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Emma Mongey

ETF Operations Manager, Invesco

Jennifer Farrell

Senior Compliance Executive, Invesco

Gender equality in the workplace can be achieved with initiatives such as agile working, women’s networks, family-friendly policies, and training programmes.

During her 15 years in the industry, Emma Mongey — ETF Operations Manager in the Dublin-based office of the global investment manager, Invesco — has seen big changes that have helped champion gender equality. “I think the sector has moved away from pigeon-holing men and women into specific roles,” she says. “The Dublin office, which is the hub for its ETF operations in EMEA — one of the fastest-growing ETF platforms in Europe (USD 64 billion assets under management) — maintains a near 50/50 female/male workforce, including 50% female senior managers.

Balancing personal and work responsibilities

The company focuses on agile working, with staff making the most of working from home and smart/flexible hours. “It’s important that everyone, whatever their gender, maintains a proper work/life balance,” says Jennifer Farrell, Senior Compliance Executive at Invesco. “The greatest benefit for me is our ‘smart hours’ system. It means I can work my hours around my childcare requirements. There’s been significant retention of staff in the Dublin office, particularly working parents because of this flexibility.”

A company with family-friendly policies

Family-friendly working policies have also had a positive impact. “In the past, women who took maternity leave might be concerned that taking time off would stall their careers in a way that gave male colleagues an unfair advantage,” says Mongey. “So, two years ago, the company rolled out six months’ paid parental leave — one of the first in the industry in Ireland to do so for both parents. That puts everyone on a more level playing field.”

Meanwhile, a modern new office — opened in December 2021 — is designed to facilitate creativity and collaboration. “It’s fully agile, high-spec and very cool, with breakout pods and areas for informal one-to-one chats,” explains Farrell. “By evolving from a traditional layout, the new office allows employees to use the space more efficiently, and hybrid policies cut back on unnecessary travel.” The environmentally friendly building — which has LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification — is the company’s test case for its other offices worldwide.

The company rolled out six months’ paid parental leave —one of the first in the industry in Ireland to do so for both parents. That puts everyone on a more level playing field.

Emma Mongey

Networking opportunities for women

Career progression is provided in part by the Dublin chapter of Invesco’s Women’s Network, which, Farrell was involved in establishing in 2017 — “It’s a good way to build new connections and keep established ones open,” she says — and remains an active member, while Mongey has been its Chair since 2018. “The aim of the group is to attract, retain, develop, and advance women across all levels and functions within the firm,” says Mongey.

The firm will become a signatory to the Government of Ireland’s Women in Finance Charter to achieve greater gender balance and inclusivity across the financial services sector in Ireland. Fostering and harnessing women’s talent and experience will lead to greater diversity, experience and leadership styles for the economic benefit of clients, firm and the wider community.

Programmes unlocking career development

Mongey and Farrell believe that mentorship and training programmes are key to career development and personal growth. “Mentorship programmes can offer different things to different people,” says Farrell. “I’ve been afforded lots of opportunities through mentoring and study support, such as advancing my knowledge base and skill set, continued professional qualifications, accelerated professional development and personal accomplishment.” 

Like Farrell, Mongey — who has also participated in mentorship programmes run by external providers within the sector — has continued studies in industry-related areas such as Compliance and Project Management. “The industry is moving so rapidly that growing your skillset and increasing your knowledge is the only way to keep up,” she says.

“The company actively encourages continuous learning among all staff at all levels, sponsoring studies and being fully supportive. It’s just another example of its ‘equality in everything’ ethos and helping a person thrive and enjoy their role.”

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