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MAKING BANK

Top Wall Street Execs Meet To Discuss LGBT Equality In Corporate America

On Wednesday, May 2, CEOs and senior staffers at financial giants like Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and HSBC will meet in New York to discuss realizing true LGBT equality. George Stephanopoulos moderates the second annual Out on the Street Leadership Summit at Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s headquarters, where speakers include Goldman Sachs chairman Lloyd Blankfein; Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan; former GOP operative Ken Mehlman, and Lynn Utter, president of Knoll Furniture.

We know we’re supposed to hate Wall Street but these folks have sooo much money—and the movement could really use the cash!

The daylong event will focus on what role LGBT equality “can play in the retention of talent in the industry”—whether that’s providing spousal benefits, supporting LGBT employee groups or reimbursing LGBT employees to address tax inequalities.

“People are the most valuable resource our company has, and our support for initiatives like this one matters deeply to them,” said Blankfein, who is also HRC’s corporate spokesman for marriage equality. Over 150 senior-level employees attended the invitation-only event in 2011, with more expected this year.

Former banker Todd Sears founded OOTS to encourage gay and straight financial leaders make Wall Street more attractive to LGBT talent, and to help the career trajectories of out bankers with networking and business opportunities. Currently nearly half of employees at Wall Street firms are closeted. But Sears says his effort is paying off. “Instead of remaining in the safe zone of advocating for LGBT workplace equality which upwards of 70% of Americans support,” said Sears, “these companies have taken courageous stances in more controversial areas, marriage equality, support for which only recently passed the 50% mark in polls.”

By:           Dan Avery
On:           May 1, 2012
Tagged: , , ,
  • 6 Comments
    • Charley
      Charley

      You take help where you can get it.

      May 1, 2012 at 8:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • randy
      randy

      These banks are major players in politics on both sides of the aisle. They have tons of economic clout in every state they do business in. Of course, there is a lot that they can do in house to help us, but where they can really help is to pull politicians aside and say, “Stop with the gay bashing. It isn’t helping anyone.”

      If they did that one thing to every elected official they know, that would go a long way towards ending these stupid marriage amendments and so on. If the rhetoric against gays were ratcheted down from the politicians, we would have a much better chance at achieving out goals.

      May 1, 2012 at 9:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J
      J

      Why do they have to make spectacle of it? This is obviously PR! They’re exploiting us gays!

      May 1, 2012 at 10:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • QJ201
      QJ201

      And the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud are doing a happy dance hoping for more members.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dr. Dick
      Dr. Dick

      I don’t want their bloody, 1%ery money! (I obviously do, I just can’t want it openly)

      May 1, 2012 at 3:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Clockwork
      Clockwork

      @Dr. Dick:

      Good point sir.

      Bring on the bull market so we can all prosper!

      May 1, 2012 at 4:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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