March 8 is International Women’s Day. To honor the occasion, we gathered the experiences and insights of three members of PIMCO’s employee resource groups (ERG) to get their perspectives on the importance of inclusivity in the workplace. These employee-led groups strive to foster a diverse, inclusive, and equitable culture.
SVP, Human Resources
Member of PIMCO Black ERG, Americas
Q. What has influenced and motivated you most in your career?
I have been fortunate over the years to have had supportive mentors who have made me feel comfortable being myself at work and have given me a platform to share my unique perspectives. As a black woman and the child of immigrants from Nigeria, it was not easy working in finance and often I was the only black woman in the room. I built my career with the support of great mentors and sponsors who coached me and placed me in positions that leveraged my strengths. My mentors taught me about the unspoken rules of navigating the corporate world – these things are not written in any handbook.
Often people are so afraid to give feedback for fear of saying the wrong thing or offending a woman, and a black woman at that. This is why it is so important to have a diverse set of leaders at the top – to connect with a broader range of people who will bring different perspectives to the table. This is what it means to have an inclusive culture.
Q. How do you attract and retain a diverse pool of top talent?
In my role, I look at how we can influence success from the moment employees join PIMCO, throughout their careers. Creating a culture of inclusion is critical. Diverse viewpoints and opinions foster problem solving and creativity. To support this, we need our employees to show up as their authentic selves and to see people at the top who look like them. In searching for talent, it is important that we keep an open mind and look for opportunities to cast a wide net so that we can access talent that might not naturally be in our line of sight. Recruiting more people with atypical career paths, such as my own, will allow us to bring different perspectives to our culture, which in turn will make our organization even stronger.
SVP, Senior Counsel
Member of PIMCO PRIDE ERG, EMEA
Q. As a woman and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, what do you look for in an employer to feel included, valued and respected?
I look for four core values in a corporate culture that foster a commitment to diversity and inclusion. I like to call these the four “Cs:” a commitment to excellence, a culture of creativity, the ability to make connections, and a collaborative environment. As an ambitious, hard-working woman, I want to work in an organization where the commitment to excellence goes beyond a commitment to the end-client, and extends to its workforce through effective leadership and the creation of a truly inclusive meritocracy.
I value a culture of creativity because it springs from a diversity of perspectives and leads to innovation and productivity, which in turn can help an organization evolve and effect real change.
The ability to build a network of lasting professional connections is key to any successful career and to achieve that we must strive to understand each other, particularly our differences which may influence the way we communicate, persuade and lead others. At PIMCO, I have been able to build great relationships which continue to shape my career development, and I am very lucky to work alongside incredibly impressive senior women and LGBTQ+ allies who act as role models.
Finally, as a manager and a team member, I am acutely aware of the importance of collaboration and creating a team environment where everyone feels equally respected, valued, and heard. The company’s commitment to growth and progress in promoting an inclusive and diverse work environment is clear, and I am very excited to see our vision for the future.
EVP, Portfolio Manager
Member of PIMCO Families ERG, APAC
Q. Why is inclusion and diversity in the workplace important to you?
As a middle aged, white male working in the finance industry I am conscious that for many people I do not look like an obvious advocate for equal opportunity in the workplace. However, for both personal and professional reasons gender equality is very important to me. I was raised in a household of women, by a single mother and with two sisters. Today, I have a wonderful wife and four children, two of whom are daughters. So on a personal level I would argue that I have a vested interest in advancing equal opportunities for women at work. And on a professional level, I have had the benefit throughout my career of working on high performing teams in which women held important roles. In fact, my first two managers in this industry were women running successful bond trading desks, while also taking care of growing families at home. Having witnessed firsthand the power of an inclusive workplace, I want the many women in my life to have the opportunity to flourish in environments that ensure everyone feels welcomed, valued and respected.
Q. What are some of the initiatives that “PIMCO Families” has undertaken in Asia to support inclusivity in the workplace?
Our initiatives support PIMCO families within the broadest possible sense, whether that be employees – women or men – raising children or supporting aging parents. We have organized a range of events designed to help parents take parental leave, plan for retirement, or navigate the complex education system when selecting schools. Our new parent mentoring program, NEST, has been helpful for all new parents and particularly new mothers.
Learn more about PIMCO’s Inclusion and Diversity and Women and Investing initiatives.