Goldman Sachs' Edith Cooper talks with LinkedIn News Editor Laura Lorenzetti about tackling diversity in the workplace.
"I shared my experiences with the hope that people would take threads of my experience, find relevance to theirs, and empower themselves with the potential of opportunity that exists for all of us, but the access is not equal to everyone. What I can share most importantly is that one should not let other people's perspectives on them define themselves. We must focus on the things that we can control. The things that we can control; excellence, focus, understanding, how we're interacting with people, are those interactions meaningful? If not, how can we make them more beneficial? That's where the connection to other people really comes into play.
"There was a number of things that we've done at Goldman that I think have made a very big difference with respect to understanding. We have specific initiatives that we've put in place to connect people of different perspectives. We recognize that an analyst who starts their journey at a firm like Goldman Sachs is faced with all sorts of potential opportunity but it's important that those connections are not just based upon the job but it's in a context of an overall relationship. We've built an analyst initiatives where we've worked to create better connections between analyst, their managers, and people who have volunteered and are eager to become mentors and sponsors. Who benefits from these things? The people of Goldman Sachs and our culture benefits from these things. Is it targeted towards our black analysts? Absolutely, but I know based upon my conversations that the people that have been participating as managers or sponsors have benefit as much because it's expanded their understanding of someone else's perspective."