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Gloria Jones: Aiming for 150 per cent in Banking (Past Publication Attempt)

In Business, Culture, Writing (all kinds) on May 24, 2016 at 3:00 AM

Gloria Jones. Photo by Donna Kakonge

Gloria Jones. Photo by Donna Kakonge

Gloria Jones, vice-president of cash management services at the BMO Nesbitt Burns doesn’t know why it was that easy. The position she came into about 30 years ago was a junior clerical position. She worked there for a little while and then went off and had some babies.

Back in the 1960s when she first came to Canada without seasoned family members to rely on for tips to make it here – she just applied for a job in the bank because she had worked for one in her native home of Jamaica.

“I came into the interview[s] and every time I got home I got a phone call to come in and talk about getting the job,” says Jones.

Jones notes how important it is to sell you and not to be afraid to take the extra step of asking questions about future career goals. Employers will see that as someone who is confident, who has researched the job, and has taken the time to go out and get an education.

As vice-president, she manages the accounts of large corporate clients and has a staff of nine people who report to her.

She got help from senior people who saw something in her and supported her. She did her part by staying keen and open. A few years ago when she was at a point when she didn’t know what she wanted to do in her career, she found a mentor in the bank.

“Everybody’s a mentor,” is how she sees it now.

In terms of her education, she doesn’t have a degree, but at the time that she was looking for a job, her high school education equated to a bachelor’s degree now. To assist her and help her with her career, she has taken many management courses within the bank that are ranked world-class. She has two pages of management courses she has taken throughout the years. She’s currently signed up for a one-year management program.

“To young people coming up, I can’t stress enough the importance of continuous learning.” She says a post-secondary education now is more important than a business card to get your foot in the door.

Once your foot is in the door, she stresses how important it is to give back to the company and your community.

She’s involved with many diversity councils that started in the early 1990s. BMO did four self-assessment studies that included women, visible minorities, people with disabilities and Aboriginal people. They debunked a lot of myths.

Recently, they raised $1.6 million for seven charities by doing such things as encouraging their clients to trade on that day and having Colin Powell as a guest speaker for the ceremony.

She volunteers for different organizations like Junior Achievement, mentors a student at Ryerson and with Fashion Cares.

For the future: “I’ll probably retire in a few years, but I still have a few years to go. I really enjoy what I do,” says Jones.

In her time away from work, she loves music – her absolute favourite is Luther Vandross who just passed away. She reads a lot and she likes yoga as a discipline.

“I aim for 150 per cent all the time. You’ve got to be perseverant, you have to be curious, you have to be able to work in a team and that comes right back to diversity. We’re all diverse.”

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