For many women who are about to become first-time moms, the question of how this new life milestone will impact their work lives can be daunting. Will they have the same opportunities to expand and advance professionally? What about the resources and support they’ll need to manage this new expansion personally, and how will they possibly balance it all?
Those questions don’t seem to be a source of tension for Jennifer Kruger, a VP Branch Manager at Fidelity Investments. Throughout her 12 years working there, Kruger has seen firsthand the way Fidelity helps its employees to balance personal and professional milestones . And during a recent Facebook Live interview with Fairygodboss Co-founder and President Romy Newman, she seemed positively relaxed, despite being only six days away from her due date.
“I ended up (being promoted) the same week I found out I was pregnant, and my first thought was: how is this going to happen? I’m going to take this new job and then go on maternity leave for four months?” Kruger recalled. “My manager, and everyone here, was like, ‘Don’t worry, we’re going to take care of it. This is the most exciting time of your life; focus on that, and we’ll get the job done.’”
And worrying she isn’t. After a dozen years within the Fidelity family, where her colleagues are some of her “closest friends,” Kruger is confident she’ll have a smooth transition back into the workplace when she returns from maternity leave (four months, paid). She loves Fidelity, her work and the employee experience so much that she hopes to finish out her career at Fidelity. In fact, Kruger says she “really hopes to retire from here in 30 years,” thanks in no small part to Fidelity’s culture toward women.
“We’re doing a lot for women as clients here, but also for women as employees,” she said. “Fidelity is very focused on letting it be known that we can have both, in providing flexibility and control of our time to be successful in our careers and as mothers.”
For women whose careers began in environments lacking this built-in level of support — like Lauren Johnson, a Fidelity Financial Consultant of one year and fellow Facebook Live participant — finding a culture like Fidelity’s is nothing short of life changing. Previously, Johnson worked in financial services for several years before the birth of her first child, at which point she segued into real estate and later personal training. When it came time for her oldest child to leave for college, she decided it was time to pursue financial services again, but interviewed at a couple of places that felt “just like jobs.” That’s when she learned of Fidelity’s career re-entry program, called RESUME.
“It sponsors candidates who are looking to get back into financial services, and also to get licensed, through a 6-month paid internship,” Johnson explained. “The best part about it was that Fidelity not only valued my work experience — they valued my life experience, too.”
After months spent shadowing leaders in Fidelity’s investor center, studying for her Series 7 exam, and utilizing RESUME’s many tools and resources, the process culminated with a full-time job offer last year.
“Sometimes you think, ‘It’s been so many years since I’ve done this. Can I still do it?’” Johnson recalled. “Have the confidence, though, just to take that one step forward, because the first step is always the hardest step. And then if you align with a company like Fidelity, they will follow you through.”
Are you ready to take the first step toward joining a work culture where women are supported, both professionally and personally, to hit every milestone? Fidelity is hiring — browse openings today!
Check out the full Fidelity + Fairygodboss Facebook Live interview below: