Over 100 associates from across Ayco gathered in November for the first Women’s Career Strategies Program. As part of Ayco’s efforts to support women professionals, participants spent two days discussing how to break through to the next level in their careers.
“Ensuring that women succeed is the right thing to do for our people and our clients,” said Greg Wilson, a managing director at Goldman Sachs and head of Ayco’s Institutional Client Businesses. “Different demographic groups present unique financial counseling needs. Diversity of thought is critical for us to surface creative solutions for our clients.”
The Women’s Career Strategies Program began with a keynote address by Sally Helgesen, author of How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job, followed by an intimate discussion. Topics included mentoring with a flexible style and identifying habits that can help—or limit—one’s career.
“It is so easy to lose yourself in the day-to-day,” said Paige Harwell, a vice president in Ayco’s Southwest counseling region. “This program has inspired me to take a step back and be more mindful about my career goals and how I might help others do the same.”
To build on the Women’s Career Strategies Program, Ayco recently launched two new professional development initiatives to further the long-term career success of female associates. More than 230 sponsors, coaches, managers and coachees are taking part in the Women Advisor Initiative (WAI) and Women’s Coaching Initiative (WCI) to facilitate career guidance for those in both client and non-client facing roles.
“These initiatives demonstrate our commitment to women throughout the firm through one-on-one coaching, increased professional development opportunities and access to a broader network throughout the firm,” said Stacey Barrick, vice president of Ayco Human Capital Management. “The program builds on well-established efforts at Ayco to foster the longevity of our associates, like 12-weeks of paid parental leave and a culture that values work-life integration.”
Coaches and coachees in these women’s initiatives will meet 1-on-1 each month over the course of a year to provide feedback, support, networking and development opportunities critical to career advancement. Coaches will also help coachees establish longer-term career goals, while leveraging participants’ managers to ensure they are on the right track for success.
“We are a relationship business first and foremost,” said Sheri Lyons, senior vice president Ayco Human Capital Management. “The value we add to our clients comes from the exceptional effort every Ayco employee puts in to their work. Championing our associates’ personal development will always be a hallmark of our corporate culture to establish a fulfilling work environment that ultimately creates value for our clients.”