I have been inspired by GLOW ever since I started at Oliver Wyman. Although I can be introverted and anxious, GLOW provides me with a space where I can be an outspoken leader, create relationships, and collaborate with a diverse group to execute ideas that help move us forward.
I think that companies can support LGBTQ+ colleagues more by creating open dialogue spaces: ask, listen, understand, and create experiences that include everyone. Leaders should use their voices to heighten those of LGBTQ+ and allies.
Although right now virtual meetings may feel exhausting, different approaches for all learning styles can help with engagement: campaigns, social events, newsletters, Slack challenges, art challenges and more!
Sergio Salinas | Mexico City
Jack Yan | Hong Kong
I was actually introduced to GLOW and its members before I joined Oliver Wyman, while I was studying in New York and London. It played such important role as I navigated my career options upon graduation. The group was supportive when I had not yet become an employee, and that camaraderie has been consistent across regions. I took a leadership position in GLOW as my way to pay it forward and inspire others. Knowing that there are hundreds of others in the organization that are working together to create an inclusive workplace and community adds a completely different dimension to what working at OW means to me.
In order to support LGBTQ+ colleagues, companies should go one step further to recognize how difficult circumstances, such as COVID-19, might affect minority groups in very different and specific ways. (For example: consider practical challenges with getting certain medications and tests during lockdown, lack of access to support network and services, and stress that comes with living with families that may or may not be supportive). Queer employees would appreciate thoughtful initiatives that are born out of empathy.
Oliver Wyman is the first company I joined where I felt confident enough to come out from day one. GLOW has enabled me to meet colleagues from other offices and practices that I may never have met otherwise (shout out to Mark Jeyaraj from Sydney and Alice Newkirk from New York!).
It’s essential that Oliver Wyman creates a culture of inclusion and gender equality: protecting employees against discrimination is all-important at all times. One of my jobs as the EMEA GLOW Global lead is to make sure new joiners feel as accepted and valued as I did when I started at the firm, which I do by ensuring GLOW events, programs, and services are as visible as possible.
Severine Huin | Munich
Marshall Ji | Hong Kong
GLOW helps me to strengthen my identity as a queer consultant at Oliver Wyman. Being connected with other community members is not only fun, but also educational. One of my favorite events that I’ve coordinated was a virtual short film screening event for the whole Asia Pacific region. It was interesting to connect GLOW chapters from other offices and bring in a diverse set of films from different countries, ethnicities, and cultures.
Beyond that, being a part of the GLOW community gives me an opportunity to promote and work towards diversity awareness. If companies would like to better champion LGBTQ+ colleagues during COVID-19 and beyond, one thing they can focus on is ensuring their insurance plan is well-suited to cover issues like HIV prevention and treatment programs (e.g. cover the expense to use PrEP, etc). I would also love to see more social impact projects to help LGBTQ+ non-profit organizations.
GLOW keeps me motivated and invested in Oliver Wyman culture.
GLOW has illuminated a sensitive side of colleagues, while also helping me gain perspective on community concerns in the workplace. GLOW had been really active in Mumbai well before COVID-19 and we have hosted a number of great events to make colleagues aware of issues unique to the LGBTQ+ community. Through this experience of leading GLOW, I have become more aware and engaged in my life, too. I even attended my first Pride Parade with Oliver Wyman colleagues in Mumbai.
As remote working has blurred the boundaries between work and personal life, companies should try to establish personal connections and understand concerns beyond work (e.g. if queer employees have enough support from families). Also, I think it’s now even more important than ever to have more inclusive insurance policies with benefits for same sex partners, mental health and wellness coverage.
Malti Gupta | Mumbai
I was inspired to take on a leadership position in GLOW because it was an integral part of my recruiting process during the 2017 Diversity Forum, during which I was welcomed into the GLOW community with open arms. GLOW members took the time to get to know me and address my questions on I&D in the workplace, outness on client sites, senior allyship, and even help with a few case prep sessions. I came to appreciate how tight-knit, enthusiastic, and supportive the New York Office GLOW community was. I always look forward to a GLOW event in my calendar as a much-needed time to unwind and re-charge after a busy work week. GLOW has provided a forum to meet LGBTQ+ and allied peers and mentors, a space to broaden my ally toolkit, and the opportunity to partake in reverse mentoring sessions which have led to robust I&D conversations with senior leaders.
All companies should recognize the intersectionality of the queer experience. Ensure loud and visible allyship at the senior level. Emphasize proactive mentorship and sponsorship of LGBTQ+ junior folks. Incorporate I&D-related metrics for managers/teaming environments to track progress and hold firm culture accountable to our values.
David Olvera-Sanchez | New York
I took a leadership position within GLOW because I wanted to find a way to connect with new colleagues who I wouldn’t work with in my day-to-day. I knew an employee resource group (ERG) would be a great way to do this whilst being able to work on some interesting projects to build the profile and visibility of my LGBTQ+ colleagues.
We’ve been using Zoom and WhatsApp to stay connected and ensure no one feels alone during this difficult time. The opportunities to guide the firm through changing social landscapes of LGBTQ+ has been so interesting. However, the people are what has made it all worth the effort for me. Real value is created when people treat other as real people and move away from generic statements.
Michael Marsh | London
At Oliver Wyman—for the first time in my professional career—I felt confident to come out at work. GLOW, to me, has meant not being alone. It’s a clear sign that there are people across the firm who share the same thoughts and beliefs. I joined GLOW because I want to actively support and shape I&D within and outside of Oliver Wyman; I also hope we can encourage other colleagues to feel the same way I do, too.
COVID-19 has been difficult, but we are still together through this. In Munich, we organized a virtual Happy Hour during the pandemic around the National Find a Rainbow Day (April 3rd) to speak about “outing.” It was probably one of the most honest happy hours I’ve attended so far. People across the firm were very open to share their very own stories and moments where they felt most uncomfortable.
Whether before, during, or beyond Covid-19, companies have a responsibility to demonstrate ethical leadership and support the progress in equality and inclusion by creating a culture where people can be fully open. They must protect their employees against any form of discrimination.
Davina Zenz-Spitzweg | Munich
Each year, our Mexico City GLOW Chapter attends the Pride Parade in their city in order to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and support more progress towards equality. Their commitment has earned them a perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign Equidad MX’s equality index, and they have been recognized by HRC as one of the Best Places to Work for LBGT+ employees.
Oliver Wyman | Mexico City
Due to the pandemic, Mexico City's 2020 Pride Parade was canceled. But that did not deter our Mexico colleagues who worked together to create a virtual pride parade to demonstrate how they are still #UnitedInPride.
Thank you so much to Mexico City colleagues for creating a wonderful workplace where anyone can express who they are freely.