In a recent interview with Authority Magazine, Government and Public Finance special counsel Kelly Hutchinson was featured as a leading woman in finance, discussing her background and how to be successful in the industry, important lessons she learned over the course of her career, why Katten is a unique place to work, and her advice for smart investing.
Kelly's initial interest in finance began while an undergraduate at Pomona College, during which she enrolled in an immersive, four-week business program at Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business, which provided her with business knowledge, skills and experience and led her to change her career path. Over the course of her career, Kelly has worked as an investment banking analyst in the oil and gas industry, a financial advisor, and the Director of Capital Markets for the State of Illinois, where she managed $30 billion of debt.
Today, as a Government and Public Finance attorney at Katten, Kelly admires the firm's supportive, welcoming and inclusive culture. "I feel that firm leadership genuinely cares about my career growth and strives to help me cultivate my skills and experience as an attorney," Kelly said.
Kelly also addressed how law firms are increasing their diversity, explaining that diverse insights, backgrounds and experiences are what allow for greater innovation and creativity. "Clients are increasingly making it clear that diversity is of paramount importance, and they expect more," said Kelly. "They want to know that people with different perspectives are at the table."
Despite such progress, diversity is still lacking across many industries, especially at the leadership level, where more work needs to be done to give greater opportunities to women and minorities.
"Companies can be supportive by spotlighting successful female role models, partnering women with mentors to help them advance in their careers and to leadership roles, and providing flexible work schedules including remote work policies," Kelly said.
On the smartest ways to invest, Kelly said its important to set financial goals early, plan for retirement, ask for raises, take calculated risks, and take advantage of opportunities that allow for career growth.
At the end of the interview, when asked who she is most grateful for and who helped her to get to where she is today, Kelly praised her father, who she said "is still my closest advisor and biggest advocate" and "the reason that my career took a sharp turn to finance."