US Bank VP of Private Wealth Management Deana Hyde will join us as a mentor at the Women’s Leadership Summit March 8th in Nashville!

Play Like a Girl is launching its new #ReadyforAnyField campaign to prepare young women for competitive, male-dominated careers, whether in science, technology, sports or the arts. Enter to win Executive Access tickets to the Women’s Leadership Summit to be mentored by a group of game changing women — see details below to learn how — and check out our interview with Deana????.

PLAY LIKE A GIRL: Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about what you do? 

DEANNA HYDE: I have over twenty five years of experience in banking, finance, and wealth management. I’ve worked with the “Big Three” of banking (Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase) in the establishment of new markets, new divisions, new technology, and (most importantly) customer relationships. In addition to the mathematics involved in managing investments, stocks, etc., my work requires a high level of technological innovation to securely manage portfolios, transactions, and the like. The financial and banking industries are cornerstones of every other industry so my work intersects STEM at multiple levels. For example, I help doctors, engineers, inventors and scientists with a wide array of financial services throughout their business life cycle.

PLAG: Share a recent interaction with another woman or girl that you found inspiring.

DH: Inspiration is something you have to be open to. That being said, I deliberately look for inspiration in every relationship I form. Be it with a client, a friend, or a complete stranger. Women are amazing. Human beings are amazing. We have such diverse and unique journeys. I think when I meet someone who approaches problem solving or addressing challenges in a way that is new or different to me, it inspires me to witness their process and learn from their experience. In this regard, I’ve been truly inspired by Dr. Kimberly Clay. 

PLAG: What difference would it have made for you to have had Play Like a Girl in your life as a girl or young woman?

DH: That is opening up a huge can of worms! I grew up in the deep rural South. I was taught to cook and clean and care for younger children as a young girl, because these were the skills the adults (and the greater community around me) felt were best suited for “girls.” I rejected the expectation that I was to find a husband in high school, settle down on a farm nearby, and be a mother and wife. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but this was not the path in life I wanted for myself. I did not have any support or assistance. Being active in sports like softball was an outlet for me, so Play Like a Girl would have been an incredible resource. This is why I feel so strongly about what this organization does and how it can help improve the lives of girls as they face the difficult challenges of their transition into adulthood.

PLAG: What does being “ready for any field” mean to you?

DH: Ready for Any Field means having the education, confidence and aptitude to engage and succeed in any professional endeavor. It means knowing that your gender is not a weakness, or a liability, but a unique gift from which flows an invaluable source of strength. Ready for Any Field means that as a girl, or woman, we can enter any profession and through our contributions provide insight that, though different from that of a male perspective, is no less meaningful or valuable. It means that we are always part of the bigger, better solution, and it is time we believe in ourselves! 

PLAG: Why is sisterhood (or women supporting women) important to you?

DH: Another can of worms… because too often I’ve had direct experiences of the exact opposite. There’s a combination of things I’ve seen, a sort of insecurity that women are sometimes made to feel. It happens most often in high-level corporate positions but can also be seen in any industry. It can be a sense of “I’ve had to work to get here so why should I help you?” or it is a form of insecurity: “If the men in charge like you better, or think you have more to offer, there’s only so many seats at the table for women.” I reject the “it’s us against them” mentality. Instead, it should be “it’s us helping each other for the betterment of everyone.” In my prior role as a district manager, I supervised hundreds of employees. I never discriminated or thought about any form of “identifier” when considering positions or promotions. I looked at each individual as just that, individuals. I have strived to help young women starting their careers to feel secure, protected and empowered so that as they move forward, they too should reject the insecurities that force us into working alone when we should be working to lift each other up. 

PLAG: How does mentorship and collaboration with other women help you grow and learn? 

DH: For me, having mentors has meant being able to lean on and learn from women who have earned their success and therefore embody a wealth of knowledge. Being able to discuss a difficult situation, or ask for advice when I’m unsure of something, has been a vital component to my own growth and success. What I look for in a mentor is the willingness to listen. Ego is a powerful and (often) dangerous thing. If you are unwilling to trust and be vulnerable with your mentors and therefore be honest, you will not be open to learning and truly capitalizing on the opportunities before you. We have to be open to sharing, communicating and laying the foundations for trust to have any chance of true collaboration and joint success.

PLAG: What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from a woman role model, mentor or colleague?

DH: “Be present in the moment and listen.” If you are NOT listening, you cannot possibly communicate effectively. The MOST important part of ANY conversation is listening, truly listening, to what the other person is saying. This includes their body language, their tone and the words they choose. If you are already thinking about your response, you’re missing the point. Listening and comprehending the intent and message of what another person is sharing is a vitally important skill required for success in anything… everything…

PLAG: What is one piece of advice you would give your younger self?

DH: Trust your gut more. We all, as women, have a gift for intuition. Yet we often are taught to second-guess or question our instincts. Too many times I’ve allowed the comments or the actions of those around me to “get inside my head” and make me question if my instincts are good. In time, in every situation, I eventually learn that my “gut” was correct. It is an important part of our individual journey, and it takes time to learn how to read other people. Eventually, with experience, you start seeing recognizable patterns. In my journey, I would have recognized these patterns much sooner if I had not spent so much time and energy second-guessing what my instincts told me.

PLAG: What advice do you have for younger girls who want to follow in your footsteps but may be afraid to ask for help (mentorship or guidance)?

DH: Trust YOUR instincts and don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek answers. Communication is so important. You will never learn the answer to any given question if you do not ask it. Don’t think about “is this okay because I’m a girl” and never be embarrassed to be yourself. You can be anything you choose, so long as you are willing to put the time, effort and dedication into succeeding.  

Connect with Deana on LinkedIn and join Play Like a Girl in our mission to build a diverse pipeline of women in STEM by encouraging girls that they can do anything and be #ReadyforAnyField. ⚡️


Win a chance to be mentored by game changing women in Nashville! Tell us how sport has prepared you to succeed in any field by submitting your original photos, videos or art via Instagram or Twitter using #ReadyforAnyField. No purchase necessary. Void in AK & HI and where prohibited. Open to legal residents of 48 contiguous US & DC. Starts 2/21/22; ends 2/28/22.