Purpose at PIMCO | The Power of Partnerships & Knowing Your Why
We have the opportunity to share one of our client’s experiences building and leading PIMCO’s community engagement platform, Purpose at PIMCO. In this week’s post, Amber Skalsky, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility, steps in to guest author as she shares the struggles her team encounters leading an international employee base while adjusting initiatives to the ever-changing framework of corporate responsibility.
What Community Engagement Means at PIMCO
At PIMCO, we understand that it’s our responsibility to effect meaningful social change, both as members of an organization and as part of our larger communities. With this in mind, we recently took measures to evolve our community engagement platform, giving people access to a broad set of tools to help them engage and build purpose beyond their day-to-day roles. Our new, fully integrated framework, which aligns focus with firm leadership, personal interests and the sustainable development goals of hunger and gender equality, is: Purpose at PIMCO.
First launched in 2007, PIMCO’s original volunteer programming was limited, supporting 23 events across various business locations. Now, more than 10 years later, our program opportunities and engagement levels have blossomed; in 2018 we mobilized 2,453 unique volunteers, including family and friends, who donated more than 14,000 hours of service back to the community. As a firm, our family of 2,600 professionals across 17 global offices engages in volunteer opportunities throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
Purpose at PIMCO is our refreshed corporate citizenship program that builds on our past community work, while also delivering on our commitment today to strengthen, strategically align and focus our engagement efforts, while leveraging PIMCO’s values and core business to drive meaningful impact. We’ve also taken steps to holistically integrate Purpose at PIMCO with the goals of PIMCO’s Inclusion, Diversity and Culture teams and environmental, social, and governance philosophy within our Corporate Responsibility department. This broader collaboration enables us to better assess employee engagement and retention as an ROI strategically linked to PIMCO’s core business strategy, and as a tool to attract and retain top talent.
Tools of Engagement
Purpose at PIMCO operates through three distinct pillars: PIMCO Gives, PIMCO Acts and PIMCO Advocates. These pillars help us engage our clients, develop cross-sector partnerships, maintain focus on impact metrics, and support our PIMCO colleagues while fostering meaningful social change.
PIMCO Gives invests in high performing non-profit partners to support innovative opportunities around the globe. Whether by leveraging employee match, deploying disaster assistance funds or investing in local non-profits through our local grants program, we leverage our resources to contribute to society.
PIMCO Acts helps our colleagues invest their time, skills and expertise to drive meaningful impact by taking part in skills-based, hands-on, virtual, pro bono volunteering and non-profit board placement.
PIMCO Advocates facilitates firm positioning as a thought leader and strategic partner, intentionally aligning our work with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Values That Drive US
PIMCO remains committed to all of the regions where our employees live and work. We use this commitment to community as a tool for social good, and as a responsibility to our core beliefs and the values that drive us.
Our values serve as the foundation for all we do. From offering innovative investment solutions to our clients, to fostering an inclusive culture that supports diverse talent, to optimizing the impact of our volunteer engagement, our values drive us to do better and, in turn, to do good.
The Power of Partnerships & the Sustainable Development Goals
With an aim to take on some of the world’s greatest problems and our commitment to leaving no one behind, we’ve concentrated our work specifically on two of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. We believe that hunger (Goal 2) and gender equality (Goal 5) are fundamental issues critical to human development and sustainable worldwide economic growth. This focus is meant to provide a guide for our new framework of corporate responsibility. Here are some examples of how we partner for change:
Hunger (Goal 2)
- We partner with the Global Food Banking Network (GFN). Alongside GFN we’ve committed to investing $3 million, working toward a hunger-free world with the shared vision that food banking and food repurposing are integral to defeating hunger.
- We also work with local food banks across each of our global offices. In Orange County, California, alongside longtime collaborator, the Orange County Food Bank, PIMCO has mobilized 6,900 volunteers, and packed 105,000 food boxes, collectively impacting 370,500 individuals while donating close to $2 million. Furthermore, in 2019 we helped launch a mobile food pantry that will seek to support hard-to-reach communities.
Gender Equality (Goal 5)
- We work with six organizations committed to the education, employment and empowerment of women and girls across the globe.
- In partnership with Girls Who Invest, we seek to transform the asset management industry by bringing more women into leadership positions within the finance sector.
We’re learning many things along our journey toward building better communities. Most important may be the value of partnership. By sharing knowledge and focus, our collective goal of creating stronger places to live and grow – by meeting and beating challenges together – can become real.
Amber Skalsky is a vice president in the Newport Beach office, supporting PIMCO’s global corporate responsibility initiatives, including its international giving and volunteering programs, and overall community engagement strategies. She is responsible for creating and overseeing programs and building relationships with strategic, cross-sector partners in support of the firm’s community involvement initiatives. Ms. Skalsky also oversees the firm’s board placement program and its international volunteer pro bono initiatives. On behalf of PIMCO, she is a member of Orange County Grantmakers and co-chair of the Annual Summit, she is a member of ACCP and Business in the Community, and she serves as president of the Orange County Community Relations Council. Prior to joining PIMCO in 2012, she was grants manager at the Steele Foundation, where she managed the annual grant program and overall giving strategies. She holds a master’s degree in nonprofit studies from Arizona State University and an undergraduate degree in communications from Northern Arizona University.