.

Also, beware of the naysayers and those who don’t support your agenda because they will try and hold you back, when I look back, some of the best things I achieved were the loneliest in the initial phase – you have to have cast iron belief in what you are shooting for and slowly people will come round. e kind of change we are trying to create is multi-faceted and multi-year, but we are going to get there. At UBS we have been able to create a genuine strategic focus on the agenda that starts with our Group CEO. We have a focus on on fixing ‘the system’ and not ‘fixing the women’ and we are beginning to see real results. Its an exciting place to be.

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