By Jennifer O’Loughlin, Co-chair of BNY Mellon’s Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) committee in Ireland.
Initially I became involved with the Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) at BNY Mellon in 2013 through organising regular career and personal development activities as part of the local committee in Ireland. The initiative was launched across all three of our Ireland locations (Cork, Dublin and Wexford) in 2009 to support the advancement of women in the company and it provides fantastic opportunities for professional development, to nurture leadership skills and enhance employees’ networks internally as well as externally, with clients and industry peers.
Today, WIN in Ireland has three strands: Internal Talent Development, Philanthropy and External Networks. There is a robust programme of engagement around each, but a key personal highlight has been the introduction of the WIN global mentoring programme. Being on the committee, we have been able to tailor every aspect of the programme in Ireland: from the scope and application process to the selection and matching of participants. This approach has paid dividends, with over half of WIN participants saying their exposure to senior management increased, enabling them to capitalise on new opportunities.
As we all play a role in making the workplace gender equal, men are also actively encouraged to get involved in all WIN activities to support the network’s objectives and their own professional development. A male mentee of the 2018/2019 cohort has been seconded to the US since participating in the programme and reports that his experience as a mentee was very enriching from a personal development standpoint and directly helped him to expand his career with the company.
It’s also tremendous to see strong engagement in WIN at all levels of the organisation. This fosters a supportive culture, not only of senior leaders sharing the benefit of their experience and being role models to others, but also providing managers with opportunities to learn from the diverse talent pool across the wider organisation. For example, in my role as a mentor it’s incredibly valuable to discuss my mentee’s experiences and when we compare different approaches to challenges and opportunities the value of our diverse perspectives is clear.
As co-chair of WIN in Ireland, I work with senior executives as well as the global WIN committee to develop and embed the gender diversity strategy more broadly. It is very rewarding to see first-hand how WIN in Ireland has grown and matured in confidence, and extended its reach beyond BNY Mellon. Our senior leaders regularly participate in panel discussions organised with external firms and charity partners, and as a result we have been approached by other organisations looking to better understand how we are progressing gender diversity. Sharing knowledge, bringing diverse perspectives to the discussion and collaborating on joint activities is always mutually beneficial and has in many cases enriched our conversations with clients too.
Jennifer O'Loughlin works in the Legal Entity Office for BNY Mellon Fund Services Ireland where she is responsible for supporting Board, Committee and Regulatory activities. Since joining BNY Mellon in 2002, Jennifer has held various roles in Fund Accounting Operations and she has been co-chair of the Women's Initiative Network (WIN) committee in Ireland since 2017.
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