Fidelity Investments’ Kate Feeney discusses her role in communications and CSR and how she maintains a healthy work-life balance.
According to Kate Feeney, “no two days are the same” when working in communications and CSR (corporate social responsibility).
Feeney is a senior manager in communications and CSR at Fidelity Investments.
Before joining Fidelity, she had a marketing career in the hospitality industry. After a return to education and a career pivot, she ended up at Fidelity, where she has worked for eight years in a variety of different roles.
As part of her current role, a typical day for Feeney involves a mixture of working in both communications and CSR. Her duties in communications involve leading the internal comms for the Irish region, where she works to “support the creation and delivery of content across several channels from supporting company-wide campaigns to amplifying messages through regional campaigns”.
“In the CSR space,” she says, “I am responsible for delivering a community relations strategy which involves managing several community partnerships, educational and employability programs and associate volunteering and engagement with the community.”
Feeney has a number of career achievements under her belt, including becoming a certified sustainability practitioner and setting up Fidelity Ireland’s first sustainability team in 2018.
What attracted you to living and working in Galway, and how has it influenced your career at Fidelity Investments?
I was born and raised in Galway and after spending some years travelling and working in Australia, I made the decision to move back to Galway to pursue a master’s degree in the University of Galway, which led me to my first job as an intern in Fidelity Investments.
As I’ve navigated through my career path at Fidelity, I’ve always been grateful to be able to live in my hometown and work for a privately owned multinational that really looks out for its employees.
‘I love being busy, but I’ve learned to prioritise both at work and at home’
Can you describe the benefits and support that Fidelity Investments provides to its employees in Galway?
In my opinion, living in Galway is a benefit in itself! As an organisation, Fidelity provides fantastic flexibility to associates to enable a work-life balance that works for everyone.
As well as an amazing overall benefits package, one of the things I really enjoy is our sports and social club in the Galway office. The club is always organising events, with everything from tag rugby and golf to table quizzes and social nights on offer to its 300 members. It’s a fantastic way to meet new people and there truly is something for everyone.
My career growth would not have been possible without support from some amazing people in the organisation. Throughout my time at Fidelity, I have been given incredible opportunities that have allowed me to progress on a career path I truly enjoy and am passionate about.
Can you share any tips or strategies for maintaining a work-life balance?
As a working mum with a two-year old, my work-life balance has become a key focus for me in recent years. For me, I love being busy, but I’ve learned to prioritise both at work and at home.
One tip I have when working from home is to switch off your laptop when the workday is done. An old habit of mine was logging back in to work in the evenings as I didn’t have a set space for working, but old habits die hard! Now my work desk has its own space and my laptop is switched off and packed away at the end of the day to allow me to be present and enjoy family time in the evenings.
How has your career with Fidelity Investments progressed?
My career in Fidelity began in 2015, when I joined as an intern after changing course in my career and pursuing a degree in a new area.
After completing my internship, I was lucky enough to interview and be accepted for a role on the strategy and planning team in Galway, where I learned about how the business operates and really enjoyed getting an insight into the strategic approach taken by the organisation.
From here, I moved across to my current team and once I started on the team, I knew this was where I wanted to be. I was determined to learn on the job and soak up as much as I could from my team members to help me carve out a career path in this space.
My role expanded over the years to include CSR, an area I extremely passionate about and I’m delighted to say that I truly enjoy coming to work and love the work I get to do daily.
What aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?
One of my key passions is leading our CSR programmes and supporting the Ireland business in creating meaningful partnerships in our communities as well as inspiring the next generation through our education and employability programs.
Another aspect of the job I enjoy is working with a range of teams from across the business and having the opportunity to connect with people who work in a variety of areas, from technology and operations to our range of support teams.
Being able to live in my hometown is an incredible benefit for me. I live with my husband and son in a suburb of Galway by the ocean and enjoy the benefits of a community-based lifestyle while also being close to the Fidelity office, which grants me a fantastic work-life balance.
How do you stay connected with colleagues and foster collaboration?
Fidelity Ireland has always had a unique culture and sense of community and I think this is particularly prevalent for me in the Galway office. I regularly visit the office to connect with others, whether that’s a casual coffee, a company event or a business meeting. I am someone who thrives on in-person interaction, so I really enjoy meeting people face-to-face to collaborate on projects or just to get updates from across the business (and maybe indulge in the free snacks that are provided every day!).
10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.