3 Ways That Fidelity Investments Stands Out As An Employer
A Thought-Provoking Conversation on How the Firm Empowers Their Associates
We all need something to motivate us to show up to work each day – to have a purpose, to feel engaged and fulfilled. For some, it's our coworkers. For others, it's our clients. It might even be our company's mission.
For Alex, a Financial Consultant at Fidelity Investments, it's the tremendous sense of camaraderie she feels in Fidelity's Financial Planning Offices. We had the pleasure of speaking with Alex as she explained the truly collaborative nature that is inherent in all aspects of her work, which she summed up in one sentence, "You can go fast alone, or you can go far together."
As we learned more from Alex, this is what makes Fidelity unique and helps drive several key things that make her work even better.
- A sophisticated financial planning approach that allows Fidelity's consultants to deliver highly customized solutions when helping clients reach their financial goals.
- An open architecture format which connects her to a network of firms and range of assets that helps ensure her financial advice evolves with the ever-changing industry.
- The collaboration and collective intelligence resulting from strong resources, support, training that Fidelity's team environment offers.
Read on to learn more about Alex's experience as a woman in finance, and how you can go far in your career with Fidelity.
If this article inspires you, don't forget to check out Fidelity's open roles here!
1. Sophisticated Financial Planning
Fidelity offers their associates the customized tools necessary to deliver sophisticated financial planning advice. This is pivotal for Fidelity associates and clients alike: consultants are empowered to develop strategies that are tailored to each individual client, and clients can advocate for their specific needs, rather than settling for a one-size-fits-all solution.
"Ultimately, clients define success, and associates are armed with the cutting-edge tools and technology necessary to work toward achieving that vision. As the industry shifts and technology changes, Fidelity wants to be in a constant state of evolution to ensure our clients are always receiving the best experience possible," Alex said.
According to Alex, even the compensation model for associates supports the idea that success is measured by the customer's success. "Our compensation model is broken into four parts – salary, growth and retention of client assets, implementation of long-term plans, and client satisfaction.
"This model ensures that we are on the same side of the table as the client."
2. Open Architecture
Fidelity empowers consultants to put clients first. The company is focused on making sure their customers get the most out of their investments and their relationship with Fidelity by providing needs-based financial planning and wealth management expertise.
This structure allows for associates to utilize different offerings and technology in order to develop the strategy best suited for a particular client, without being tied to a set of pre-approved approaches. In this way, Financial Consultants draw upon a wealth of resources and insights to set each individual investor up for success.
This "needs-based" approach has allowed Alex "to be a great resource to every client – no matter the type of investor or their need for support. Even if a client requests a specific strategy or a more tailored approach than our offerings, we have a network of partner firms we can bring in to meet those demands"
Fidelity's open architecture has helped Alex excel with sophisticated traders and independent clients alike and has allowed her to focus primarily on the client and their concerns, and most importantly, this all leads to building client trust, and results in long term relationships.
"An open architecture means Fidelity is always adding more to its platform, and it is a great feeling as an advisor to know your clients will never outgrow Fidelity."
3. Resources, Support, Training & Teamwork
Fidelity equips their employees with the resources, support, training, & teamwork that enables long-term growth.
How? Fidelity employees get world-class training programs and a mindset built on investing in employees. The culture at each of Fidelity's Financial Planning Offices is centered around community and a team-focused environment. Alex thinks of them as collaboration hubs, where employees support and encourage each other in producing upper-echelon strategies that garner results.
There are three main ways associates receive training: in-office coaching, off-site trainings, and phone/web-based training. And the best part is, it's ongoing.
"While many other companies only focus on the training at the front-end of a career, Fidelity wants it to be continuous for each associate," she explained. The company is constantly investing in their workforce and the industry is constantly changing, which is why training and learning never truly ends.
In addition to these ongoing training opportunities, Alex highlighted the support she receives from her team, which helps ensure long-term success.
"Every advisor and associate are willing to help one another and, most importantly, support one another's success. We recognize that we all have different strengths and it's important to come together to further our own knowledge and development."
It is clear from Alex's story that Fidelity is an employer of choice because ultimately, they invest generously in their workforce and provide the tools necessary to deliver excellent solutions for their clients. If Fidelity sounds like a place you want to take the next step in your career, apply today!
