Aarti Goorha Bowman took the road less traveled to her appointment as First Horizon National Corp.’s Director of Investor Relations in 2009 – her greatest professional accomplishment to date. Not only is she an Asian woman in a male-dominated industry, she holds a bachelor’s degree in art history and a master’s in public relations – both nontraditional degrees in the finance and investment industry.

Bowman has led First Horizon’s investor relations team to top professional honors by Institutional Investor magazine on multiple occasions. Her colleagues say her unique personal and professional background and 16-year career in investor relations have combined to make her an outstanding and well-respected professional.

Bowman gives back as well. An active member of First Horizon’s mentoring program, she is helping develop the next generation of leaders within the company and industry. She is also a member of an affinity strategy executive committee, focused on connecting with multicultural women inside and outside the company, and a leader of the Women’s Initiative employee resource group.

Outside work, Bowman serves in various leadership roles for St. Mary’s Episcopal School, an all-girls college preparatory school and her alma mater, as well as the Memphis Botanic Garden and the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association.

She explains her personal philosophy, “Focus, Flexibility and Fun,” as follows: “Focus on hard work and success will come; be flexible and adaptable to change; and remember to have fun!”

Bowman became a leader by working with teams across the company to enhance financial communications. She believes that mentoring other women is a great way to share ideas, network and promote others. Bowman advises women first moving up in their professional careers to ask questions, get help and network. “Most opportunities come from making connections with others,” she says. “Relationships matter in the professional world.”

For Bowman, diversity means seeking and understanding different strategic perspectives. She explains, “The global economy is diversifying at a fast pace. To succeed, organizations need to get diverse perspectives that will enable them to best serve their stakeholders.”