Goldman Sachs’ Michael Lam discusses the importance of mentorship at the 2018 Asia Summit

More than 300 LGBT+ business leaders gathered in November 2018 in Hong Kong for Out Leadership’s 6th annual Asia LGBT+ Senior Leader Summit, sponsored by EY, KPMG, HSBC, and Thomson Reuters.

Thomson Reuters hosted The Future of LGBT+ Talent in Asia, the fifth session.

Michael Lam, Executive Director, Goldman Sachs highlighted three keys to LGBT+ talent attraction and retention:

“There are three key elements which I highly encourage every company to consider implementing in order to attract and maintain our LGBT plus talents: education, engagement, empowerment.”

On education and the importance of mentoring:

“People don’t leave because of their jobs. They leave because of their managers. And so managerial effectiveness is very important for retaining talent. In reality the majority of the workforce population is allies. And as loud as my voice can be, we do need our allies to support our community. They are our biggest advocates in LGBT+ movements. We need them.

On engagement:

“The second key element is engagement. There are many ways of retaining talent — compensation, benefits, training, mobility, etc. But I do think a firm’s engagement in diverse talent is one of the biggest influencing factors in retaining our LGBT+ talent.”

On empowerment:

“It might sound like this concept of empowerment is more on the corporate level, but actually it starts with every single one of us here in this room. Yes, we are here partially because our companies care. But more importantly we chose to be here today because we are personally invested in the future of our LGBT+ talent. And everyone has so much contribute to our future. If you identify yourself as LGBT, be empowered to be the kind of role model that you want to be for the next generation. And if you are an ally, feel equally empowered to be advocates for us. We need all of you.”


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