HSBC hosts inaugural OutWOMEN breakfast panel in London

The OutWOMEN breakfast panel, held at HSBC as part of Out Leadership’s constellation of events around the European Summit last week, attracted a capacity crowd. Topics ranged from leveraging one’s authenticity to the importance of networking and role models to LBT+ women. OutWOMEN is sponsored globally by Hogan Lovells and IBM.

More than 100 LBT+ women in business and their allies attended the event, which included ample opportunities for networking.

Lola NinonuevoChief Operating Officer, Global Banking and Markets, Europe, HSBC, spoke about how she came out at work when CEO Stuart Gulliver hosted the Out Leadership Asia summit in 2014. “We need to be more visible,” she said. “That’s how we can help each other out.”

Claudia Brind-Woody, Vice President and Managing Director for IBM Global Intellectual Property Licensing, IBM, noted:  “[Being out] has allowed me to be more intentional, and to value diversity more; not just to have it, but to seek it and define it.”

Stephanie Sandberg, Managing Director of Advisory and Client Services, Out Leadership, who moderated the panel discussion, observed the primary institutional justification for OutWOMEN:  “We network differently because we connect differently and even speak differently.”

Sian Owles, Partner, Hogan Lovells, observed:  “Being authentic at work helped me leave a Stockholm -Syndrome environment to a welcoming and supportive one, where I can best perform.”

Deborah Sherry, General Manager and Chief Commercial Officer, GE Digital Europe, argued that when it comes to creating a community of LBT+ women in business, “Being deliberate is supercritical. Role models make a huge difference in how people succeed in our society. It’s a real process; I don’t know if we ever unshackle ourselves fully from our own lives and cultural backgrounds.”

OutWOMEN will also convene during our Asia Summit in November 2016 in Hong Kong.