We’re thrilled to celebrate BNY Mellon’s Latina leaders. Congratulations to Jeannette Torres and Karolyn Ferris, named among ALPFA's 2018 50 Most Powerful Latinas in Business, and Nicole Fouron and Karen Newball, ALPFA 2018 Rising Stars.
As members of BNY Mellon’s IMPACT multicultural business resource group and the Hispanic/Latino Leadership Forum, Jeanette, Karolyn, Nicole and Karen are amplifying the Hispanic/Latino voice, raising awareness and strategic focus on the value of Hispanic/Latino perspectives, experiences and backgrounds in driving business growth and performance. They’re helping to attract, advance and retain top Hispanic/Latino talent by serving as inclusive leaders, role models, mentors and sponsors, and building deep relationships in the community. At BNY Mellon, we believe diverse perspectives fuel transformation. Our women are leading the way, unlocking the power of our diverse and inclusive culture to serve clients at every stage of the investment lifecycle and be an engine for the global financial markets. For nearly a decade, BNY Mellon has been a proud corporate partner of ALPFA. We advanced our commitment to lead sponsor in 2015 and have provided students with over $60,000 in scholarships
KAROLYN FERRIS: FACING A CHALLENGE AND SEEING OPPORTUNITY
Story By: Lola Arellano-Fryer
Ranked as one of this year’s 50 Most Powerful Latinas in Business, Karolyn Ferris knows that challenges are a necessary pathway to growth.
AMID A CHANGING financial landscape and over two decades, Karolyn Ferris has built a career at BNY Mellon. She served in multiple capacities and business lines across the company before achieving her current position as BNY Mellon’s US Segment Head for Endowments, Foundations, and Healthcare.
Karolyn’s successes have earned her a place on the 2018 50 Most Powerful Latinas in Business list. Karolyn was born in Quito, Ecuador and immigrated to Queens when she was ten years old. Despite speaking no English when she arrived in the US, it only took her a year to transition from a bilingual classroom to a learning environment where she was fully immersed in English. This formative experience cemented Karolyn’s mindset that approaching challenges with unfailing tenacity will eventually result in success. “As long as you pursue a goal with the endpoint in your line of sight, everything is possible,” she says.
For Karolyn, a key to overcoming challenges is mentally reframing them as opportunities. In her years at BNY Mellon, she’s learned that failure is an essential element of growth and development. Being unafraid to take risks, acting with confidence even before you feel fully prepared, is necessary in order to build forward momentum. In Karolyn’s experience, “being comfortable with that is really important.” One challenge that women face in corporate America, according to Karolyn, is unconscious bias against them.
These biases are so ingrained within society that even women help perpetuate them, often without realizing it. As individuals, women in the corporate world can help chip away at this roadblock by challenging biases they have internalized. This challenge is an opportunity to help transform the professional landscape for the next generation of Latina leaders.
In recent years, the financial sector has done a great job of recruiting a diverse pool of talent, particularly within the STEM fields. The next step, Karolyn believes, is educating high school students that a wide variety of skills, from computer science to math and engineering, can lead to successful careers in finance. This knowledge will equip students to make informed decisions about their career paths from the beginning of their college experience.
Karolyn knows that being recognized as one of the most powerful Latinas in corporate America has given her a platform to open doors, and she doesn’t take this responsibility lightly. To those women who wish to follow in her footsteps, she has these words of advice: “Be bold, be authentic, pursue your passion… that will ensure you’re not holding yourself back.”
KAREN NEWBALL: REFUSING SELF-LIMITATIONS
Story By: Lola Arellano-Fryer
One of the 2018 Rising Stars of Latinas in Business, Karen Newball knows that being uncomfortable means you’re headed in the right direction.
