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Female voices at the Fund

7 March 2024

On International Women’s Day, nine female staff of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF) shared their experience as women in pension administration or investment management, and thoughts about the Fund’s efforts and achievements in terms of gender equality.

Read their views below.

Rosemarie McClean, Chief Executive of Pension Administration
I am proud to say that thousands of staff and their families around the world rely on us to deliver financial stability to them in retirement after their career as an international civil servant.
I think we all benefit from a diversity of thought and experiences.
The Fund has given me the opportunity to think more globally as we take on the challenge of servicing plan participants and retirees internationally both in big cities and small villages.

Barbara Marcoz, Accountant, Office of Investment Management
Although we are not involved in peacekeeping or the betterment of our world, we are taking care of the people that do, by ensuring they have a secure future. That mission alone should make me proud, but I am also proud of working at UNJSPF because of the people I work with, for their engagement, kindness, and resourcefulness. We manage $80+ billion investment with less than 160 people. We take the SDGs at heart and make sure these are part of our daily tasks.
Balance is important in all things. Additionally, women represent about 50% of the world population and should be represented in the workplace. Although these are generalizations as everyone is different, women tend to have a different way to approach things. They tend not to take rash decisions and would take controlled risks. They usually have better soft skills, which includes mentoring and coaching.
The Fund had allowed me to train and develop, but also encouraged me to participate in projects to better my skills. They also fully supported me in my career.

Miharu Goto, Chief of Section, Information Systems at the Pension Administration
Half of the world’s population consists of women. This means that women represent half of the world’s resources. Therefore, of course, it is essential to invest in women! Without empowering women, achieving balance, effective management, and overall well-being on a global scale becomes challenging.
By promoting gender equality and providing equal opportunities in education, employment, and leadership, we can tap into the full potential of women, thereby increasing resources and fostering sustainable development. Empowering women not only improves their health and well-being but also has a positive ripple effect on child nutrition and education.
Ultimately, investing in women is essential for creating a better and happier world for all. I am deeply grateful for the opportunities, support, and encouragement that UNJSPF has provided me over 30 years.

Sarah Mathieson, Chief, Data Analysis Unit, Pension Administration
The UNJSPF has a significant impact on the lives of our clients and their loved ones. Whether that be about providing an income in retirement after years of carrying out the important, and often difficult, work of the UN system, or helping their spouses or children financially if the worst happens.
Women make up around half of the world's population but are still under-represented globally in leadership, influence and economic empowerment at a time when we need everyone to be at the table to tackle the greatest challenges facing humanity. We need to invest in women to address inequalities and disadvantages in all walks of life. For UNJSPF, this means investing in the women leaders of the future but also ensuring a gender inclusive environment for our clients and other stakeholders. This can be done by providing an inclusive and collaborative environment, where expertise and new ideas are valued.

Suparna Bose, Programme Management Officer, Pension Administration
UNJSPF is the perfect melting pot of culture. People are kind, work is challenging, and we embrace cutting-edge technology. With strong leadership and a focused vision, we set up ourselves for success which makes me proud of my workplace.
Women are the backbone of our society. Be it building a home or a company from ground up, Women are the other side of a coin in every aspect. It is imperative that we (men and women) pull each other up and empower the women in need.
The Fund has been kind enough to provide me with the best of opportunities. I have been able to attend conferences, training and team building sessions. I am encouraged to speak up and speak more. I have always felt an equal and never experienced any bias being a woman.

Pilar Lagos, Communications Officer, Office of Investment Management
I feel proud to work at the Fund, which fosters an inclusive and safe environment for all.
It's important to invest in women because doing so equips women to raise their voices in different spaces, across all sectors. The more women participate in the decision-making process, the closer we will be to reducing inequalities.
The Fund has provided multiple training opportunities that I'm implementing in my day-to-day.

Deborah Ann Trott-Lombardo, Risk Officer, Office of Investment Management
I am proud to work at the UNJSPF. It is an incredible team and opportunity, in my own small way, to contribute to the UN's mandate.
For me, Investing in Women is about creating opportunities to allow everyone to contribute to an organization and the global economy. Achieving gender equality in all areas of the economy will create a more dynamic and prosperous economy for everyone.
The UNJSPF has provided me with opportunities to work on challenging and interesting projects, fueling my professional development. My colleagues and managers are supportive and encouraging.

Kenza Himmi, Associate Investment Officer, Office of Investment Management
As a young woman from Morocco, I have seen the tangible effects investing in women brings to society. Supporting women, to me, means fostering a more inclusive and equitable society, where everyone has a chance to fulfil their potential and contribute to progress.
The Fund has been extremely supportive and encouraging when it comes to exploring additional training opportunities, in the context of my role. Whether it is supervisors, or colleagues, I have been encouraged to continuously improve my learning and knowledge through global conferences, training courses etc. We have a lot of opportunities at our disposal, and I feel truly supported in pursuing those.

Vena Awuor Ongalo, Benefits Assistant, Pension Administration
I am proud to be part of an organization that plays a crucial role in ensuring the financial security and well-being of UN staff members and their families, who have dedicated their careers to serving humanity.
Women's economic participation is essential for sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. Investing in women's education, employment opportunities, and entrepreneurship can unlock their potential as drivers of economic development.
When women are empowered, they are better able to contribute to social development outcomes, including improved health, education, and community resilience. Investing in women's rights and empowerment is essential for achieving broader social development goals.

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