By Jessica Salerno-Shumaker, OSCPA senior content manager
Patty Basti, CPA, knows her role as the first female managing partner of KPMG Cincinnati means other women will look to her for guidance.
“I want to support others, provide advice and be an example for someone who may not see themselves in a role like this,” she said. “I want to remind others I'm just a person and we're all trying to do the best we can.”
Basti was named a Power of Change honoree at the OSCPA Women, Wealth and Wellness Conference in July 2023. The award salutes individuals who are advocates for women’s initiatives in the workplace and business community, serve as mentors or role models, make a significant impact on their communities and break barriers for other women.
“We've been an office since 1950,” she said. “And being the first female to run the office is certainly something I'm very proud of.”
And while the big career moments are exciting, Basti said smaller moments are just as meaningful. Someone asking her for advice or letting her know they’ve achieved something exciting has been just as rewarding as the public recognition she’s received.
“Those are the memories that really matter; because I can look back on my career and think about a few people who really made a difference in my career, whether they knew it or not,” Basti said. “And I think those are the things that carry you through and are very impactful from a personal perspective.”
Reflecting on lessons she’s learned, Basti said mentors are a critical part of anyone’s career journey. It’s helpful to have mentors with different perspectives, because while cheerleaders are important it’s just as valuable to have someone who can “tell you where your blind spots are.”
Networking has also been instrumental in her career, Basti said. Getting to know new people doesn’t just mean finding others who can help you, but discovering how you can help others. These relationships will be more meaningful and last longer because you have a real connection, rather than simply exchanging business cards across a table.
“You can learn from people around you and emulate some of the things that you see working well for others,” she said.
Finding a career path that suits you is also a recipe for a fulfilling career, Basti said, because while you might not enjoy every assignment you complete, the overall experience is rewarding.
“I look back and realize I didn't get here by myself,” Basti said. “There are plenty of others who did the same thing years in advance to make it possible for me to be where I am. I’m thankful for the efforts of those people and return the favor whenever I can.”