Elizabeth Salas Evans, 2020 Outstanding Woman in Business
President, Cayena Capital Management in Weare
Elizabeth Salas Evans is a finance industry veteran with a career spanning positions ranging from trader and broker to trusted advisor and portfolio manager at TD Ameritrade, Fidelity Investments and Charles Schwab.
And she is well known for sharing this industry insight to help others succeed.
Salas Evans regularly mentors and coaches women seeking to enter the fields of finance and economics through hosting finance license study sessions and community women-focused networking events.
She personally invests hours of her time, pro bono, supporting immigrant women in their business development and helping them understand the nuances of spreadsheets, nonprofit filings and investments.
Her dedication to educating professional women of color in the region and introducing them to social capital supports is driven by her own experiences facing obstacles as an Afrolatina.
After encountering continued roadblocks to the career advancement she had been diligently pursuing, she found her calling. She launched an independent advisory firm last year, developing an international ecosystem of ethical financing influencers who can return capital to the hands of the disadvantaged.
Q. What is a challenge you’ve faced and overcome?
A. Defining my own self-worth when others have underestimated me. Consistently, I’ve encountered individuals who seem surprised by my work ethic and/or “performance.”
Continually I would be passed over for opportunities, mostly by white men. I began to create my own projects. Shortly after I declared my interest in deepening my education in economics, career conflicts emerged, so I decided to create my own firm.
I used my voice to share my ideas. I wrote. I raised my voice online, in my community, at work and at home. I refuse to feel shame for the value that others have placed on me. In fact, I use my voice to share those values openly and with transparency in hopes of encouraging other women and men to use their voice to confidently share their self-worth and elevate.
Q. What is your leadership style?
A. Transformational leadership is something I aspire to deliver. I believe succinct, clear communication is essential to growth and success. Defining needs is critical, as a business owner and startup (who will be starving if I am not transparent about what I need). When working on a team, it’s essential to understand the needs of our team members in order to provide what is essential to their health and well-being, to allow for dedication and commitment to even make it on the table.
Q. Have you had a mentor?
A. I think mentorship began far before my first job. It is about building trusting relationships where you’re able to grow through vulnerabilities. My mentors have included my parents, siblings, family, friends, bosses, colleagues and industry professionals, TEACHERS, counselors, community members and now even my children have things to teach me.
Q. Have you experienced discrimination because of your gender?
A. I began my career in financial services as I celebrated my 21st birthday, and as a result spent many workdays dreading the after-work events associates at my level would be called into. Navigating an industry that is not only male-dominated but also predominately white created a different set of challenges that I don’t believe anyone could have prepared me for.
Q. What advice do you have for young women just starting their careers?
A. A career is your portfolio of professional experiences throughout your life, influenced by personal desires and goals. Each experience will require a level of sacrifice. Regardless, it is essential to always maintain integrity. You need to consider the impacts to your name with each decision. With this said, it’s extremely important to take risks — recognizing that learning from “failures” allows for greater situational awareness, strength and resiliency.