In honor of Pride Month, BBH’s Pride Network—in collaboration with members from multiple other BANC groups—recently hosted an event called “Intersectionality: More Than Meets the Eye.”
The event offered an in-depth look at the overlapping identities and experiences of a half-dozen BBHers, in order to better understand the impact of living with these layers of diversity—particularly pertaining to the identities within underrepresented groups (race, gender, ethnicity, LGBTQ, disability, veteran, etc.).
The stories they shared enabled us to understand some of the biases, preconceptions, and assumptions our colleagues may face in their daily lives. The panelists spoke about their challenges, successes, and the evolution of who they have become as individuals and professionals at work.
The lesson of Intersectionality is that we all live with privileges and with differences and it’s the unique combination of all of those intersecting identities that make each of us into the unique individuals we are."
Below are some of the key messages shared during the event:
- Recognize others’ differences and accept that we all experience the world differently and all experiences are equally valid.
- Try to move beyond the differences and seek commonality, seeking out safe entry points to connect with others.
- Listen actively with an open mind to learn the best ways to be supportive.
- Take the time to educate yourself, to be better prepared for challenging conversations.
- Accept that your colleagues may not be ready to talk and leave an open door for them whenever they are ready to come through.
- Show up and be an Ally to your teammates and colleagues by taking an interest in their causes.
Richard Ma, co-chair of the Boston chapter of the Asia Link Network, said the event was an eye-opening experience. “The experiences shared by the amazingly diverse panel deeply resonated with me and reminded me that Intersectionality impacts all of us,” he said.
Orla Foley, a Managing Director in Dublin, agreed. “This was a fantastic event,” she said. “It’s given me so much to think about.”
As we continue to highlight the importance of diversity and inclusion, our BANC groups offer an ideal forum to encourage dialogue about differences and build a bridge to understanding.
“The lesson of Intersectionality is that we all live with privileges and with differences and it’s the unique combination of all of those intersecting identities that make each of us into the unique individuals we are,” said Managing Partner Bill Tyree. “We share much more in common than that which divides us and every step we can take—and today’s panel was an important one—moves us a little closer to where we all want to be.”