Happy Women’s History Month! We had such a great time learning from incredible Black finance professionals in St. Louis during Black History Month, that we decided to continue the series through March. This time we’ll be interviewing female leaders in finance as well as other sectors, and hope you enjoy learning about their journeys as much as we do. This week’s professional is Robyn Heidger, Senior Vice President, Strategic Alliances and Inclusion at Enterprise Bank & Trust.
Robyn Heidger is responsible for developing strategic alliances and building relationships with community groups and organizations representing diverse interests in the St. Louis, Kansas City, Phoenix and New Mexico markets. She has been with Enterprise since 2005. Prior to joining the company, Heidger worked at a large accounting firm as a Senior Compliance Consultant, and at the former Mark Twain and Mercantile banks. She holds a BS in Finance from Missouri State University.
In addition to her work at Enterprise, Robyn also volunteers with numerous organizations in the St. Louis area. Keep reading to learn more about her background and career:
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and why you chose to work in finance?
Honestly – I grew up in a small town and I am first-generation college. I knew I wanted to go to college, but the only thing I knew as options were teaching, nursing, and banking. I didn’t like science and there were too many teachers in my family. Because it would be un-teenager like to be like the rest of the family, I chose banking.
How did you end up “here”/where you are now?
Most of my career in banking was on the Risk Management side – regulatory compliance, internal audit, even information security and business continuity planning. Several years ago, as the bank was growing, I was given the opportunity to move over to the community development and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion side. Thank goodness my boss at the time (our CEO) knew that this was really where my passion was.
What do you like most about being in your role?
I get to work with incredible people from organizations doing really impactful work in each of our markets. I can’t think of anything better!
What would you consider your greatest achievement in your financial career so far?
Developing and implementing a race-based reciprocal mentoring program. It’s called Empower & Enlighten, and it pairs our C-Suite and other senior leaders with mid-level associates of color for a 9 month program. It’s based on the idea (and supporting research) that we can’t really break down our unconscious biases unless we have a meaningful one-on-one relationship with someone.
What advice would you have for someone looking to pursue a similar career?
I think the variety of roles I’ve had have helped me to be more effective. Realize that what you choose today most certainly doesn’t have to be the same thing as you are doing in five years. Continue to look for new challenges and to be really good at what you’re doing now.
What is your top, simple financial tip?
Really do your research before you “buy.” There are so many options out there for everything – lots of money is “lost” because we get too impatient.
Thank you Robyn for talking with us!