Marion Leslie

Managing Director, Refinitiv

Marion is the Managing Director of Refinitiv’s Enterprise business, delivering award-winning market data, platforms and services to financial services firms globally.   In prior roles she has run global technology and data operations teams at scale, supported by 1500 experts in 26 countries worldwide.  She also spent four years as General Manager creating a start up in Bangalore, building the Refinitiv office from scratch to 2000 employees across multiple functions.  As a result of a career in content, she has become a total data nerd, and truly believes data treated as an asset can unlock growth and potential in any type of organisation.

She is former Chair of the London Women’s Forum.  Being an active member of LWF has transformed her own network and opened many doors.  Marion sponsored the setting up of Refinitiv’s women’s networks in Poland and India and mentors many individuals inside and outside the firm.  Marion is delighted that Refinitiv was the first non-bank to sign the Women in Finance Charter: she fully endorses the approach of transparent measurement of progress and senior level commitment, it is a business issue and change needs to be driven from the top.

She is the non-executive director for the UK Hydrographic Office (a Government Trading Fund) and Trustee for Prostate Cancer UK.  In 2017, Marion was named in the Cranfield University Female FTSE 100 Women to Watch Board Report and in 2014 was the winner of the Award for Achievement at the Women in Banking and Finance Awards.

How has the position of women in financial services changed since your first job?

The big change I can see is that post the financial crisis, the business case for gender diversity is better understood, there is recognition that gender balance at senior levels won’t happen without intervention and that it isn’t a case of “fixing the women”.  Change needs to be sponsored from the top of the organisation and will only happen when men and women work together to effect it.

Top Tips

Build networks, find a mentor and a sponsor.  Give back – be a mentor or a sponsor for someone else.

Don’t discount yourself – others want and need your view and your contribution.

Be honest with yourself, make a choice and get on with it.  Work out the best compromise you can – that’s what work/life balance is.  You can “have it all” but remember then you have to “do it all” too!

Take notice of your gut reactions – if something seems exciting, go for it.  Acknowledge you won’t have all the answers before you start – take a risk.

Be authentic, be you, but recognize that sometimes you will need to act a lot braver than you actually are….

Avoid the energy suckers – the dementors – be with people who motivate and inspire you to be your best.