More than 100 LGBT+ business leaders gathered in October 2018 in London for Out Leadership’s 7th annual Europe LGBT+ Senior Leader Summit, sponsored by HSBC and Hogan Lovells.
The third summit session, C-Suite Leadership: A Global Look, and the Next Generation of LBGT+ Talent, was hosted by HSBC.
Steve Immelt, Chief Executive Officer, Hogan Lovells delivered closing remarks emphasizing the business value of authenticity:
“Google conducted a pretty interesting study in the last few years around what makes the perfect team. They sliced and diced the data, the looked at how many engineers you need to have. Where did people go to college? What’s the diversity of the make up? In the end they had a hard time discerning a pattern, so they went back and looked at it again, and tried to take the teams apart. What they discovered was that really the high performing teams were made up of people who felt able to be themselves and express themselves.”
He continued, noting the intentionality of leadership required to change a culture:
“The way you change a culture is, as John said, by making a distinction between what’s accepted and what’s not accepted. What’s called out and what’s allowed to happen. A high-level commitment to values is important, but it’s not simply a matter of saying what your aspirations are—if we want to change culture, we have to become more tactical. I’ll share a pilot that we’ve begun to work on at Hogan Lovells, in our US practice. We’ve created a National Diversity Committee. That meets regularly to look at all of our diverse associates, counsel, the partners below the level of equity partners, to look at what’s happening with every single one of them. Who are they working for? Who are they getting the work from? What development opportunities are they being given? What pitches have they gone on? This is all to try to get at a very tactical level and understanding of what’s going on with every one of these associates. Because if we want to really change the mix, we have to change and create the critical mass.”