March 8 is International Women’s Day. To honor the occasion, we gathered the experiences and insights of three members of PIMCO’s employee resource groups (ERG) to get their perspectives on the importance of inclusivity in the workplace. These employee-led groups strive to foster a diverse, inclusive, and equitable culture.

Gloria Ezeakor
SVP, Human Resources
Member of PIMCO Black ERG, Americas

Q. What has influenced and motivated you most in your career?

I have been fortunate over the years to have had supportive mentors who have made me feel comfortable being myself at work and have given me a platform to share my unique perspectives. As a black woman and the child of immigrants from Nigeria, it was not easy working in finance and often I was the only black woman in the room. I built my career with the support of great mentors and sponsors who coached me and placed me in positions that leveraged my strengths. My mentors taught me about the unspoken rules of navigating the corporate world – these things are not written in any handbook.

Often people are so afraid to give feedback for fear of saying the wrong thing or offending a woman, and a black woman at that. This is why it is so important to have a diverse set of leaders at the top – to connect with a broader range of people who will bring different perspectives to the table. This is what it means to have an inclusive culture.

Q. How do you attract and retain a diverse pool of top talent?

In my role, I look at how we can influence success from the moment employees join PIMCO, throughout their careers. Creating a culture of inclusion is critical. Diverse viewpoints and opinions foster problem solving and creativity. To support this, we need our employees to show up as their authentic selves and to see people at the top who look like them. In searching for talent, it is important that we keep an open mind and look for opportunities to cast a wide net so that we can access talent that might not naturally be in our line of sight. Recruiting more people with atypical career paths, such as my own, will allow us to bring different perspectives to our culture, which in turn will make our organization even stronger.

Heather Wallace
SVP, Senior Counsel
Member of PIMCO PRIDE ERG, EMEA