KAREN NEWBALL dreamed of entering the finance world since she was a little girl. It was the pursuit of another passion, travel, that helped her discover a niche in international finance. Today, she manages clients for BNY Mellon across three regions: Latin America, the Caribbean, and part of the Middle East. Born and raised in Panama, Karen launched her career in her home country. She moved to the United States at an unlikely time for someone working in the financial sector - in 2008, just in time for the recession. Because of the economic climate, she decided to go back to school for a second MBA, and joined BNY Mellon shortly after earning her degree.
As one of the 2018 Rising Stars of Latinas in Business, Karen is proud to serve as proof of BNY Mellon’s corporate commitment to diversity and inclusion. She’s played a role in furthering this commitment herself, as a member of both BNY Mellon’s Employee Resource Group and Latino Research Forum. In these roles, Karen has found a way to merge her professional endeavors with her personal passion for supporting the Latino community, showcasing the excellence of fellow Latinos and helping them achieve their potential.
Raising the profile of successful Latinos helps provide role models for those who wish to emulate their career, and demystifies what it takes to get there. Karen’s advice to aspiring Hispanic leaders is to identify the people who have already achieved their goals.
By examining what has made them successful, from the skills they have developed to the degrees they’ve earned, future leaders can map out a path to success. Sometimes that path looks more like a winding road. Karen’s career trajectory has included many positions outside of her desired role in international finance, but it eventually got her where she wanted to be. She credits those unexpected detours with providing her a holistic knowledge of the financial world. In every role she’s held, she’s developed skills that she uses today.
“Rising up the ladder is a challenge in any industry,” Karen says, and it can be even harder for Latinas. She has these words of advice for young women: “Always think big, dream big, work hard for what you want.” Get outside your comfort zone, and be prepared to feel uncomfortable –– that’s a sign you’re doing the right thing. Too often, Karen has seen women allow self-imposed limitations to hold them back. It’s important that Latinas overcome this mindset in order to bring their voice, knowledge, and work ethic to the table in the corporate world.
NICOLE FOURON: CREATING CONNECTION AND INVESTING IN COMMUNITY
Story By: Lola Arellano-Fryer
One of this year’s Rising Stars of Latinas in Business, Nicole Fouron recognizes how mentorship helps propel women forward in the corporate world.
WHEN SHE FIRST graduated from college, Nicole Fouron wasn’t planning on forging a successful career in the finance industry. A native New Yorker, she attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and accepted a job with BNY Mellon shortly after graduating. Fourteen years and multiple moves through the organization later, Nicole is now the Chief Administration Officer, Asset Servicing Americas, at BNY Mellon. Central to Nicole’s success is the importance of community. By putting in hard work, she’s attracted mentors who have helped her move forward in her career. “Through that energy, I’m establishing relationships with people who have networks I don’t otherwise have access to,” she says. In return, she’s committed to helping others by creating connections and serving as a mentor herself.
Nicole is honored to be recognized as a 2018 Rising Star, but that accomplishment is only driving her to do more. “It really sets the bar higher for me,” she says. Even though she plans to continue to grow in her career, she knows that some people in the Latino community will look to her as someone who has already “made it.” She recognizes this privilege, and feels responsible to set the best example she can.
As a woman, Nicole is proud that BNY Mellon is on the forefront of pursuing gender equality in the workplace. It’s part of the corporate culture to look around the room and noticed who’s missing, she says. “Being in an environment where those questions can be raised indicates an inclusive environment.” Still, she’s concerned about the unfair assumptions that often attribute women’s accomplishments to their gender rather than their resume. “It’s something that we all grapple with,” she says, and it’s a bias that needs to shift in order to achieve real gender equality. For Latinas who wish to succeed in the world of finance, Nicole’s advice is to “be yourself, be authentic, and be unafraid to take risks.” It’s important, too, to think about your career in the long term. Building a personal brand of excellence will help you stand out, but young women shouldn’t expect it to happen overnight. Aspiring Latina leaders should keep an eye on the next step in their career path, but also be open to unexpected opportunities.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Nicole says: “We need to invest in ourselves, but we must also invest in building a community around us.”