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AWL: An Empowering Experience

By DTCC Connection Staff | 2 Minute read | July 2, 2020

Many companies talk about the importance of developing women leaders, but DTCC’s Advancing Women Leaders (AWL) program is proof of how to do it right. I’m one of 16 women participating in the two-year career development program, and it has been one of the most empowering experiences of my professional life.

One of the best parts of AWL is that we test theory in practice and learn from experience. As a group we created a supportive and collaborative atmosphere. We act as advisors, friends and advocates to help each other develop and succeed. We are also responsible for key deliverables aimed at helping women reach their potential at DTCC.

In addition, we’re assigned an executive coach, who works with us to create a leadership vision and career plan tailored to our individual needs, along with an executive sponsor, who helps us build our internal networks and provide organizational exposure. For many of us, this is the first time we’ve had a formal program for personal development. Through these and other initiatives, we’ve had the opportunity to meet with senior management and key internal stakeholders, as well as take on different assignments. Last year, for instance, I was asked to deliver closing remarks at an event featuring female members of our Board of Directors. While that was an experience I’ll never forget, meeting with our Board members later that evening, gave me insight into their own career journeys and great advice about how I could blaze my own trail in the future.

What I’ve learned more than anything else in the program is that I need to be authentic and show my colleagues exactly who I am. It’s been incredibly empowering personally and professionally. And I have DTCC and the AWL to thank for that.

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Miglena Lazarova DTCC Executive Director, Client Services Operations