What is the ECB?
As the central bank for Europe’s single currency, the euro, the ECB has two main tasks.
First, we aim for stable prices in the euro area. We do this by setting the short-term interest rate and by working closely with the national central banks of countries that have adopted the euro. Stable prices are important for people and businesses to feel secure in making plans to invest for the future.
Second, we supervise banks in the euro area. We do this by working together with national supervisors to review how banks conduct their activities and ensure rules are applied in the same way across Europe. This makes the banking sector more stable and trustworthy for people and companies.
Why is the ECB important?
The ECB’s actions affect the 340 million people and millions of businesses in the euro area – to be precise, their decisions to save or to invest, to borrow or to lend.
Working towards our objectives presents unique challenges. We therefore need hard-working people of all EU nationalities, religions, sexual orientations and ages to join our multicultural teams and put their unique skill sets to good use.
I’m not an expert in economics. Can I still work for the ECB?
We’re looking for ambitious and competent people with expertise not only in economics and statistics, but also HR specialists, finance experts, lawyers, linguists, IT professionals, support staff and others.
While economics has been traditionally considered a male-dominated field, we employ professionals of all genders; one of our strategic priorities is developing female talent. At the end of 2017, women made up 44% of our workforce and held 27% of management positions – a figure we’re aiming to increase to at least 35% by the end of 2019.
To help us reach our targets, we’re implementing a gender diversity action plan that will help us to offer enhanced flexible working arrangements, mentoring, and a “women in leadership” training programme. It will also help us to make sure that women are represented equally in our recruitment panels.
Help us to support Europe’s economy by:
- being part of an inclusive working culture that encourages people to learn, work together and support one another
- working on dynamic and challenging projects with colleagues from all over Europe
- developing your personal and professional skills
- building up professional and social networks
We’ll support you and your family by offering a range of benefits and services, including:
- flexible working arrangements
- childcare facilities and schooling
- sports and social activities
- a Professional Orientation Programme for your spouse or recognised partner
- paid maternity leave and unpaid parental leave
Working at the ECB means much more than just an attractive salary. Click here to find out more about what we offer.
Tips for applicants
Before submitting your application, check you understand the requirements of the position and have familiarised yourself with the ECB’s main tasks.
If invited for an interview, make sure you are ready to illustrate your experience with examples.
Name: Eva Capogna
Role: Deputy Head of the Governance and Transformation Services Division
What is your background? What did you do or study before working for the ECB?
I’ve been incredibly lucky in my career as I have witnessed the beginnings of two major evolutionary steps in technology. When I started studying for my diploma in computer science, the third generation of computers had just been launched and the fourth was already on the way.
After school, I discovered my passion for mathematics. I obtained a Master’s degree in that subject and I had just started a scholarship in artificial intelligence when I had the opportunity to work in the field of telecommunications and to learn about telecommunication products – mobile networks, in particular. GSM mobile networks had just been launched and it was thrilling and very rewarding to be part of such a huge change in society.
However, it was clear that “pure” IT solutions would soon replace the vendor proprietary equipment and software solutions that had been used initially. So, just as 3G was knocking at the door, I started working in IT in the context of telecommunications. This allowed me to learn more about the two fields and how they are interconnected.
This experience brought me closer and closer to the customer and led me to IT governance, project and service management. I was looking to use my skills outside the private sector, which is how I came to work for European Union institutions.
What first attracted you to the ECB?
I believe in European values and I am convinced that the ECB plays an essential role in European stability. As a European citizen, I feel proud to work here and to contribute to Europe as a whole.
What drove you to choose your current position?
Choices in life never come down to a single reason. For me, they have always been based on a combination of dreams, objectives and opportunities at particular times in my personal and professional life.
The trust of and encouragement from my professional network was key to securing my current position at the ECB.
What is the best thing about working for the ECB?
From the outset, I have been impressed by my colleagues’ skills and competence, as well as the vast array of topics we cover and how they are connected. In IT, for example, it’s been amazing to see how people work with professionalism and flexibility to deliver results, despite high demand and constantly changing needs.
Training courses and mobility offer us excellent opportunities to contribute new ideas and grow professionally.
What is it like to work for a European institution?
It’s an experience that makes you feel part of a bigger picture but that also allows you to build and shape Europe’s future in a specific area, such as finance.
The learning curve when you join a European institution is very steep. You really hit the ground running from day one, which is challenging but rewarding. The chance to work in a multicultural environment and to help create a “European identity” is invaluable. It’s also great to be in contact with other institutions and companies across Europe.
European institutions often also support their employees’ families and children, helping them to grow as European citizens, too.
What do you look for in candidates?
I look for professionalism, motivation, enthusiasm, assertiveness, persistence, respect, transparency, curiosity and people skills. The ability to take risks is also a necessity. It’s all about believing in what we work for or, better still, about what we are contributing to achieving, as we are always part of a bigger picture.
What advice would you give other women interested in following in your footsteps?
My advice is to be self-aware and open-minded, always listen actively, avoid jumping to conclusions and be perceptive to your surroundings. Be sure to distinguish your work from your private life but ensure the two are well balanced. Women in particular should never be discouraged by stereotypes because, most of the time, it is the value we offer and the results we deliver that distinguish us.
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