Jessica Alsford Morgan Stanley

Wall Street has not traditionally been a woman’s world.

At the senior level, women make up only 20% to 35% of executives on the Street.

But there are women who have made it, and they can serve as valuable resources for others hoping to build careers in finance.

Morgan Stanley spoke to a handful of its senior women and published their best pieces of advice in a recent blog post.

Here’s what some of those women had to say.

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You don’t always have to say ‘yes’ — not even to opportunities offered to you.

“Don’t miss out on potentially fantastic roles or jobs by thinking that you need to follow a particular career path. But don’t say ‘yes’ to every opportunity that’s offered to you either. Make sure you have someone you trust, who can help you think through opportunities as they come up.”

Celeste Mellet Brown — Managing Director, Corporate Treasurer

Stop apologizing.

“When I first started my career, I used to be apprehensive about voicing my opinions, so I’d often apologize for giving them. My boss told me I should never apologize for being myself, and that advice has been transformative.”

Katy Zhao — Vice President, Investment Products & Services, Wealth Management

There are 3 things you’re going to need.

“First, you need to have a dream; second an idea of what your goal is and third, passion. Obviously having the skill set and working hard are important, but if you don’t have a dream and a goal, then don’t be surprised when you don’t get there. And if you don’t fill your dream with passion, then you can become disheartened about your career choice during the tough times. And there are always tough times in a cyclical business like finance.”

Wei Sun Christianson — CEO Morgan Stanley China, Co-CEO Morgan Stanley Asia Pacific

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