myGwork and Willis Towers Watson give students access to LGBT leaders and unlock their potential during a networking event

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On Thursday February 16, myGwork, a leading global LGBT professional network, offered 75 LGBT university students from London the chance to network with senior LGBT leaders from a diverse range of industries.

Nick Bass, Global People Director at Isobar talking to LGBT students

"The event demonstrated how important it is for organisations to have LGBT+ role models", Stuart Mason, lawyer at Clifford Chance

On Thursday February 16, myGwork a leading global LGBT professional network, offered 75 LGBT university students from London the chance to network with senior LGBT leaders. The list of leaders included:

  • Paul Reed, The chief executive of trading division at BP
  • Alicia Millar, EME learning and development Manager at Reed Smith
  • Daniel Gerring, Partner at Travers Smith
  • Scott James Pinder, Senior Retirement Consultant at Willis Towers Watson
  • Michael Shannon, Head of Talent Acquisition Africa & Developing Countries Asia at GSK
  • Stuart Mason, Lawyer at Clifford Chance
  • Nick Bass, Global People and Development Director at Isobar
  • Max Mukhin, Management Consultant Digital & Tech at PwC
  • Zoe Burdo, Consultant & Pride Network Chair at Willis Towers Watson
  • Scott Nunn, Director at Gay Star News & Digital-Pride
  • Pippa Dale, Head of Fixed Income Roadshows at BNP & Founder of LBWomen
  • Nick Macrae, Senior Vice President at Warner Bros
  • Alan Hunt, Associate Lawyer at Lewis Silkin

It was a great chance for students to ask these prominent LGBT leaders about topics both personal (such as their coming out stories), and professional (what is it like being out in the workplace?)

For these leaders, it provided the opportunity to showcase to students how their companies support diversity for their LGBTI employees.

The event was hosted at Willis Towers Watson (a new member of the myGwork community), and was coordinated by LSE’s LGBT+ Student Union.

The myGwork team believes that LGBT peoples’ success in their careers and in life is strongly influenced in these formative years. With ‘inspiration’ as the primary goal of the event, they offered unique access to these senior LGBT leaders while at the same time, provided an opportunity for leaders to give back and support younger generations. A win-win!

During the introduction, Pierre Gaubert from myGwork enhanced the importance of LGBT Role models at all ages: it starts from a very young age when people come out at school and show the way to younger LGBT students. What starts off as a hopeful path for young LGBT, often taken a sudden turn upon graduation… Studies have shown that approximately 62%of UK LGBT graduates go back into the closet during their first jobs after graduation. Sadly, they feel they will not be accepted in the workplace. This leads to a second ‘professional’ coming out process later in their careers after years needed to build up the confidence to do so. The event myGwork organised last week was an important step in helping the young LGBT generation in London feel confident to be themselves in their future careers and to help reverse this trend.

Quote from Willis Towers Watson (host)

Zoe Burdo expressed her enthusiasm about hosting the event: “In these dark ages where it seems LGBTI rights are going backward, it is more important than ever for the LGBT community to stick together and send positive messages to the rest of the population - messages saying that being LGBTI is normal and we can succeed. No parents, no friends, no teacher and no manager should advise students to stay in the closet to have a great career. That is why LGBTI role models - and role models in general - are so important.”

Quotes from LGBT leaders:

Stuart Mason said: “The event demonstrated how important it is for organisations to have LGBT+ role models. It was great to meet so many enthusiastic LGBT+ individuals at the start of their career and to demonstrate that for the next generation, being LGBT+ is no barrier to success at some of the top UK and global employers”

Alicia Millar said: “Privileged to speak to amazing LGBT students at the myGwork event. Great questions and discussion about being out in the workplace, their curiosity about the relevance of sexuality in a working environment gave me huge insight into the mind-set and personal values of this generation, our future business leaders. I encourage business leaders to take any opportunity to talk with students and be challenged by them!”

Nick MacRae said: “I really enjoyed last week’s networking event, and thought the format worked well. Fast-moving and informal, and everyone felt relaxed and able to ask questions. A couple of the people who attended your event already reached out to me for some tips, and I’m meeting one of them today for a coffee.”

Quote from students:

Lorenzo Spinoglio, MSc Student at LSE, said: “I would like to thank you very much for the event at Willis Towers Watson, it has been very helpful and inspiring. Thank you myGwork for what you are doing every day.”

Stefano Cugnetto, a recent graduate, said: “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be at the event yesterday with other top students and professionals. Everyone was very nice and approachable, I could get good advice about graduate schemes. This was very inspiring “.

Quote from myGwork:

Pierre Gaubert, CEO, said: “The aim of myGwork has always been to create bridges among the LGBT community. We kept the event small for students to meet as many leaders as possible and build meaningful connections for their future”.

About myGwork

myGwork is the global recruitment & networking hub for LGBT professionals and graduates. The platform provides jobs and mentoring opportunities to the LGBT community. individuals who can network online with more than 10,000 members and access a wide range of networking & career-focused events.

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