Goldman Sachs Celebrates Black History Month
In celebration of Black History month in the US, the Firmwide Black Network (FBN), an employee affinity network, sponsored a series of events highlighting the achievements of black leaders and black entrepreneurs.
Some of the events are highlighted below:
Opening Night Reception
The celebration kicked off with an opening reception exploring art as a medium of storytelling in the black community. The showcase included works from The Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art and Storytelling and Daniel Hibbert, a vice president in Human Capital Management. At the beginning of the evening, the artists gave descriptions of their work and inspiration. Daniel described how “my career and my art were mutually exclusive for many years though both are intrinsic parts of who I am. I realized that the wall between being a creative and working in finance was actually self-imposed and if I didn’t create fluidity between them I would not be able to be the best version of myself.”
Townhall Celebrating New Partners
The FBN gathered network members in a townhall to hear from members of the latest and most diverse class of partners in Goldman Sachs’ history. The session was moderated by Laurence Stein, the firm’s chief administrative officer. Panelists shared career advice and encouraged the audience to step outside their comfort zones and take risks.
Fireside Chat in Salt Lake City
In Salt Lake City, chief diversity officer, Erika Irish Brown discussed the firm’s strategy to advance diversity goals and the power of intersectionality in a fireside chat moderated by David Lang, head of the Salt Lake City office.
Conversation with Stephanie Smith
In Asia Pacific, Stephanie Smith, Asia Pacific head of Operations and EG Morse, head of APEJ FICC Sales, hosted an event for black professionals in Hong Kong to share their perspectives on building resilient career paths and what black excellence means to them. Matthew Mason head of Portfolio Sales Trading in Asia Pacific moderated the session.
Stories in Black Excellence Gallery
In Texas, the network focused on excellence in the arts and dance. In collaboration with local photographer, TaKiyah Wallace-McMillian, a dancer’s journey to professional status was featured, exploring body image and skin color in the world of classical ballet. In addition, the gallery featured a photography exhibit Brown Girls Do Ballet® celebrating underrepresented populations of girls in Texas ballet programs.
Black Excellence in Asset Management
An event titled “Black Excellence in Asset Management: Insights from Industry Leaders,” featured panelists who shared their perspectives on being diverse asset managers, their successes in the industry and advice for the next generation of leaders. The session was moderated by Troy Thornton, co-head of Retail Sales within the Goldman Sachs Asset Management Americas Client Business. They discussed their journey and experiences as investors and now leaders of successful firms that oversee public equity, hedge fund and commercial real estate assets for both institutional and individual investors around the world. In Dallas, at a similar event Michael Dalton, co-head of the Loan Asset Management group moderated a similar panel of diverse asset managers.
Talks at GS
Other notable events included a Talks at GS session with chief operating officer of Starbucks, Rosalind Brewer who discussed the role of corporates in supporting diverse communities as well as the importance of historically black colleges and universities and a session with political analyst and social entrepreneur Van Jones where he shared his views on the current state of American politics, criminal justice reform and his career.
Supporting Black-owned Businesses
The FBN also partnered with black-owned businesses to include special menus reflecting black cultural food, guest chefs and black-run vendors to support the wider community.
Participants walked away from events feeling empowered and motivated towards further excellence. “Seeing people who look like me on the stage as partners, owners and creators helps me to think bigger about what’s possible in my career,” FBN member.