Stephen Executive Director/Vice President, Global Leadership and Diversity Human Capital Management division, Hong Kong
There is so much thirst for diversity analytics, research and training that our team is always in demand.
I work in the Human Capital Management division of Goldman Sachs. I’m an Executive Director in the Office of Global Leadership and Diversity (GLD). My job gives me a great deal of variety – from analysing metrics to assessing our recruitment, promotion and retention rates, to running a series of conferences and events.
I started work in Diversity in 2005. During that time, I’ve had great opportunities to work with lots of famous and influential external people – from politicians to CEOs, actors and athletes. In my role I get to meet with the most senior members of the company to discuss diversity challenges and accomplishments. When I see how focused they are on diversity, I know that I’m in the right role.
I first came to the firm in 1991, as a summer analyst in Technology. Since then I’ve worked in many departments and divisions. There is no question that opportunities are out there – the key is to do a good job. If you are good and known, opportunities will come to you.
There's no such thing as an average day or week. Let me tell you about one of my recent weeks.
The week began with me hosting an offsite for my team to form our diversity business plan for next year.
The next day we rolled out a new training programme called “Out in the Open: Sexual Orientation in the Workplace.” I helped develop this programme, which we piloted in New York before running it in London, Tokyo, and Hong Kong.
Following that, we ran a conference for our women associates, which helped them focus on taking charge of their career. The week ended when I got on a plane for Tokyo, where I was covering part of a colleague’s maternity leave.
I have a lot of work to juggle. There is so much thirst for diversity analytics, research and training that our team is always in demand. It’s helpful that my work is very team based. I have loads of tasks and projects which I own, but most could not be accomplished without the help of others.
I was studying Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. My resume was included in my school’s resume (or CV) book, which they sent to companies. I returned to my dorm one day to find my roommates (all business school students) jumping up and down in a frenzy: I had received a call from Goldman Sachs for an interview. And quite seriously, I hadn’t even heard of Goldman Sachs. My world was more techie – IBM and Microsoft. But I knew I had to go for the interview. That ultimately led to my first summer internship, which was then followed by a second summer internship and then a full time role in the Technology graduate programme a year later.
I interviewed with a number of different companies, both technological and financial – but ultimately thought the prospects that Goldman Sachs offered were the most interesting. And I was charmed by the environment and the people. When I first joined, I think my team treated me like a younger brother and yet, at the same time, also made it clear that I had a lot to contribute.
Coming out of university, I knew I wanted to be working in technology. I hadn’t really imagined I would one day be designing trading surveillance systems for an investment bank! In 2002, I made a bigger leap by leaving my technology career to work in Equities Compliance. Back when I started, I never imagined that would be part of my career path. Perhaps even stranger was when I moved into diversity. Though unexpected, my career path actually makes a lot of sense. I can see parallels between what I did in Technology, Compliance, and now Human Capital Management. And I bring extra value to each area by bringing a diverse and unique perspective to my new role.
I'm also an active member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Network, and I think it's great that Goldman Sachs is so focused on ensuring all employees get an equal opportunity to succeed at the firm.
I’d offer the following advice to anyone interested in pursuing a career in this field: Be clear on your motivation – Why do you want a role in finance? What are you looking for? If you’re not yet convinced, do some more research. And be clear on what you can offer. What are your best skills? Why would they be applicable? If you can demonstrate that you have something special, we will be interested.