If you watch CNBC, you know Sue Herera – lead anchor for CNBC’s breaking news, co-anchor of the “Nightly Business Report” and previously co-anchor of CNBC’s “Power Lunch.” What you may not know is that Sue Herera was a founding member of CNBC, helping to launch the network in 1989. She has been with CNBC ever since and has helped elevate the status of women in business and financial media along the way. One of the first women to break into the world of broadcast business news, she is called “The First Lady of Wall Street.”
There were no women in business news when Sue Herera started her career – a fact she realized could be a big plus. She could stand out among a crowd of nothing but suits. The problem was that her first assignment was to cover the Futures Market – a field in which she had no understanding or familiarity! However, that was her assignment, and there was no one else available, so she dove right in and took on the risky business of covering a niche she knew very little about. Her obstacles were huge – traders would not call her back or would hang up on her. Realizing she was not going away, they began to trust her. In the process, she gained deep knowledge and a great passion for this field. This was the start of a career in grabbing unique opportunities.
Sue Herera turns 60 this year with a long career that includes a physician husband, three children in short succession (twin girls adopted from China and a son) and a demanding job. So how does this work? Sue said that the key is having a very supportive spouse and including the children in their work lives. She does bring them to the office and helps them understand her job. Her husband does the same. The kids practically grew up at CNBC and can see the passion and happiness she has with her work. They are older now and very understanding when a crisis arises such as the 2008 financial meltdown where Sue had to spend many long nights at work.
Sue Herera has observed many women trying to rise to higher levels of responsibility in their fields and provides the following insights into effective leadership: “The most effective leaders get to know their team members personally – their families, their goals, their concerns. Leaders are people that others look up to. Leaders are also very clear communicators.” As for other “moving ahead” strategies, Sue suggests “Make yourself aware of unique opportunities and grab them – part of your success will be overcoming those obstacles that you didn’t know existed! To be at the top in a highly competitive field, such as business news broadcasting where being a female is no longer unusual, you must find ways to distinguish yourself.”
For our Prime Women still working and moving up the career ladder, Sue says risk taking is required and reputation is paramount. Guard your reputation by performing meticulous work, and take a risk on those unique opportunities.
As Sue moves forward in her career, her goal is to continue to create innovative programming that breaks new ground in the world of global business and finance.
We’ll certainly be tuning in and keeping an eager watch on what Sue Herera does next!