Ariane Daguise, founder of Columbia Executive Coaching


What motivates you?
What has always motivated me in my long career in capital markets and
even more so since I embarked on my journey as an executive coach, was
meeting and exchanging with people who are prepared to go out of their
comfort zone to seek improvement; people who stick their necks out to
promote their better selves, and the causes and projects they believe

What has been the biggest learning curve in your career?
Realising that what got me to be a successful woman in business was
not going to keep me there, unless I remembered who I was and who I
wanted to be as a human being.

What matters more, ambition or talent?
I would say that if your ambition allows you to reveal your innate
talents and work on acquiring new ones, then ambition. Ambition is
often mistaken with ruthless greed, however if ambition is, as its
main definition states “a strong desire to do or achieve something,”
it might well be what is needed to unearth all your talents – known
and hidden.

What advice would you give to your 30 year old self?
Believe in yourself, and more importantly believe that every new
endeavour you take on will be a success – either directly or via the
learning you will have from its challenges.

Who do you admire?
If I had to name but one, Aung San Suu Kyi. Though generally I am more
into admiring actions than individuals – might be an occupational
hazard? Basically anyone who overcomes their fear of failure, and
remains positive and motivated in the challenges they face to achieve
what they have set out to do.

In what place are you happiest?
It is not so much a place but the people I am with. I am happiest with
my children and/or husband, talking, playing games or just being… It
does not hurt if we are in a lovely place in Italy, Asia or Africa…

What’s your biggest extravagance?
Apart from my four children, which was a fairly extravagant decision…I
love ‘travelling in style’ with all of the ones mentioned above…

How would you change government policy to help women in the workplace?
There needs to be subsidies and simple/efficient access to
childminding, as well as more flexibility in the way women can manage
their working hours in and out of the work place. However, above all
else, for a more balanced future there needs to be a general shift in
society’s perception of both women and men’s necessary roles in
organising and dealing with raising our children. The ingrained belief
in most countries that by definition it is the women who should take
on most of that responsibility, and relinquish their professional
aspiration for that purpose, also needs to change.

Do you believe in quotas?
It is not that I believe in quotas as such, but I am afraid that they
are often necessary. I believe in the power of determined people,
however quotas are likely to shorten the road determination will have

Describe yourself in 3 words?
Perceptive, direct and caring

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