Since 1999 the United States has celebrated the month of June by supporting, acknowledging and raising awareness for the LGBTQ+ community. Known as Pride Month, June was chosen to honor the June of 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City, which served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the U.S. and also throughout the world.
The FCS Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee continued to honor this movement with a live virtual forum that brought together four industry professionals who identify as members in the LGBTQ+ community. During our event, they each shared their experiences, advice and hopes for the future.
The conversation included:
Gordy Abel, Chief Marketing Officer, Dynasty Financial Partners
- Gordy is the Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Dynasty, where he partners across the firm's internal teams and client network to help build a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace while supporting initiatives for education and financial literacy.
Genesis Garcia, VP/Senior Marketing Manager, BNY Mellon | Pershing
- As an active leader in the LGBT+ community, Genesis sits on the BNY Mellon Global Operating Committee for PRISM, the firm's LGBT ERG (employee resource group). She is also part of the Executive Committee within Open Finance, a non-profit network driving forward LGBT+ equality in the financial services sector. Additionally, Genesis is a Programming Board member for StartOut, a non-profit organization that champions LGBT+ entrepreneurs. She co-leads efforts for StartOut’s National Equity Summits. In 2019 and 2020, she was featured as an OUTstanding LGBT+ Role Model, supported by Yahoo Finance.
Gregory Lewis, VP, Global Marketing, Citi
- Gregory is a member of the Citi Black Heritage and Citi Pride Network and has worked on various DE&I initiatives within the organization, such as launching the Citi True Name Feature in 2019 in partnership with Mastercard, a feature that offers transgender and non-binary people the ability to use their chosen name on their eligible credit cards. In addition, he is also involved with the Association of National Advertisers/SeeHer movement to increase positive portrayals of women/girls in media.
The panel discussion was moderated by Shae Carroll, Director of Social Sales, Forbes.
- Over a decade in the industry, Shae has worked in strategy and analytics, most recently at Saatchi & Saatchi. There, he led multi-channel strategies across brands such as Tide, Pampers, LUVS, Tecate, Go-Gurt, Head & Shoulders, and Walmart. Shae is a proud graduate of Oklahoma State University where he studied Public Relations and Advertising. He currently lives in Philadelphia with his husband and dog, Ira.
The conversation shined a light on the panelist’s life experiences (coming out, being out at work, etc.), insights on how to help others in the community with their own LGBTQ+ experiences or allyship and how they’ve thrived in the financial services sector as professionals and community members.
We're grateful to Forbes, our exclusive programming partner for this event and longtime supporter of the FCS.
To conclude, we hope this month our members and industry colleagues help support LGBTQ+ organizations and causes (we recommend finding a charity here or donating to the Human Rights Campaign), expand your knowledge on the history, challenges, milestones and successes this community endeavored, as well as consider ways to make society more inclusive for generations to come. At the end of the day, the world is a complex place but it’s much more beautiful when individuals can love and identify as however they wish.