Firm reinforces commitment to diversity and inclusion and equality
Morgan Stanley hosted the fifth annual Out on the Street: US LGBT Leadership Summit in New York City where senior leaders from across the financial services industry gathered for a day focused on the progress and challenges that remain in realizing full LGBT equality.
James P. Gorman, Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley, set the tone with his opening remarks, highlighting how, even in 2015, we have yet to reach the point where everyone, regardless of background or orientation, has access to opportunities based purely on merit.
Gorman challenged conference participants: “My request of you today is to give leaders like myself and those who will stand before you today practical advice on things we can do differently. We need concrete ideas that will help us act swiftly and comprehensively.”
The panel discussions, keynotes and fireside chats that followed featured leaders from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors sharing their insights on the best approaches to the challenges ahead. From personal stories of coming out, to approaching LGBT issues in the workplace, to first-hand accounts of key legislative battles and the continued fight for LGBT equality in many areas of the US, the day’s events offered a 360-degree view of the LGBT landscape.
One account came from the Honorable Kathleen Sebelius, the 21st Secretary of Health and Human Services and former Governor of Kansas. Sitting down for a fireside chat with Morgan Stanley’s Thomas R. Nides, Managing Director and Vice Chairman and former Deputy Secretary of State, Sebelius detailed her efforts on the state and federal level. A fierce advocate for employee and citizen rights regardless of sexual orientation, she offered her view on the recent efforts in Kansas to repeal anti-discrimination laws she put in place and the actions of other states to pass legislation that can be viewed as discriminatory against the LGBT community.
Throughout the day, leaders also referenced the importance of amicus briefs and the function they serve in the fight for equality. Morgan Stanley has signed on to three key amicus briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court that address the right for same-sex couples to marry in every state. The latest brief, which the firm signed in March, is part of a case which the high court heard arguments for in April, with a decision expected in June.
Todd Sears, Founder and Principal, Out Leadership, and Greg Fleming, President Morgan Stanley Investment Management & Wealth Management, closed the day with remarks applauding the efforts of business leaders thus far, but also encouraging those in attendance to be vigilant in facing the challenges ahead.
Additional program highlights included:
- An examination of the legal progress of California’s Proposition 8 with the Honorable Judge Vaughn Walker and Kenji Yoshino
- A keynote address by Fred Hochberg, Chairman and President, U.S. Export-Import Bank
- A panel of openly gay senior executives discussing the opportunities and challenges they have faced in the corporate world. The panel included Jason Grenfell-Gardner, President and CEO, IGI Laboratories, Inc.; David Duplantis, President, Global Marketing, Digital and Customer Experience, Coach, Inc.; and Todd DeGarmo, CEO and Principal, STUDIOS Architecture
- A panel of senior LGBT and Ally women leaders discussing existing barriers for women, such as the double glass ceiling and glass cliff. The panel included Morgana Bailey, HRIS Operations Vice President, State Street; Xena Ugrinsky, Senior Partner and Pride Advisory Board Member, KPMG, LLP; and Lucilla Rastelli, Program Manager, Funding Systems, GE Capital
“At Morgan Stanley, our employees are our greatest asset, and we are committed to providing an inclusive environment where all employees can fully contribute to the success of the Firm,” said Susan Reid, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Morgan Stanley. “Through programs like Out on the Street, we hope to drive conversations that translate into actionable ideas to ensure we have the best talent that can provide creative solutions to our clients around the globe.”
Out on the Street, an initiative of the global LGBT business advisory firm Out Leadership, brings together executives from leading financial institutions to share strategy around issues vital to LGBT equality and critical to creating marketplace opportunity.
Click here for more on Morgan Stanley’s diversity and inclusion efforts and for more on the Out on the Street Summit and Out Leadership, visit https://outleadership.org/..