Josette Rizk, Director of Institutional Clients, MEA, Invesco

The problem with unconscious biases is that they’re unconscious – it’s not a deliberate strategy to prevent women from being successful. This distinction is important.

Gender bias is one of the most common forms of unconscious bias in the workplace, and women in the financial sector are particularly vulnerable to its implications. Men rarely seek to hinder a woman’s success because when it comes to performance we are equal. So of course we choose to be.

Diversity in the workplace has proven to be beneficial for a company’s long-term success. In a world facing more complicated challenges similar to those brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, the way we come together and face challenges in an extremely difficult operating environment is what makes us successful – there is everything. simply more room for gender policy. .

At Invesco, our customer-centric approach has enabled our EMEA business to grow in assets under management. We have been able to achieve this success by providing our clients with collaborative thinking, a unified structure and by recognizing that clients want to strengthen their service providers.

Consolidation is a dynamic that will continue in 2022, with clients likely to reduce the number of providers and focus on limited partnerships. The global macroeconomic outlook will continue to be a challenge, however, and asset managers will face volatility as the world overtakes Covid.

The volatility is tempered somewhat by a slow return to normal – many of us are now back in the office and this is great news for face-to-face collaboration. It’s refreshing to come together as one unified team, exchanging ideas and going the extra mile to offer even more to our customers.

As a woman in finance, a field mostly dominated by men, I have always thrived focusing on ensuring that we are helping our clients achieve their goal and providing advisory service. The willingness to learn from my clients and peers is a key element in advancing my career and surpassing myself – but of course, male or female, there are times when everyone faces challenges in achieving the Mountain peak.

When it comes to the “glass ceiling” that women face, there may well be circumstances where unconscious biases mean that a man might prefer to work with another man. We are all social beings. But I believe those instincts dissipate very quickly when a woman steps in and delivers her work.

When you get results, that glass ceiling will eventually shatter. My advice to women who want to rise through the ranks is to find an ally who can help them navigate things – and push them to challenge the status quo. They can also serve as a role model for learning to gain confidence in your ideas. It is true that women are generally more “nice”, but if we take advantage of them to achieve good results for ourselves, then we can gain confidence in a different way.

With confidence, the rest will follow – you challenge yourself and those around you, work outside your comfort zone, and advocate for more diversity in the workplace. Everything is there for the taking; as women we just need to realize that there is still a long and difficult road to go, but we need to stay focused on achieving our ambitions.

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