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Leadership Lessons
Staff Reporter
update on Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stephen Golden
Head of diversity, Goldman Sachs Asia


Everyone should have an equal chance to succeed. Differences should not be a barrier for success, but an opportunity to add value to a company. By being diverse, Goldman Sachs Group improves its ability to come up with the most innovative ideas for clients. Our clients value our diversity, and they appreciate that we also have a deep understanding of the people and companies in the markets they are trying to reach. Diversity is also about retaining our people and helping them to perform at their very best, so we must create an inclusive environment where everyone can succeed. If we get this wrong, our people will leave.  


We have an "Asia Diversity Committee", which includes representatives from all of our major Asian offices, to help ensure we are constantly thinking about what will work best for each office and each business. To encourage our people to engage, we have a "Diversity and Inclusion" training curriculum and we encourage all of our employees to attend at least two hours of diversity training each year. We also hold our employees accountable for diversity, which forms part of our performance review process, and senior managers get a diversity rating each year. We take diversity very seriously.  

Feedback and results  

Our "Diversity and Inclusion" training curriculum includes more than 40 courses consisting of classroom-based training, e-learning and webcasts. Ninety-nine per cent of our employees complete at least two hours of diversity training, and the fact that, on average, each employee completes approximately four hours of training implies a high level of interest.

Maylie Lee
Director for human resources, Hong Kong, American Express International


We believe that diversity is a business imperative central to the success of a company. Diversity practices help us attract and retain talent, promote a productive and engaging work climate, and encourage greater creativity and innovation. We aim to build an inclusive environment which leverages the unique experiences, talents, skills and perspectives of all our employees to become the world's most respected and admired company.  


We champion diversity, and try to understand the needs of our current and potential employees, and customers worldwide. Our objective is to integrate "Diversity and Inclusion" into the business, and the "Country Human Capital Plans" accelerates organisational focus. It also affects our talent and market segmentation priorities. We have "Diversity Councils" to drive change, provide thought leadership, strengthen leadership and employee understanding. We also support diversity and inclusion, and we also look at the impact of diversity and inclusion on employees.

We are on the "Diversity and Inclusion" journey. To sustain the momentum, the company also leverages on our employee networks. One of the examples is the establishment of "Women's Interest Network (WIN)". It is an organisation for our employees seeking to build a community which supports women in the workplace through idea sharing and networking forums.  


WIN recently invited a successful woman business leader to share her success story and talk about the art of building a personal brand. This event drew a positive response from employees, who also found the speaker inspirational.

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