Nikko AM celebrates International Women’s Day 2022
This International Women’s Day, we would like to share some perspectives from our colleagues around the world about Nikko AM’s commitment to women’s empowerment and career development. We asked about the support they received so far, and what more can be done to encourage equity in the company.
Below are remarks from members of our senior leadership.
I have been in institutional sales at Nikko AM for 17 years. The firm has been extremely supportive of my career over the course of different stages of my life – from being pregnant to being a working mother with 2 young kids who are now 13 and 15 years old. The firm has seen me through some of the most important moments of my life.
Despite financial institutions having a reputation of being male-dominated, I am proud to say I have never once in my 17 years here felt marginalised or suppressed because of my gender. The senior management team is genuinely proud of female employees and leadership, and this comes through in their discussions with our clients and prospects. Some clients, who may have preconceived notions about Japanese firms, continue to be surprised by this. I believe the unique culture we have differentiates us from our peers.
For most of my 20+ years in financial services I have worked for women; they have taught me most of what I know about managing people, helped progress my career, and I feel very fortunate to still have several of them as mentors today. As a result I know firsthand what great leaders look like, and we need to make sure we can recognise and develop our female employees so they have the support they need to become strong leaders in the future.
What does that mean in practice? I think it’s important to provide regular feedback.
We need to understand not just strengths and development areas, but also what motivates people and how they want to work. We can then identify opportunities to develop and really leverage those strengths in rewarding roles where they enjoy what they do and can provide the greatest impact.
Male leaders can support women’s progression by creating a culture that encourages women to stay on their career path, and structures to enforce advancement, in the early and mid cycle of family planning and child care. Their participation in initiatives for women’s career progression will also help.
I believe there are many high calibre women in our firm that can contribute positively in more senior positions. Oftentimes, they don’t ask for the position unless they are 100% ready, which may sometimes put them at a disadvantage, and they may be passed over for a promotion. I’ve seen quite a few female employees who started off unsure about their leadership abilities but grew into their roles very quickly and successfully.
Women leadership training organised by the firm as well as greater exposure given by their line managers should support the career progression of high performing female employees.
Be more supportive of mental health in the workplace. Diversifying the firm to include more women is great but that may not change how someone thinks, how they will behave, or how they will make you feel. Destigmatising mental health and providing the tools and resources for employees to take care of their physical and mental needs, helps cultivate an environment of understanding and awareness of how we treat each other. This is especially important with the exemplification and introduction of new stressors brought upon by the pandemic.
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