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Analisi 08.03.2024

International Women’s Day: The natural way to diversity is meritocracy

International Women’s Day: The natural way to diversity is meritocracy

As the pioneering women who entered a nearly all-male finance sector become experienced and senior, the new cohort of young females arriving are bringing fresh air and a new dimension.

We brought together a senior UBP woman and her younger colleague to exchange views about the different levels of diversity that enrich the fabric of UBP’s teams. When Eleanor first started her career, she was grateful to have senior colleagues guiding and supporting her, teaching her the ropes.

Now, thirty years on, she has also learned that a senior professional can learn from a colleague who is at an earlier stage in her career path, as she has found through mentoring her younger team member Maud.

“It’s good to have different levels of experience in a team because we can sometimes get a bit stale when we've been around for a while,” says Eleanor.
Listening is as important as explaining, she adds.

As for Maud, she has been very grateful for the support and respect she has been given. She gets taught a lot, but her colleagues also listen to her ideas and trust her with new responsibilities.

Having helped the Investment Specialist team previously, she got into this role after as a result of a chance meeting with one of the team members. First covering a maternity leave, she then stayed on.

“I think it's good to be flexible and not to have an absolute career path mapped out because we do go off on a tangent and find something more interesting and find that it suits us better, sometimes.”

– Eleanor

Diversity in a team is key. Not just when it comes to gender, but also seniority, education, knowledge, interests, and temperament.

In equity management, they don’t just look at a company’s financial statements. They also analyse how it functions, as well as macroeconomic drivers and political factors.

For a balanced team that covers all the bases, you need mathematical types but also people with a background in the arts; people with a lot of experience but also newcomers with a fresh outlook; PhDs as well as self-taught mavericks; analytical perfectionists as well as outgoing creatives. And so the list goes on.  

“Different educational backgrounds are a real benefit. My degree in international affairs has been useful in understanding political and economic events’ impacts on markets and bringing new perspectives on ESG topics.”

- Maud

But let’s not forget that diversity is no use if you don’t have high-quality people to start with: broad knowledge, capability, motivation, commitment, loyalty, respect, and openness are key ingredients in the diverse mix that makes a good team.

Eleanor says that there have always been highly qualified women professionals around, but since she started, there are more women in all professions, including finance. In Switzerland specifically, where she has been for most of her career, she feels that women have always had opportunities if they had the skills. That said, she hopes to see more female portfolio managers by the time she retires.

“What I have always appreciated about working in Switzerland is that it is a workplace where meritocracy is at the forefront, where diversity has been part of the work environment for as long as I can remember.” – Eleanor

Eleanor Taylor Jolidon
Co-Head of Swiss and Global Equity
View her Linkedin profile

Maud Giese
Investment Specialist, Swiss and Global Equity
View her Linkedin profile


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