Founder and managing partner of Athena Global Investors

Smith majors
Government and Russian literature

Career path
After working at Fidelity Investments, Miller earned an M.B.A. in finance from Columbia University Graduate School of Business and a master’s degree in international economics from the Columbia School of International Affairs. She joined the Capital Group in 1990 as a bank equity analyst. She became a portfolio manager handling global and U.S. institutional investment portfolios, later becoming senior vice president and director. After nearly 20 years, Miller left CG, and in 2009 founded Athena Global Investors.

How to tackle common obstacles to women’s advancement
“The biggest issue is women who don’t know or aren’t clear about what they want. If you want to move up, you have to telegraph that you are ready to take on more, have a spouse who will support it and that you won’t let anything interfere. I try to hire women, but one of my biggest frustrations is I have to search high and low; I get so much tentativeness from women. The one common denominator of all the women who get to the C-suite is that they knew when to take risks and when not to; they didn’t spend their lives being risk mitigators. Anyone who has played sports knows you can lose 10 games before you win one; the question is, can you hang in there, and how do you deal with setbacks? My thinking is that if you have a 60–40 probability of being successful in taking a promotion in an area you have never been in, those are good odds. Then rely on your own grit to get you the rest of the way.”

SAQ, Fall 2015