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Category: Gender Focus, inspirational women
Lucy Ellis-Keeler is a Compliance and Operational Risk Officer at Bank of America for EMEA, based in London and began her career at the bank on an internship in 2017. Lucy has a degree in Philosophy and Bank of America have supported her in achieving her Capital Markets qualification from the Chartered Institute of Security and Investments (CISI).
Lucy is heavily involved in Bank of America’s partnership with the Vital Voices Mentoring Walk initiative which matches emerging female talent with senior mentors offering guidance, career advice and support, born out of their own experiences.
Having won two awards consecutively, within the bank’s prestigious employee recognition schemes, Lucy has progressed quickly and is an inspiration to young graduates interested in banking careers.
“I won an award for my contribution to organising the Vital Voices London mentoring walk last year and this year, was delighted to be recognised again, this time for a follow up event I arranged. It’s such an honour to be recognised for my contribution in the diversity and inclusion space. It’s not part of my day to day role, but something Bank of America is incredibly committed to and really values. It’s such a joy to play a key role in driving our efforts forward,” said Lucy.
Bank of America has nine employee networks that provide employees and their allies with opportunities to connect with each other to develop leadership skills, build strong ties with their communities, broaden their view of diversity, address issues that matter to them and bring lasting value to our business strategies. With LGBT+ Pride, the Women’s Leadership Council and Multicultural Leadership Network, to name a few, the bank works to be inclusive of all its employees.
“Networks are not exclusively for people from those communities, anyone can join. They’re a great way to make connections within the business, meet like-minded, passionate people, develop your interests and make friends,” said Lucy.
We asked Lucy if she thought women in senior positions are seen in a less positive way than men:
“Historically women in senior positions, across any discipline were perhaps perceived as bossy whereas a male would be seen as strong. However the culture and values as well as the extensive Networks and learning and development opportunities available at Bank of America promote a positive working environment, where everyone is encouraged to progress.”
In the current climate, when most of the country is working from home, we asked Lucy what the biggest challenges of that set up are and how Bank of America supports this kind of working:
“It’s challenging for different people in different ways. Of course it’s harder to get that connectivity and that was something I was worried about prior to working from home. However, in reality we have video conferences often, allowing us to connect in person and I feel like I am really trusted to achieve my work. There’s no micro-management.
“The bank has continuously provided resources about how to build a positive working environment for yourself and how to support your colleagues and teams. And a great resource that’s been helpful is the bank have a relationship with Headspace the meditation app. You get a free subscription to the app which is invaluable, they have a lot of bespoke programmes to do with the current situation, which is especially helpful.”
As Lucy has done, graduates can undertake internships to begin their careers with the Bank of America but what is it really like to work there?
“I’d say that there’s such a common misconception that to work in a bank you need to read the FT every day, dress and speak in a certain way but my time at the bank has really demonstrated to me that that’s not the case. I wouldn’t want anyone to not apply as they don’t think they’re the right kind of person. When I first joined, I was worried I didn’t fit in, but the great experiences and connections I have made here prove otherwise and are a testament to Bank of America’s excellent culture.”
Bank of America