Supply and demand… we all know that as job seekers, high demand and low supply work in our favor. It's a booming job market already, but even more so for data analysts.
The Dated, Everyday Tech Stifling Women's Voices Shows the Importance of Diversity in Tech
"You're not like other girls. You're so...chill."
I've gotten that "compliment" from multiple guys in multiple contexts — and I'm ashamed to admit that until a few years ago, I took it as one.
Occasionally I'd wonder why. After all, anyone who knows me well knows I am the Anti-Chill: a tightly wound stress ball, ready to explode into tears at any given moment.
So what was giving these guys the wrong impression? As it turns out, it was my voice. My cool, unnaturally-deep-for-a-woman, never-shrill voice.
And if I'm honest, I always prided myself on not sounding 'like other girls.' No uptalk or high-pitched squeals of glee from me. I thought I sounded smarter and more serious. Talk about internalized misogyny.
This isn't just me though. There is a societal double bind that forces women to spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the right pitch and tone for each situation.
Just consider the advice that Democratic-debate coach Christine Jahnke gave female candidates to avoid being labeled as shrill: "… go slow and low. Very purposefully slow your pace and lower the tone a bit, because that will add meaning or gravitas to whatever it is you're talking about."
In a nutshell: try and sound chill, not shrill.
What I didn't know, until recently, is how this bias against women's natural voices is being reinforced and amplified by century-old technology. (Just one of many examples of how technology designed by and for men ends up hurting women in the long-run.)
Author Tina Tallon explains this little-known fact in her recent New Yorker article, summarized below:
How 20th Century Tech Is Holding 21st Century Women Back
With the rise of commercial broadcast radio in the 1920s, women's voices began getting critiqued. As Tallon explains, station directors asserted that "women sounded 'shrill,' 'nasal,' and 'distorted.'" So when industry standards were set, directors didn't take women's voices into account.
When Congress limited the bandwidth available to each radio station in 1927, station directors set a bandwidth that would provide the minimum amount of information necessary to understand "human" speech.
They used lower voices as their benchmark, so the higher frequency components of women's speech necessary to understand certain consonants were cut, making women's voices less intelligible.
- Researcher J.C. Steinberg asserted that, "nature has so designed woman's speech that it is always most effective when it is of soft and well-modulated tone." He explained that if a woman raised her voice on air, it would exceed the limitations of the equipment. As Tallon says, "He viewed this as a personal and biological failing on women's part, not a technical one on his."
Why You Should Care
Women have always been told to lower their voices, but this 20th century approach to sound frequencies is still accepted as the standard, literally forcing women to lower their voices if they want to be heard.
- To this day, many algorithms and speakers distort women's speech by limiting higher frequencies, causing women's voices to lose definition and clarity.
Tallon sums it up well:
"Consequently, women are still receiving the same advice that they were given in the nineteen-twenties: lower the pitch of your voice, and don't show too much emotion. By following that advice, women expose themselves to another set of criticisms, which also have a long history: they lack personality, or they sound 'forced' and 'unnatural.'"
So as we continue to grapple with implicit biases against women, from what it means to be "presidential" to who's considered an "innovative leader," let's remember the importance of diversity in tech.
Had a woman been involved in researching/setting the standards for radio frequencies, she might've been able to steer the industry towards a voiceband that would allow men and women to be heard equally well. And perhaps had a more impartial voiceband been established, I'd have heard a more diverse range of female speakers growing up, and internalized fewer biases myself.
That's why we care so much at PowerToFly about making sure cutting-edge companies have diverse teams.
Times were different then, sure, but the fact that Depression Era standards are still impacting how we hear (or don't hear) women's voices is a vital reminder that what we do today impacts our world for centuries to come.
- Network with top executives even if you aren't looking for a new role
- First look at flexible, work-from-home, in-office roles
- Join live chats led by expert women in your field and beyond
It goes without saying that at some point in your career, you'll come down with a cold or virus that will require you to stay home from work, drink excessive amounts of tea, and make good use of that gravity blanket you impulse-bought off of Amazon.
When It Happens to You; When It Happens to a Coworker; and When You Hear About It as a Manager
A couple years ago, one of my coworkers asked me to swing by her office.
I was looking forward to catching up — she was one of my favorite coworkers, always upbeat and ready to brainstorm ideas, but I hadn't seen her in a while.