Episode 48 - Wall Street Overcoming Bias in Banking for C-Suite Women, Linda Duncombe of City National Bank

podcast May 24, 2022


Gender disparity in the C-suite remains a pervasive issue, even as strides in closing the gender gap are made elsewhere in the corporate world. Our guest on the Potential to Powerhouse Podcast has defied odds and overcome obstacles with her hard work, determination, and vision. Linda Duncombe is the executive vice president and chief marketing, product, and digital officer of City National Bank, and today, she walks us through her journey from being the first in her family to graduate from college to being nominated as class president at Harvard Business School to finally landing her dream position, which brought her to the U.S. from Australia. Linda shares some of the profound lessons she learned along the way, including wisdom imparted by her late brother and father, her time spent at National Australia Bank, and during her years studying at Harvard. Tune in to hear more about this inspiring woman’s trajectory, as well as why she places so much value on advocacy and mentorship, as well as adopting the mindset of assuming what she calls innocent intent. “What if” was never a question for Linda, nor should it be for you! 


Key Points From This Episode:

  • Linda Duncombe’s personal and professional background that took her through the ranks of the banking industry
  • The community spirit of City National Bank
  • The invaluable life lesson Linda learned in college
  • Linda’s greatest “a-ha” moment in her academic and professional career
  • Linda’s career trajectory; how her career informed her degree
  • The opportunities she was provided with at National Australia Bank
  • What Linda learned as CEO of a private bank through the 2008 financial crisis
  • Her personal experience of navigating the crisis
  • The responsibility of banks to protect your data and your money
  • The mantra Linda lives by
  • What catalyzed Linda’s move to America
  • The value of advocates, sponsors, and mentors
  • What convinced Linda to move from Citibank to City National Bank
  • The commendable diversity of City National Bank’s leadership team
  • A profound piece of advice Linda got from her father about conflict
  • The power of assuming innocent intent
  • Linda’s ultimate secret to success



“If you give, you get. That was something I learned at college.” — Linda Duncombe [0:13:41]

“At City National Bank, there are two things that we really pride ourselves on, and all the banking industry should be able to say this: You’ve got to trust the bank to protect your money and your identity.” — Linda Duncombe [0:25:17]

“Advocacy, sponsors, and mentors are such a critical part because you could be the most talented person, but someone has to notice.” — Linda Duncombe [0:29:09]

“If you want to be an organization that serves a community, you have to look like your community.” — Linda Duncombe [0:38:13]


Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Linda Duncombe on LinkedIn

City National Bank

City National Bank on LinkedIn

City National Bank on Twitter

City National Bank on Instagram

Roy Gori on LinkedIn

Kelly Coffey on LinkedIn

Potential to Powerhouse

Tracy Holland on Instagram

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