Removing Invisible Barriers to Untap Your Potential

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Nina Hosea and colleagues.

Photo courtesy of Capital Group.

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Fairygodboss
May 24, 2024 at 12:48PM UTC

If you were to look back on your career, what would you attribute your success to? For Nina Hosea, Sr. Manager, Site Services & Operations for Office Services at Capital Group, the answer to this question is her team, company culture, environment, and being empowered. The latter involves pushing past the feeling that you have limitations — which may not even be there!

“When you’re empowered to not see limits and push boundaries, you are limitless,” explains Hosea. “I would encourage all job seekers to not limit themselves with the ideology and structure that they are raised with. Instead of thinking that you need sequential steps and buy-in at every point, push those boundaries because oftentimes they’re not real.”

To learn more about pushing past limitations, the importance of advocates and how she managed a thriving team — even during COVID-19 — we reached out to Hosea. 

Pushing past limitations: My Capital Group career journey.

My 15-year career started when I applied for a position at Capital Group. Based on my previous experience as an operations manager, I thought to myself, “It’s not going to happen; I’m not going to be a Capital Group associate.”
Not only did I receive an offer, it ended up being much different from what I applied for. Capital Group was very thoughtful in its hiring process and matched me to a senior role for which they felt I was better suited for. Sometimes as women, we limit our own expectations. By believing in yourself and developing self-confidence, you can make an impact.

It took me a long time to get used to the Capital Group culture because it was so different from where I was coming from. I remember sitting in one of my first meetings and an associate turned to me and asked me what I thought? I remember being so surprised that they asked for my opinion. You want to know what I’m thinking? You want to hear from me? 

That was when I knew this place was different. At first, I thought they were trying to be nice, but it kept happening meeting after meeting and year after year until I began to believe that not only do they want my opinion, they value it. This made me realize that I needed to begin to value my own voice. What you tell yourself and reality are two different concepts that aren’t automatically aligned. I almost led myself down the wrong path by making assumptions about who I am and what my value is. I am thankful Capital Group saw this value in me but more because I began to recognize it within myself. 


Hosea with Buffy, a Capital Group associate’s beloved horse. Photo courtesy of Capital Group.

Capital Group associates have a mindset that every opinion matters, and even if we don’t go with it, having a seat at the table isn’t the same as having a voice. We believe in not being afraid to speak up and not limiting yourself — you may not want to say it, but you should.

The importance of advocates and employee groups in career growth.

I’ve had opportunities to work with great mentors and leadership at Capital Group. One of my mentors was on the hiring team when I interviewed and he has helped guide me throughout my career. He challenged me, placed me on stretch assignments and special projects. He’s not just a sponsor, but he’s an advocate. 

 Hosea and mentor, Mark Baker. Photo courtesy of Capital Group.

To expand your visibility more broadly without a champion in senior leadership is challenging. We need team members who can advocate for us and say, “I know that Nina can do this because I’ve seen her do this”. You want positive communication where people amplify your professional brand. One of the ways to do this is to expand your network. Put yourself out there. If you’re only interacting with the people who write your reviews, it’s limiting. Once you can tap into other circles of influence, you will see how powerful that can be.  

One of the development programs I had the opportunity to be involved with at Capital Group is called Women Leading Capital. This is an amazing opportunity that completely changed my career and how I interact with colleagues. I felt so empowered after going through the program. It evolved my thinking process and strengthened my confidence. It felt like I had been deconstructed and then reconstructed with stronger parts. 

I realized I had some self-doubt that played out in my professional life making it difficult to voice my true thoughts.  The program allowed me to focus on my values and I increased my professional network to a diverse group of stakeholders with a personal board of directors. Now I can leverage my network for in-depth conversations and important knowledge transfers. 

How have you supported your team during the pandemic?

My team is responsible for supporting our associates’ office needs throughout our locations and being prepared with office space ready for our internal clients.

Ultimately, we had to push back our return-to-office date six or seven times and our team knew that we would need to return to the office before everyone else. Our hybrid work schedule meant that we would need to be on-site more than most groups. It’s definitely been an emotional roller coaster for our office services associates — but we’re built for this level of uncertainty. Each day is different when you work in facilities management, but especially during COVID-19

And we’re still working through it and it’s not over. Capital Group has the resources to help us feel supported. We have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that we can leverage for life and health benefits and we’ve seen increased benefits with Lyra for mental health.

I also give my team the safe space they need to vent. We often share resources because we all have our moments. When it’s time to pull up our bootstraps and soldier on, they know they can always come back to the psychological safety of our team where they can bring their full self to conversations (stress and all). All of our feelings are real but they might be fleeting. 

I try to have my team focus on: What is mine and what isn’t? Let’s think about the problem at hand, and can you draw a line to yourself? Oftentimes, you need to separate when the situation is about you and when it’s about the situation. We have to assume positive intent and that also helps a lot. Focus on what you can do, what you have control over, and how much you will care about this later.

What has impressed you the most about the work you’ve accomplished through the pandemic?

I am most impressed by the thoughtfulness and care for our associates. From genuine communication to the ergonomic equipment for our home offices — our company really cares about how we were working from home. Not every business does that. When our CEO communicated that he understood how tough this period of time was for everyone, it demonstrated empathy. We all have senior leadership at Capital Group whom we can interact with and I can call any one of them and have a conversation. That’s important to me. 

Lastly, I want to highlight my team. I’m inspired by their approach to being the best in the face of all this adversity and their selflessness in the way they show up. They continue with the same zeal and zest for work every day. In the face of all the ambiguity, they find answers and clarity for our associates. They’re an amazing group of people who want to ensure they enrich the experience of working at Capital Group. 



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