It’s not often that terms like “welcoming,” “collaborative” and “a flat organization” are used to describe investment banks and financial services companies. That’s likely even more so the case for institutions on the cusp of their 165th birthdays. But Credit Suisse, founded in 1856, prides itself on functioning differently.
Headquartered in Switzerland, Credit Suisse is known as one of the nine global “Bulge Bracket” banks, with a portfolio of services ranging from investment banking and asset management to private banking and shared services. It’s a legacy of expertise that speaks for itself — but that doesn’t mean the corporate culture is stale or stuffy.
Women who work here have told Fairygodboss there’s “a lot of room for growth, professionally and personally,” and that “if you want to grow, the firm will support you.” One woman in the company’s Raleigh, North Carolina, office said it’s “a happy place to come to work” and that she “feels motivated and passionate” about her career prospects, and another spoke to the firm’s “solid benefits, deep resources, strong internal mobility opportunities and great culture.”
What else should women know about building careers here? Below, we’ve rounded up some need-to-know intel about working at — and advancing within — Credit Suisse.
What is Credit Suisse’s mission?
In order to remain a leading wealth manager with strong investment banking capabilities to boot, Credit Suisse believes in empowering its talent to embody an entrepreneurial spirit. That kind of spirit helps the firm deliver holistic financial solutions to clients, including innovative products and specially tailored advice. Recognizing that this level of quality and excellence wouldn’t be possible without its people, the firm makes a point of recognizing and rewarding extraordinary employee performance, and also provides wide-ranging training and development opportunities.
Additionally, attracting and cultivating diverse perspectives is baked into Credit Suisse’s understanding of how excellence is achieved, thus creating value for its clients, shareholders and communities through diversity.
What are its core values?
As a leading financial services provider, Credit Suisse aims to set the industry benchmark — ethically as well as professionally. A strong code of conduct helps them achieve this, and it also helps ensure that the bank is positioned to run successfully on a longterm basis for the benefit of its clients, shareholders, employees and society as a whole. Driven by Credit Suisse’s core values of competence, compliance, diligence and responsible conduct, leadership prioritizes taking stock of the organization’s social and environmental impact, as well.
What differentiates Credit Suisse from others in this space and industry?
Credit Suisse strives to create sustainable value for all its stakeholders. Folks here understand that being a financial services provider comes with vast responsibilities: to the economy, society, the environment and the firm’s own workforce.
Seeing itself as an integral part of society — and recognizing that its responsibilities go well beyond banking — Credit Suisse aims to create value for clients, shareholders and employees by exemplifying responsibility and efficiency on a global scale. Beyond supporting the economy and, more granularly, the communities it operates within, the firm also supports various humanitarian organizations, charitable projects, and cultural and sporting events.
In addition, Credit Suisse hosts the Women’s Financial Summit, which brings together female thought leaders and influential women and provides a platform for them to discuss themes in the market, investing and public policy. The conference has quickly become one of the firm’s most popular client events.
What are some of the employee benefits that positively impact women who work here?
1. Support for individuals returning to the workforce.
Deciding to go back to work after a voluntary, extended leave — such as to care for children — is both exciting and challenging. That’s why the firm’s Real Returns™ Program offers a smooth transition to talented senior professionals who have taken an extended career break. The program is paid, runs for approximately 12 weeks, and gives participants the opportunity to work on projects that match their skills and expertise, as well as to tap into a supportive network of like-minded professionals. Real Returns™ is currently offered in the U.S., the U.K., India and Switzerland.
2. Networking and mentorship opportunities.
Credit Suisse supports multiple internal employee networks worldwide. Serving as platforms for the exchange of knowledge and experience, these groups help foster mutual understanding and strengthen the firm’s corporate culture.
The company’s employee networks for women, specifically, raise awareness for the many challenges faced by working women and support them in achieving their career potential. Resources within these networks include: specific training, informative events and opportunities for active dialogue with senior management.
3. A commitment to promoting women, from the top down.
Credit Suisse first signed the Women in Finance Charter in June 2016. Alongside over 330 other financial services organizations in the U.K., the firm pledged to support the advancement of women into senior roles across its U.K. Legal Entities. Commitment to the charter builds on existing initiatives designed to improve gender equality across the organization, like the firm’s annual gender report. The most recent report indicates that the percentage of women on boards worldwide is (incrementally) increasing, at 20.6%. Leading the charge on this front, Credit Suisse made a number of changes to its senior leadership and brought the ratio of women at its executive board level to 25%.
What career development opportunities can women expect at Credit Suisse? How is career pathing approached?
The firm’s emphasis on internal mobility empowers employees to explore other divisions, roles and even countries, giving them the chance to gain experience across various sectors of the bank. This also helps develop strong leaders and specialists who are equipped to serve Credit Suisse’s clients across the globe. In order to support this internal mobility culture, the firm offers innovative programs like Internals First, a groundbreaking initiative which takes roles to internal candidates and helps create differentiated career paths.
Additionally, talent at Credit Suisse is developed and fostered through continuous training and professional development opportunities. Designed to strengthen competencies and prepare talented individuals for key roles, this training also helps ensure that the firm is evolving with market changes and clients’ needs.
Is there anything else women should know about pursuing a career at Credit Suisse?
As part of Credit Suisse's continuing commitment to gender equality, the firm was proud to be included in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for 2020. Additionally, its commitment to diversity and tolerant, inclusive work environments has garnered the organization multiple awards.
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