Laura Gibson, an IT program director at Ally Financial’s uptown Charlotte location, said employees at the commercial bank invest in each other.
“There are countless amounts of people who have influenced my career and professional life … and those people have been at Ally, taking time out of their day to invest in my career development.”
She said staff in her bright and welcoming office are friendly and interactive on a day-to-day basis. They collaborate with team members in person – not just by email – and sometimes they even joke around a bit.
Charlotte is home to three Ally offices, employing about 1,230 people altogether. The bank’s motto is: “Do it right.” Gibson said that means focusing both on doing what’s right for customers and for employees of the company, based in Detroit.
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Those efforts include a benefits package that’s generous with time off and 401K contributions, as well as providing opportunities for employees to grow and learn together.
Gibson said she’s been able to seek certifications and get reimbursed, attend several conferences and has gotten opportunities to advance every year while growing into management and earning promotions.
She’s also been a part of several employee resource groups, an initiative that Caitlin Palumbo in Ally’s communications division described as a way to give voice to many different perspectives.
Gibson is at the forefront of those inclusion and diversity efforts, participating in the Generations group – which bridges together millennials and older workers – and its Women’s Leadership Group. It’s a space where women have opportunities to network, brainstorm about the challenges they face in the workplace and bounce ideas off each other, she said.
There’s also a Women in Technology Group at Ally that Gibson has been active in for 3 years. “It’s really exciting for younger women like myself … seeing them grow in their roles and applying for other opportunities.”
Participants get access to mentoring and a rotational program in which they can explore roles in the organization they may not have had exposure to, which can “diversify their toolbox,” Gibson said.
“With Ally being a smaller company, I’ve had opportunities and visibility at a leadership level that I would not get at some other companies,” she said. “I get face time and leadership feedback – which contributes to growth and development.”
For all her hard work, Gibson has been recognized with an Ally award, given annually to the company’s top 1 percent of employees. Over three days in Chicago, award winners spent time volunteering and learning from members of the company’s top leadership team, who knew everyone by name.
“Ally has taken care of me in the time that I’ve been here, and I definitely see my future as being here at Ally. I love Ally.”