Have you ever faced professional hurdles because you’re a woman? Of course. I don’t think anybody deliberately put me down, just an education process, but every woman of my generation has had comments made about her gender. For me, it was a matter of educating people. If I just talked to them and said I didn’t appreciate the comments, I found it was mostly them not being aware.
Why are there so few women heading local financial institutions?
It’s pretty intense work, and if a woman has a career interruption, that could impact her career. The major career interruptions are having children and elder care, and those fall on women more than men. These industries need to figure out how to balance family issues and work because there’s a limited labor pool of skilled people.
What are your responsibilities?
We have deal teams that find investment opportunities, but I look at how to finance them, making the capital calls to our limited partners to line up the funds. Also, I’m the chief compliance officer, and am responsible for taxes and financial reporting for us and our limited partners. I also assemble financial data from portfolio companies when requested.
What made you want to work in this industry?
I’m a number-based, orderly person so I enjoy that aspect of the work. In terms of my career, I’m an anomaly these days because my resume has only two jobs on it. I worked 25 years for accounting firm Ernst & Young. Platinum was one of my clients, and when Tom Gores, owner of Platinum, said, “Come work for me,” I realized this was a one-time opportunity and took it.
Any advice for women going into this industry?
Other than work hard and have a plan, I would say find something you enjoy and makes you feel good. As I look back over 33 years, I think I couldn’t have stayed with it at this level of intensity if I didn’t enjoy it.
If you hadn’t gone into finance …
I would have been a teacher. I worked as a substitute elementary teacher by day to pay for graduate school at night. I really enjoyed it. At Ernst & Young, I taught internal seminars and loved it.
What is your ultimate career goal?
I look to mentor the people who will ultimately take my job. And I would like to serve on the boards for companies, so I might move into that. But I’m content doing my job every day.
What do you do for fun?
I have two boys, ages 23 and 20. One likes to ride off-road motorcycles with my husband, and the other likes Jet Skiing. So I have my own four-wheel ATV and Jet Ski. Sometimes they have to wait for mom, but I’m out there with them and I love it.
MARY ANN SIGLER, 57
Chief Financial Officer
Platinum Equity LLC, Beverly Hills
RESIDENCE: Seal Beach
EDUCATION: B.A., accounting, California State University, Fullerton; M.B.A., taxation, USC
YEARS IN INDUSTRY: 33
YEARS IN POSITION: 8
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